How long have you been a client of Deafblind Community Services?
“Close to 1 year.”
How has being Deafblind impacted your life?
“I’m a person who is stubborn and refuses to let things stand in my way. It was difficult to deal with when I became Deafblind, but I didn’t let it stop me. I couldn’t do some things anymore, but that’s when I figured I had to learn to do things in different ways. I used to read a lot and I’m a social person, so it was a little difficult to interact with others. I learned to appreciate what I still had left instead of focusing on the negative aspects of losing my hearing and vision. I knew that I could always use a little extra help with things like reading the prices on things at the store, so when intervention was offered to me I said yes, and it’s been wonderful.”
How has intervention impacted your life?
“I found it wonderful to be able to go into the store and see through the intervenors eyes and hear through their ears. Something as small as going out for coffee brings me great joy and gives me something to look forward to every week.
The first time I went out I thought to myself oh, this is what it’s all about. It’s kind of funny because at first, I thought about the number of things I no longer had to worry about like when the intervenor holds onto my walker when we cross the street.
I also found myself putting a lot of trust in the intervenors because it was always me doing the teaching before, and now they’re teaching me so much.
I always look forward to having the intervenor coming to see me because they allow me to be independent as much as possible until I need them to step in, which is great. Intervention to me is another learning process, and I find that it’s really important to never stop learning no matter what.”
What would you like to tell other people about Deafblindness or intervention?
“Deafness and blindness, you’re stuck with if it happens, and you have to move on if you can. Don’t lose your sense of independence and continue to try to perform tasks that you’re still capable of doing. At least make the effort to first, and if you really can’t do whatever you’re doing, ask for help.
Also, anyone can try new things, and you should. Mix things up a little bit to keep life interesting. I have choices I make every day still, that hasn’t changed. I would tell everyone to exercise those choices.”
Why is Deafblind awareness important to you?
“It’s important because a lot of people don’t realize I am deaf and blind. I don’t like hiding the fact that I am deaf and blind. And I love the expressions on other people’s faces when the information I give them suddenly clicks and they realize I am deaf and blind even though I don’t look it. Other people can also learn from me, and life long learning is really important for everyone to do. Now there’s one more person at least who knows that Deafblindness exists when I tell them about it.”