|Different deafblind people have different degrees of sight loss and deafness. They do not all communicate in the same way.
Some may use combined methods to communicate. It is therefore advisable to ask the person before booking communication support.
How deafblind people communicate
- Some deafblind people have residual sight and hearing and are able to use a combination of speech, hearing aids and lipreading to communicate.
- Deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL) and who then lose most of their sight will probably prefer to continue using BSL if they can see some signs.
- If they are unable to see, they may use hands on signing.
- Some deafblind people with little or no sight or hearing use the "Block Alphabet" which involves tracing out the alphabet in capital letters usually on the palms of their hands
Deaf Connexions is able to provide interpreters who specialize in working with deafblind people.
When to use a deafblind interpreter
Deafblind Interpreters provide communication
- Medical appointments
- Work appointments and meetings
- Training Courses
For other areas where support may be needed e.g. shopping and social events, deafblind people may use a communicator guide and this service is normally provided by Adult Services in the County Council.
Working with deafblind interpreters
It is best to try and plan ahead when using a deafblind interpreter. If possible give them the information about the booking in advance. This will enable them to familiarise themselves with the subject and any difficult vocabulary or terminology.
If possible meet them before the meeting in order to sort out the accommodation, light and positioning, particularly if the deafblind person has a guide dog with them.
You need to also be aware that it
takes longer for a deaf blind person to be able to receive
or give responses. You need to build this factor into
the meeting time. To also be aware, like all communication
support work, deafblind interpreting requires a lot
of concentration and effort and is very tiring. Therefore
the interpreter and certainly the deaf blind person
will need a short rest from time to time. It is best
to sort out these kinds of details before the meeting
For more details please contact