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Housing for people who are deaf-blind : the problem defined
Housing opportunities for the deaf-blind are limited to traditional alternatives such as resident facilities of sheltered workshops, nursing homes or homes of parents or siblings. Basic to the problem of housing for the deaf-blind is the fact that although present opportunities offer shelter and security they do not facilitate individuals reaching their potentials. Professionals in a position to assist the deaf- blind locate housing realize there is a problem and required increased research and input to develop innovative options for the deaf-blind persons they serve. Improved educational and vocational programs are increasing the need for appropriate housing. More and more we are seeing the horizons of people who are deaf-blind broaden. The traditional dependent setting is becoming less and less ideal. Legislation designed to allow for greater integration of the hand i capped into the affairs of 3ociety adds additional pressure for the development of normalized, integrated housing. In order to insure that future housing innovations for the deaf-blind are well integrated into the community properly, everyone must have a clear understanding of what housing has meant, and now means to people in general. When we talk about housing for the deaf-blind, we are really talking about housing for people who also happen to be deaf-blind. From this perspective, solutions will not be limited to aspects of design related to vision and hearing loss, rather they will include the "peopleness" of deaf-blind persons. Solutions to problems that have not been tempered with considerations of the deaf-blind's "peopleness" are incomplete, inconsiderate, and inadequate. This project attempts to bring into focus housing as a human need and examines how architectural design can be used to satisfy this important need. Present housing, situations for the deaf-blind are examined concluding with statements for future planning.