Deafblindness comes in many shapes and forms. Some people are entirely deaf and blind, some are visually impaired and deaf or hard of hearing and blind. Sometimes deafblindness is congenital, sometimes it occurs later in life. There may also be other limitations at the same time, such as a mental challenge or motor dysfunction. Partial or total loss of vision and hearing is fundamental. It impacts upon many aspects in daily life.
Deafblindness is a unique disability, a combination of visual and hearing impairment. The two impairments together increase the effects of each. The combination of dual sensory loss leads to unique problems in communication, mobility and access to information.
There are many possible causes of deafblindness.
Some babies are born deafblind, but in many cases the hearing and/or vision loss occurs later in life. Causes of deafblindness include genetic conditions, such as Usher syndrome, an infection picked up during pregnancy, such as rubella (German measles), cerebral palsy – a problem with the brain and nervous system that mainly affects movement and co-ordination and age-related hearing loss. Deafblindness from birth is known as congenital deafblindness. Deafblindness what is developed later in life is known as acquired deafblindness.
Communication is everything. Kentalis want to make accessible the best communication possibilities to deafblind people. Always together with the client and/or pupil and adopted to their abilities and talents. The goal is to allow them to organize their own lives and participate in society. We develop and share our knowledge with other organizations, both in the Netherlands and abroad. We have a structural working agreement with Marleen Janssen, the only professor of deafblindness in the world. The enumeration below provides an impression of the many possibilities. By talking to each other, we will find out - in collaboration with deafblind people - what we can do for them.
Bridging communication barriers