Frequently Asked Questions
What do we mean by the “DeafBlind” community?
The DeafBlind community includes:
- Deaf-blind individuals
- Professional and volunteer interpreters (deaf and hearing)
- Other professionals involved with deaf-blindness
- Family members of deaf-blind people
- Many other friends
A deaf-blind person cannot see or hear at all, right?
Many deaf-blind people have some useable vision, some usable hearing, or both. A “deaf-blind” person may be:
- Totally blind and totally deaf
- Totally blind and hard of hearing
- “Hard of seeing” and totally deaf
- “Hard of seeing” and hard of hearing
Most deaf-blind people also experience change in their degree of vision and/or hearing over time. Many people have Usher syndrome (hearing loss with Retinitis Pigmentosa), which results in a degenerative loss of vision over many years.
What do deaf-blind people do for work?
Most of the deaf-blind people in Seattle are employed full-time. Some deaf-blind people are employed at public utilities, with state government, at private companies, and as service providers at agencies that serve deaf and deaf-blind individuals. A large number of deaf-blind people work at Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind. At the present time, the need for additional, more diverse job opportunities is great.
What about housing? Can deaf-blind people live independently?
The majority of deaf-blind individuals in the Seattle area live independently. Many live alone, some live with spouses or roommates.
What do deaf-blind people do for fun?
Everything! In addition to personal sports and hobbies, there are community social and recreational activities conducted for and by deaf-blind people. Some of these include:
- Business meetings of Washington State Deaf-Blind Citizens (WSDBC)
- Special social and support groups for segments of the DeafBlind community
The Lighthouse for the Blind sponsors an annual weeklong Deaf-Blind Retreat in Seabeck, WA and the Deaf-Blind Community Classes twice a month during the school year.