Communicating with people who are deafblind

At Sense we understand that people’s lives are hugely affected by the quality of the contact they have with other people.

Good communication is crucial to our relationships and membership of social groups for them to be satisfying and meaningful.

A person, who is deafblind or has sensory impairments, depends on communication that is clear, concise and accessible for a good quality of life. They may face great difficulty in knowing for certain what is happening around them or in communicating with those they meet.

Deafblind people use many different methods of communication. The method, or methods used will depend on the amount of residual sight and hearing and any additional disabilities the individual has. It will also depend on whether the individual has learned formal language before becoming deafblind.

It is important to remember that:

  • Communication often requires a great deal of concentration and effort for a person who is deafblind or has sensory impairments, and can be tiring for them
  • The environment, such as lighting and background noise, should be considered to assist those with sight and hearing impairments
  • A person’s communication methods and needs vary enormously - and these may change during their life.



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First published: Friday 23 March 2012
Updated: Tuesday 9 December 2014