Parenting a child with a combined hearing and vision loss or deaf-blindness can be challenging, isolating and overwhelming from the shock of the initial diagnosis or diagnoses to the search for supports, answers and resources. Even what to call it can be confusing - combined vision hearing and vision loss, dual sensory diagnosis, or deaf-blindness? It can also be a deeply wonderful and rewarding experience. Each family has its own journey at its own pace.
As families move forward into uncharted territory, it is important to know you are not alone and there are other families in Colorado and across the country (and the world!) who also have a child with deaf-blindness. We can all learn from one another. It is often helpful to talk to other families and professionals trained in deaf-blindness.
The diagnosis of combined hearing and vision loss is a low incidence disability, which means the numbers of identified children are low. There are approximately 10,000 children and youth identified across the country who are deaf-blind. Just like other states, we have a federally funded State Deaf-Blind Project. Ours is named the Colorado Services for Children and Youth with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss Project. One of its primary goals is to connect, educate, empower and support families to survive and thrive.
Parents, as you have the time and as you are ready, take the time to search this website for the resources that can help you. Read the Colorado Project’s Fact Sheets or other posted information, call the project for a home or school visit, attend an event sponsored just for parents or the whole family, attend the annual Summer Institute, borrow books or videos from the Lending Library, and/or reach out to other parents affiliated with the project. It all exists for you, your child and your family. We hope you will reach out and connect!