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Other terms that have been used include dual sensory impairment, hearing and vision loss, concomitant hearing and vision loss and hard of hearing/visually impaired. The term, stated in the IDEA refers to a continuum from hard of hearing to complete deafness and visually impaired to totally blind. Very few people are completely deaf and completely blind. Many students with deafblindness have additional disabilities.
--> Glasses Give
Normal Vision
--> Mild --> Moderate --> Severe --> Blind

 Visual Impairment/Blindness

--> Temporary
Hearing Loss
--> Mild --> Moderate --> Severe --> Deaf

 Hard of Hearing/Deaf

Possible Indicators
  • Inattention
  • Self-stimulation
  • Boredom
  • Lack of communication skills
  • Doesn't participate in group activities
  • Responds better to 1:1 interaction
  • Startles when you approach
  • Missing information that other kids get (incidental)
  • Has trouble keeping up with pace of classroom activities, especially group discussion
  • Tunes out
  • Frequently frustrated
  • Depressed, withdrawn
  • Underachiever
  • Complains of headaches
  • Squinting or straining, fatigued eyes, gets tired as the days go on
  • Clumsy, walks over/into things
  • Discrepancy between what parents and professionals say the student "can do", especially one-time assessment
  • Seems to see or hear different things at different times
  • Difficult to test/inconsistent results
More Information:
Josh Nelson, Director of Educational Programs