Recommendations on inclusive policies from the global deafblind community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These guidelines were developed to advance understanding of the needs and challenges of persons living with deafblindness and to promote their inclusion in society. The target audience are members of the CBM Federation with particular interest to, among others staff at Regional and Country Offices, Member Associations, co-workers, partners (including governments, education agencies, public and private service providers, and professionals), as well as persons living with deafblindness and their families.
Part One gives an overview of the impact deafblindness can have on an individual’s development and learning. It emphasises the need for a continuum of services and programmes, including early detection, referral, educational input, and family support.
Part Two outlines components of education and rehabilitation programmes. It provides guidelines on communication, holistic assessment procedures, assistive devices, advocacy and self-determination, transition planning, and discusses the importance of on-going regular access to health and therapeutic services.
Part Three considers how to improve and expand existing services through the provision of on-going personnel capacity building, and through networking with key stakeholders, to consider intersecting issues and service expansion. Each section includes an overview of the topic explored, some case studies and considerations for service implementation.
Representing between 0.2% to 2% of the population, persons with deafblindness are a very diverse yet hidden group and are, overall, more likely to be poor and unemployed, and with lower educational outcomes. Because deafblindness is less well-known and often misunderstood, people struggle to obtain the right support, and are often excluded from both development and disability programmes. This initial global report on the situation of persons with deafblindness seeks to start a dialogue between international disability rights and development stakeholders, and is based on research undertaken by the World Federation of the Deafblind (WFDB) combining the largest population-based analysis of persons with deafblindness conducted to date (disaggregation of 22 population-based surveys from low, middle and high-income countries), an academic literature review, two surveys conducted among members and partners of WFDB and Sense International. Women and men with deafblindness from across the world took part in the Helen Keller World Conference in June 2018, and were consulted to confirm the findings and elaborate on the recommendations for this report.
Data and discussion are presented on people with deafblindess and: inequality; poverty; work; education; health; participation on political and public life; and social life. Datasets are included.
Activities to promote the access of deafblind women and girls to sexual and reproductive health are reported via brief descriptions of what happened, what changed and what worked. Activites included: training the deafblind women in their rights;training relatives of deafblind women, giving advice on general care, as well as highlighting the importance of supporting their sexual and reproductive health choices and promoting family planning; tackling the issue of the forced sterilization; awareness raising via newspapers and radio and improving livelihoods.
“This literature review concerns the achievements of a project which started in 2014 and will last three years. The aim of this project is the dissemination and promotion of applied research results and disability to researchers and field stakeholders of the African continent (particularly to Disabled People Organizations), in order to increase knowledge on the situation of people with disabilities and the recommendations made to improve their social participation… The mapping of applied research in West African countries shows the exclusion related to the environment, which lacks the school, health, and sports infrastructure required to promote their [people with disabilities] rights. We will mainly deal with the issue of exclusion and its multidimensional aspect in West Africa, as well as the institutional efforts to set up development plans for people with disabilities in these regions”
This summary report details key findings of the key informant child disability project in Bangladesh and Pakistan and outlines the study’s direct and indirect benefit for children living with impairments. The summary concludes with key recommendations and comparisons to cost effectiveness
This is a report of the Open Ears to Learn project, which was implemented to include hearing impaired children in mainstream schools by increasing their learning participation. The children were identified by screening them for hearing loss and subsequently providing them with hearing aids and making appropriate referrals to special schools where necessary. Children known to have a sight impairment were included in the screening. The project, which was implemented in Mongu , Senaga and Kaoma districts of Western Province in Zambia, also included sensitisation for teachers on the needs of hearing impaired children
This report represents a collaborative effort to research and disseminate replicable approaches that make emergency warnings accessible to people with sensory disabilities (people who are deaf, late-deafened, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or deaf-blind)
This comprehensive resource focuses on the important role that parents and families can play in the lives of their deaf child within the larger community. It is written as a guidebook for parents or anyone who wants to learn more about parental involvement in the support of deaf children, but specifically for service providers
This extensive bibliography includes over 900 articles, chapters and books relating to the social and educational responses to disability, deafness and mental health issues in China, Korea and Japan from antiquity to present day. It would be useful for anyone interested in disability studies, research and disability and development
In this factsheet, communication is defined and verbal and non-verbal methods are explored. Communication strategies for working with children who are deafblind are highlighted including teaching methods, expressive communication, receptive communication and communication interaction. This practical resource would be useful for anyone wishing to improve their communication with people with sensory impairments
This factsheet provides practical advice for parents and carers about how to help deafblind children to learn everyday activities, such as eating, grooming, dressing, bathing, mobility, positioning and play
This factsheet explores the importance of play for children with deafblindness, covering various types of play, such as sensorimotor, physical, symbolic and games. Information is provided regarding suggested timing of play activities, positioning for play activities, properties of toys and details of activities that can be used as play. This resource is particularly useful for parents and carers of deafblind children
This factsheet provides useful information about schemes and concessions for people with disabilities in India. It includes details about various disability policies and rights in India, as well as emphasising the importance of establishing networks for people with deafblindness. This information is particularly helpful to people with disabilities, their family members, their carers and professionals in India
This factsheet describes how to identify and diagnose deafblindness with specific reference to the Indian context. Information is provided on how to develop an appropriate programme for children in rural settings and how to create awareness among the community about deafblindness. This resource would be helpful for professionals who are working with people with sensory impairments and those working towards including deafblindness issues in mainstream development action
This research article examines the strategies and theoretical models of the function of language for improving communication for acquired deafblind people, their family members and interpreters. Different methods and techniques are examined to improve the quality of communication. This resource would be useful for professionals working with people with sensory impairments at community level
"This book is designed for parents, professionals, and other caregivers working with school-aged children who have combined vision and hearing loss or deaf-blindness coupled with significant developmental delays. It aims to provide them with special methods to familiarize children with sexual aspects of their daily life...Each chapter takes an in-depth look at a particular aspect of developing sexuality for these children: (a) developing sexuality education programs in a school system; (b) teaching appropriate touch and modesty; and (c) instruction about menstruation, masturbation, coupling, sexual health, and sexual abuse. The last chapter includes readings and resources"
This website, owned by an individual, hosts a wealth of information on deafblindness and explains terminology and syndromes. It refers to journals and periodicals, videos about deafblindness and equipment. Internet resources are also listed
This article offers some practical insights into communicating with a person who has deafblindness
Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion