Five Things You Can Do to Help
Get the facts about deaf-blindness and how it could touch your life.
- For an overview on Deaf-Blindness from National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness visit www.nationaldb.org/NCDBProducts.php?prodID=38
- For general information about deaf-blindness from American Association of the DeafBlind (AADB) visit www.aadb.org/FAQ/faq_DeafBlindness.html
- To watch a webcast from the Perkins School for the Blind visit www.perkins.org/resources/webcasts/
- For an intimate look at life as a person who is deaf-blind, click here to read a February 2009 email interview between Geraldine (Jerrie) Lawhorn and the Avoca School West, Glenview, Illinois. Ms. Lawhorn, the first African-American deaf-blind woman to graduate from college, is an educator, an accomplished pianist, a published author, and head of the deaf-blind studies department at The Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, Illinois.
Become an advocate for the Deaf-Blind community.
- Contact your legislators and ask them to support issues important to individuals who are deaf-blind at the local, state and federal levels. www.elections.state.il.us
- Join the Deaf-Blind Citizens for Political Action forum www.aadb.org/resources/email_lists/advocacy.html#db_action
Spend time getting to know someone who is deaf-blind; you will enrich two lives. Did you know that half of all people who are deaf-blind report no real friendships?
Local organizations, such as the following, that provide direct services to individuals who are deaf-blind can help you discover ways to connect with people who are deaf-blind.
- Chicago Lighthouse Deaf-Blind Programs http://chicagolighthouse.org/programs-and-services/independent-living-services/deaf/blind-program
- Camp Lions of Illinois www.lionsofillinoisfoundation.org/services/camplions/camplions.htm
- Recording For the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) www.rfbd.org/support-us/volunteers/33/
Give a person who is deaf-blind the opportunity to work. With an unemployment rate of 82 percent, people who are deaf-blind face one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and struggle to overcome preconceived notions of the limitations of deaf-blindness.
As an employer, you have the opportunity to look at your employment practices and access an untapped resource by hiring people who are deaf-blind. It only costs, on average, $300, to accommodate a worker who can be a positive contributor to his/her community. For more information visit
- The Chicago Lighthouse at www.chicagolighthouse.org/programs-and-services/employment-services
- Helen Keller National Center at www.hknc.org/VocRehabEMPLOYMENT.htm
Make sure your community, service, religious, and recreational organizations adopt plans to include participation by people who are deaf-blind. This includes assisting people to find the support services needed for inclusion, such as Support Service Providers, Interveners and Interpreters.
- For help finding an interpreter, visit the State of Illinois Deaf & Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC) website at www.idhhc.state.il.us/interpreter/interpreter.htm
- For more information about Support Service Providers (SSPs) visit the American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) website at www.aadb.org/information/ssp/ssp.html
- For more information about Interveners visit “Selected Topics” at the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) website at nationaldb.org/ISSelectedTopics.php?topicCatID=10