About the Term Deafblind

In 2016, the American Association of the DeafBlind changed the presentation of their name from Deaf-Blind to DeafBlind. In a Facebook posting on April 6, 2016, the group noted there “…is the need to shift from a medical view of being a DeafBlind person to a cultural one. We now view our community as a cultural community.” Helen Keller National Center has recently made this change as well. 

Other groups have noted a strong preference for using a combined term with no capitals, e.g., deafblind. DeafBlind Citizens in Action, has chosen to use deafblind as a combined non-capitalized word (except in their title) to recognize a distinct, unified disability. Among international organizations such as Deafblind International, The World Federation of the Deafblind and the  UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the word deafblind is also the most commonly used form of the term. There are also organizations that use the Federal IDEA format of deaf-blind, such as the National Center on Deaf-Blindness. This is clearly an ongoing conversation within the community. The Texas Deafblind Project values that this is a community-led effort and respects each person and their family’s right to use the identity that reflects their lived experiences and preferences.

In current postings on this website, and for now, the term will be presented as deafblind, except when citing legal documents, referring to an individual who prefers a different written form of the term, or matching titles of organizations and previously published documents using a different form.

“DeafBlind is deafblind is Deafblind no matter where you live!” – Jacqueline Izaguerre, DeafBlind Camp of Texas President & National Family Association for Deaf-Blind Treasurer