Communicating With the Deafblind: Background information when reading What Is Visible

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What Is Visible

By Kimberly Elkins

What Is Visible
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  • Hardcover: Jun 2014,
    320 pages.

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Rebecca Foster

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Beyond the Book:
Communicating With the Deafblind

Deafblindness is either congenital (present from birth) or acquired later in life. It can be attributed to many causes including rubella, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and premature birth. Deafblindness is not one monolithic condition; it varies in severity or completeness: some people maintain limited use of one or both senses. Both Laura Bridgman (the subject of Kimberly Elkins's What Is Visible) and Helen Keller could see and hear until the age of two, when severe illness struck.

There are many ways of communicating with the deafblind. For those with residual hearing, clear speaking or hearing aids can make a difference. For those with limited sight, lipreading, large print writing, or sign language performed in their visual range may be sufficient. People with more profound vision and hearing loss can benefit from a range of communication tools. Non-verbal communication includes body movement, breathing changes, and associating certain objects and activities (such ...

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