Graduate project

A survey of the participation of deaf-blind persons in clubs and organizations of the deaf in Southern California

Although for many years the blind community has accepted responsibility for the rehabilitation of deaf persons sustaining severe visual loss in adulthood, it has been the least prepared to deal with the most devastating aspect of the disability, communication. In very recent years workers with deaf persons have joined with workers with the blind in an effort to provide effective services to deaf-blind individuals. The potential of such agencies and their workers cannot be questioned, and it is hoped that the trend will continue. However, after rehabilitation training needs are met, where do deafblind people integrate socially? What are their social prospects? With whom are they most comfortable? Who is most comfortable with them when the loss of vision complicates the flow of communication? To determine the receptiveness and willingness of the deaf community to reintegrate deaf-blind persons on a social basis, questionnaires were mailed to a number of social and religious groups of deaf persons in Southern California. Emphasis was placed on efforts that had been made to facilitate deaf-blind participation in terms of communications, transportation, interpretation, and orientation. Input was also requested on the individual group's interest in future involvement with deaf-blind persons.