Working with Randolph-Sheppard Entrepreneurs Who Are Deafblind: A Qualitative Analysis

Hierholzer, A.C. & Bybee, J. (2017) Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness. 111(1) pp. 61-71

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Introduction: The purpose of the study was to explore challenges facing deafblind entrepreneurs and the staff who work with them through the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program.

Discussion: Entrepreneurs and staff agreed that many challenges relating to deafblindness can be overcome with creativity and determination. One important approach for improving communication is proactively informing customers about the entrepreneur’s deafblindness and describing communication strategies. Further research to determine the extent of hearing loss among entrepreneurs in the Randolph-Sheppard program would be beneficial. Implications for practitioners: Individuals with deafblindness have demonstrated the ability to take part in the workplace, but challenges remain. Staff who work with these entrepreneurs need to help them address their unique communication needs in a proactive, positive manner.

Read the full abstract here

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