From the Authors of Deafblind Interaction
This website shares content that is still being co-created by a number of individuals in the field of deafblind education. You will notice that it does not tell you “what” to do as much as it asks you to “think about” an experience of the world that differs from your own. In each section we pose questions without giving you a straightforward direction, though we suggest strategies that reflect best practice.
Some of the tone of this website comes out of the learning experiences provided to the Texas Deafblind Project staff and Chris Montgomery in particular, through a number of pilot programs with Bernadette van den Tillaart, conversations with people like Jan van Dijk, Gunnar Vege, Paul Hart and Barbara Miles, and through interactions with each other in trying to wrap our heads around the perspective of native deafblind “language” and “thinking” with children who are born deafblind and have additional disabilities or health challenges. New thinking for the team means dialoguing with other professionals. We recognize that we will never know it all when it comes to the process of educating these very fascinating humans; the children who are deafblind. We invite you to enter into this process of dialogue and encourage you to share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also grateful to Lev Vygotsky, a Russian psychologist and theorist, who developed the Sociocultural Theory of human development. Little known until recently because of his early death, Vygotsky’s work is gaining more attention as new research underlines the importance of addressing social and emotional development in children as a critical foundation for learning.
This project was a dream over four years in the making. Creating a website to share and think about deafblind interactions began as a conversation between Bernadette van den Tillaart and Chris Montgomery. It is our hope that this conversation will be joined by many others in the field and grow over time.
A Personal Note of Thanks from Chris Montgomery
I would like to thank Bernadette van den Tillaart, Dr. Jan van Dijk, Barbara Miles, Dr. Paul Hart, and Gunnar Vege for their wisdom and friendship. They have been a constant source of inspiration for me and my colleagues at the Texas School for the Blind through the years. In addition to my past and present teammates on the Texas Deafblind Project, I would like to especially acknowledge Kate Hurst and Charlotte Cushman for their encouragement and “get it done-ness”. My thanks go especially to my students, who have been my best teachers.