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


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

Critical Issues in the Lives of Children and Youth Who Are Deafblind

Nelson, C. & Bruce, S.M. American Annals of the Deaf. 161(4) pp. 406-411.

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The coeditors of an American Annals of the Deaf special issue on deaf-blindness introduce readers to critical issues surrounding children and youth who are deafblind. These issues-early identification, communication, social-emotional needs, family and multicultural issues, universal design and assistive technology, transition planning, and personnel preparation-are explored further in the articles that follow. By way of introduction, the present article provides definitions of deafblindness and a discussion of the heterogeneous nature of the population. The history of the field of deafblindness is then explored in terms of three distinct population shifts, from

(a) individuals of the 18th and 19th centuries who became deafblind due to illness, to

(b) the influx of individuals with congenital rubella syndrome in the 1960s who had disabilities besides deafblindness, and

(c) the current population of children and youth with deafblindness, which includes individuals with other complex disabilities.

Read the full abstract here

Deafblind Awareness for Audiology Professionals


As people get older they are more likely to have a hearing and sight loss, commonly known as deafblindness.

This can cause difficulties with accessing information, communication and mobility – and audiologists are likely to see an increase in patients experiencing this.

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Following discussions with audiologists, Sense has developed this eLearning module which includes information on:

  • Common sight loss conditions and the impact they have
  • How to make your services and practice accessible
  • Considerations for hearing aid set up and additional technology

Audiologist, Dev Joshi, shares his views about our course:


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