Deafblindness is a unique disability which brings enormous challenges to the individual who is deafblind and the people who support them. Sometimes known as dual sensory impairment or multi-sensory impairment, deafblindness is more than a combination of visual and hearing impairment or loss. An individual who is deafblind can use neither their sight nor hearing to compensate for the impairment of the other sense and neither sense can be used as a primary source for accessing information.
Deafblindness is a diverse condition due to the wide range of sensory capabilities, possible presence of additional disabilities, and the age of onset for the vision and hearing impairment. Individuals who are deafblind have distinctive communication, learning, and mobility challenges due to their dual sensory loss.
A person can be born deafblind (congenital deafblindness) or acquire deafblindness later in life, and the needs and problems of these two groups are very different. Most importantly however, people with deafblindness are people first and foremost. Their needs, skills, aspirations and challenges are as varied as any group of people.