Ageing with Deafblindness

Authored by: Peter Simcock , Jill Manthorpe

Handbook on Ageing with Disability

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138611498
eBook ISBN: 9780429465352
Adobe ISBN:


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Often described as an ‘unrecognised disability’, deafblindness affects people in different ways. The term ‘deafblind’ can be used to describe the continuum of combined hearing and sight loss, irrespective of the age and order of onset of each impairment and the severity of each loss. Yet what deafblind people have in common is deprivation in use of the distance senses (sound and sight) resulting in difficulties with communication, accessing information and mobility. This chapter considers people who are ageing with deafblindness and argues that they challenge the division usually drawn between congenital (people who are born deafblind) and acquired deafblindness. It reports on concerns that people who are ageing with deafblindness have about the ability of health and social care services to meet their particular needs and identifies gaps in the research on this relatively understudied condition. The chapter suggests that deeper understanding of the experiences and needs of people ageing with deafblindness can best be achieved through collaboration between researchers and research stakeholders in both the congenital impairment and acquired impairment fields.

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