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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

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Help me help a blind and deaf resident

I am the Social Director for a supportive living community for young adults with physical disabilities. We have a new resident. I have loads of training and education but I was never advised on how to communicate with an individual who is both blind and deaf. I really want to be able to help him. He cannot hear at all and he cannot see at all. But he wants to be an active adult. He has a lot of trouble even getting from his apartment through the building. I'm not sure how I can communicate with him in an effective way. Please, please help. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Re:Help me help a blind and deaf resident

I find so many article which help you to how you can communicate with both blind and deaf person.Dear frd if you learn more and more on internet and in book about blind and deaf people then gradually you become more and more able to help these people effectively.Dear frd first go to web search and search with this keyword 'how to communicate with blind and deaf person' and you find so many article which help you guarantee to communicate with deafblind person.I also give you website which relates to deafblind peoples.

Siddharth Bargate

Re:Help me help a blind and deaf resident

Perhaps you can let us know in which state you are currently and if you have contact with any local providers who have some experience working with deafblind consumers. If you wanted to contact me directly I can attempt to guide you to your state resource or HKNC Regional Rep who may be able to assist you. You can email me at or call at 240-786-6534.


Re:Help me help a blind and deaf resident

you just need to smile and do your job :) ->what is cardiovascular disease

Re:Help me help a blind and deaf resident

Another thought, just to try and help in more immediate point in time. Some very basic communication can be done with real objects. If you want the person to understand a concept or try to show them it, they will most likely have to explore it to understand. Obviously, you will only do this with objects that are safe.

This is just something very basic. I don't know anything about this person, cognitive abilities, or training.

Real objects can be substituted with some adapted sign depending on the individual. After a while of using a real object, you might be able to subsititute a representation of an object or activity. But, this all depends on the person. This could be under estimating the persons abilities. I don't know this person's cognitive abilities.

Good luck!

Joe S.
AFB Staff

Re:Help me help a blind and deaf resident

What is his method of communication with visitors or family or anyone he interacts with?

Does he use tactile sign or anything similar? Signing into his hands or adapted sign into his hands. Has he had any training? Do you have a background on him?

Have you contacted your state? They often have a coordinator or consultant over deaf blind services.

Does this person also have a cognitive impairment? Not sure if that is a requirement for your facility.

There are persons with communication training, it really all depends on what training he has in the past. We will not be able to really help you through here. You should contact your state's blind services to get connected with services for persons who are deaf blind.

A lot of persons who are deaf blind have either some vision or some hearing, but you said he had neither.

The Helen Keller National Center could be another great resource, to find out about resources as well. I think you should check any documentation that you have or contact someone listed as the person's contact. Finding out more information would be important.

Then contact services, you should have an orientation and mobility instructor teach him about the building and some routes and such. But, you will have to find out about his communication prior. So, finding deaf blind services in your state would be a great start. You can find the services in your state by going the directory of services on

I am sorry that I was not more help!

Joe S.
AFB Staff

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