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  • Writer's pictureJazmine Hughes

I am deaf-blind

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

I am dead blind.


Being deafblind does not necessarily mean I’m completely blind or deaf, it means my hearing and vision loss is reduced enough for my everyday life to be effected.


Causes

Thee are many causes for deafblindness. Sometimes it’s from birth, or other times one sense may already be impaired and the other deteriorates later, usually around teen years. For me I was visually impaired from birth, I noticed I couldn’t hear as well as others from primary school, between then to around five years ago it was slowly getting worse, but me being the stubborn person I am I refused to wear hearing aids. Now I loose my shit if the battery is dying! My eyes got worse later 

, but you all know my glaucoma story. If not, check my previous blog.


Communication

Communication is all about their personal choice. How a person first learns to communicate is often how they will continue. Using myself as an example, I was VI not SSI or hearing impaired from birth so I learnt to speak, therefore I express myself through speech. I still receive information through listening, it’s just harder now and even my hearing aids help with that, I still need people to speak louder than they’re used to. 


Other forms of communications are: Lip reading, Sign language which is aladaptwsto suit the person’s visual impairment, Braille, tactile finger spelling makaton, tracking and the deafblind Manuel to name a few. 


Travel.

Deafblind people travel the same way most people do. Although we can not drive, we can use public transport. Sometimes It can feel overwhelming, so we travel with friends/family depending on where we are going. We have special Taxi services, special assistance on trains/planes, aids such as canes or guide dogs to help us. Bare in mind I live in London England, people’s experience in different cities, countries etc will not be the same. I think the worst way to travel for me is by bus, I hate it. Especially because Amiyah is still on a pushchair. 


Independence.

When I first became blind, I was trained by a rehabilitation worker, she taught me how to travel independently. I learnt little hacks such as the button underneath the traffic light, which spins when the green man appears, how to listen for traffic to know which direction it’s coming from.  


Technology/equipment

deafblind people use closed circuit televisions, (CCTV) which is basically a magnifier. Place what you are reading underneath and the computer screen makes it extremely large. You can change the background, the colour of the font and more. The only problem is the price. Like many aids the price is seriously high. Mobility’s aids, large print/Braille and talking equipment, cooking aids such as talking scales and others. (I’ll probably write a blog explaining the equipment in more detail, so let me know my if you want that.) 


Work.

Let me just start by saying, although our ways of doing things are different from sighted/hearing abled people, we can still do many things. We have jobs in education, social care, politics. Mental health. We are counsellors, Olympians, business owners and soooo much more! 


I hope u have now gained more of an understanding of who we are. 


Untill next time.





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