Deafblindness is a combination of visual and hearing impairment (dual sensory disability) in a person resulting in difficulty to access communication and information as well as mobility challenges. This causes barriers for social inclusion and to participate in community activities.
Persons who are Deafblind often cannot utilize services available to persons with disabilities. Residential facilities for persons with disability do not have resources, or have limited resources to accommodate Deafblind persons and meet the social and community development needs of them. As such, Deafblind persons are prone to be excluded from everyday activities in community life. Assistive devices are also far out
of the financial reach of Deafblind persons.
Deafblind persons are hidden in all communities as communities does not want to display their inability to include Deafblind persons into community activities. The last Stats collection in 2011 displayed the shocking amount of 920 000 persons in the various degrees of Deafblindness (combination of sight and hearing loss).Most of these persons are not accountable for by communities and community development.
Deafblind SA was established on 26 July 1996 as a self-representing and advocating Organisation of Deafblind persons in South Africa. We are taking this cause seriously to collect all possible information of the prevalence of Deafblind persons in all Provinces, Regions and Municipalities. Everywhere you are, you can help Deafblind persons to be included and self-representing. Yes, on every level we need to ensure that “No one is left behind”. It is vital to get self-representing forums in place and develop self-advocacy skills to persons who are Deafblind, their family, friends and care givers. This will add the sense of dignity and self-worthiness.
There is also a need for a Development and Rehabilitation Centre with Deafblind as focus point. Resources and trust development is needed and can no longer be left behind due to the lack of specific resources that no other Organisation can provide. Your expertise and passion can contribute to this very important and vital development program. Deafblind SA is requesting all NPO’S, NGO’S, Special Needs Schools and Institutions all over South Africa to reach out to the Deafblind constituency and share information of Deafblind persons to enable Deafblind SA to track the footprint of Deafblind persons. Please do not do actions for Deafblind persons but rather assist them to take the action needed in order to self- represent and advocate for their inclusion into society activities.