Deaf-Blindness is a loss in both the hearing and vision senses. The loss may range from a mild impairment to profound deafness and low vision to legal blindness. Deaf-Blindness is also known as Dual Sensory impairment. Deaf-Blindness has over 70 known causes such as prematurity, viral infections, brain diseases, Usher Syndrome, and CHARGE syndrome. Education must address both the hearing loss and vision impairment as well as any other disabilities that may be present.
Children who are Deaf-Blind may exhibit a wide range of behaviors during interactions with family, friends, and their environment as a result of sensory losses. The losses may occur in varying degrees, and a child need not exhibit all of the behaviors identified in this brochure to be considered Deaf-Blind. The combined effects of both of these sensory losses, even if both are mild, will qualify a child as Deaf-Blind.
Parents and professionals may need assistance in confirming the sensory loss. The North Dakota Dual Sensory Project (NDDSP) is the first step to securing assistance.
The U.S. Department of Education mandates the project to annually identify and collect information on children who meet criteria for being reported on the Deaf-Blind Census. The census provides information that is used for regional, statewide, and national planning to develop appropriate services and funding for infants, children, and youth who are Deaf-Blind.
- ND Dual Sensory Project Brochure (92kb pdf)