Monday, June 25, 2012
Deafblind Awareness Week
What is Deafblindness and Intervention?
The Canadian Deafblind and Rubella Association Definitions:
Deafblindness: An individual who is deafblind is one who has a combined loss of vision and hearing. Neither their vision or their hearing can be used as a primary source of accessing information.
Intervention: The term “Intervention” means to go between or to mediate between. With regards to persons who are deafblind, Intervention is the process which allows an individual who is deafblind to receive non-distorted information such that he or she can interact with his or her environment.
Intervenor: An Intervenor is a person who provides Intervention to an individual who is deafblind. An Intervenor mediates between the person who is deafblind and his or her environment to enable him or her to communicate effectively with and receive non-distorted information from the world around them. An Intervenor acts as the eyes and ears of the person with deafblindness.
The SENSE International Definitions:
Who is deafblind? What is the definition of deafblindnessA person is regarded as deafblind if their combined sight and hearing impairment cause difficulties with communication, access to information and mobility.
A person does not have to be totally deaf and totally blind to be considered deafblind - indeed many deafblind people have some residual vision and/or hearing.
People's ability to function with dual sensory impairment varies enormously and it is not advisable to rely on a clinical definition.
A person who has EITHER a sight OR a hearing impairment will use the unaffected sense to compensate for the loss of the other, but a deafblind person has insufficient sight or hearing to do this, and for this reason, deafblindness should be considered as a separate and unique disability, with different effects and implications.
Principles of the Canadian Concept of "Intervention":
1. Total and unconditional belief in and respect for an individual who is deafblind.
2. Total and unconditional belief in the value of intervention for all individuals who are deafblind.
3. The amount of intervention and the form it will take must be individualized to meet the specific needs and desires of each individual who is deafblind.
4. Individuals who are deafblind have a right to access information in their modes of communication.
5. Intervention is "Doing With, Not For"
6. No assumptions should be made regarding the abilities of an individual with deafblindness.
7. Never underestimate the importance of the relationship between the intervenor and the individual who is deafblind.
8. The process of intervention must always provide the individual who is deafblind with the information required for anticipation, motivation, communication, and confirmation.
9. Every experience is an opportunity to provide information and encourage interaction.
10. The focus of intervention should always be on the needs of the individual who is deafblind.
11. Intervention is recognized as a process that requires intervenors to have specific skills, knowledge and experiences in order to be effective in providing the best possible opportunity for people who are deafblind to gather information, process it and develop communication, concepts and skills.