Division on Visual Impairments

VIDBE Quarterly Volume 59(5)

A quarterly newsletter from the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Visual Impairments containing practitioner tips for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and other professionals.

Issue link: http://dvi.uberflip.com/i/422067

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Page 57 of 72

Building Bridges of Access: Teaming, Transition, Outcomes Toni Hollingsworth, Director, MS Hearing-Vision Project Toni.hollingsworth@usm.edu Emily Taylor-Snell, Project Coordinator, Florida and Virgin Islands Deaf-Blind Collaborative, etsnell74@gmail.com Michael Fagbemi, Project Specialist, Helen Keller National Center/ National Consortium on Deafblindness, Mike.fagbemi@hknc.org Martha Veto, Project Coordinator, Georgia Sensory Assistance Project, mveto@uga.edu Deaf-Blindness (DB) is a disability of access to people, places and information. A person with combined hearing and vision loss may also have other disabilities. Due to the heterogeneous nature of deaf-blindness, it creates unique challenges for systems, educators and families. It is not uncommon that a young adult who is deafblind is often the only such student in their entire school district! For young adults who use sign language, reduction in visual acuity or visual fields can impact adversely on their ability to understand or be understood. Young adults who can use speech also face isolation because facilitating communication is so difficult in noisy environments. The challenges of access to people, places and information play a major role in the lack of opportunities to make friends and establish meaningful relationships. Neighboring states discovered that the challenges young I learned that it is my responsibility to be my own advocate. I need to look into my future and make goals. -Young Adult Participant 58

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