Skip navigation


DB iconDeafblindness



  • Is a combined vision and hearing loss that impacts an individual's learning, communication, and interaction with the world.
  • Does not mean total deafness and total blindness.
  • Impacts the way an individual accesses information. Facilitator working with boy
  • Requires special modifications and supports that go beyond what is typically needed with a hearing loss alone or a vision loss alone.

Individuals with combined vision and hearing loss cannot rely on vision or hearing to effectively compensate for the lack of the other sense.

Four primary causes of vision and hearing loss:

  • Hereditary/ Chromosomal Disorders
  • Prenatal Viruses, Diseases, or Harmful Chemicals
  • Complications at Birth
  • Postnatal Injuries or Illnesses

Young girl


Vision and hearing are used to access information from a distance.

How deafblindness impacts an individual depends on three main factors:

  • Type and degree of the vision and hearing loss
  • The age of onset of the vision and hearing loss
  • The presence of additional disabilities

Deafblindness is a disability of access to visual and auditory information.

Children who are deafblind share similar characteristics related to learning and interaction:

  • They may be withdrawn, inwardly focused, or preoccupied with their bodies.
  • They need to feel secure.
  • They have difficulty developing concepts.
  • They have difficulty communicating and interacting with others.
  • They require specific modifications and supports to learn and interact with the world.
  • They can benefit from routine and systematic instruction.