Instructional Strategies

A young man who is deafblind smiles as he rests in a cloth swing.
A young man who is deafblind smiles as he rests in a cloth swing.

People rely upon information about the world around them in order to learn, function, and interact with others. Vision and hearing are the major senses through which this information is accessed. Individuals, who have combined vision and hearing loss or deafblindness, are unable to access this essential information in a clear and consistent way. Deafblindness is a disability of access – access to visual and auditory information.

The Intervener in Early Intervention and Educational Settings for Children and Youth With Deafblindness  – NTAC Briefing Paper

Linda Alsop, Robbie Blaha, and Eric Kloos

Children who are deafblind represent a wide range of learners, each with unique learning styles and learning challenges. The child’s unique sensory impairments, physical challenges, cognitive challenges and the age of onset of the sensory losses greatly impacts how they learn best. For example, children who are born deafblind are likely to be tactile learners while children who lose their vision and hearing later in life or have only mild vision and hearing losses may be less reliant on tactile information. This is one of the many things that challenges educational teams to develop and deliver appropriate programming for many of these children.

This section of the Texas Deafblind Project website is meant to provide guidance in best practices for the range of learners who are deafblind. We hope this information will be useful to teams working with children who are profoundly deaf and blind from birth as well as those children who are functioning at grade-level with their same-aged peers. For that reason we have additional specialized information for specific groups of children including those who are congenitally deafblind with significant additional disabilities and those who are learning at grade-level in general educational instruction which we are currently calling proficient communicators. We encourage you to check out these additional pages on the Texas Deafblind Project website.