A child who is deafblind has both a vision and a hearing loss. Functional levels can vary from hard-of-hearing and partially sighted, to profoundly deaf and totally blind. These losses can cause developmental delay in language, social skills and mobility. However, these losses do not always limit the individual's learning potential. Most children who are deafblind are able to use some hearing and vision.
Yes. Students who are deafblind may have a variety of other disabilities, such as orthopedic impairments or intellectual disabilities. Therefore, students may be classified under a different disability, and still be considered deafblind. This occurs with the school considers the other disability to be the primary disability.
Students who have both a vision and hearing loss are unable to obtain information they would normally get through these distance senses. Vision and hearing are considered "distance" senses since they allow individuals to take in information that is farther than arms reach. Approximately 99% of cognitive learning occurs through visions and hearing for individuals without sensory impairments. When both of these senses are impaired, it can have a severe impact on learning unless teachers use appropriate teaching techniques. When a child is categorized as deafblind, both the child's teachers and family can receive additional assistance in learning appropriate teaching techniques from agencies such as the Georgia Deafblind Project, INSITE, NTAC, and Helen Keller National Center.