Communication
for Children with Deafblindness, or Visual and Multiple Impairments

teacher and parent interacting with student on ground teacher assisting a student with his monthly calendar teacher exploring melons with student in grocery store girl touching statue teacher holding flower for student to smell student laughing in a large container filled with small plastic balls

How to use this website

I have tried to arrange the content of this website to reflect the natural progression I used in my classroom. Starting with establishing a bond and getting to know my students, moving through assessment and into building meaningful programming, and finally reassessment.

I have found that a picture is worth a thousand words in the case of describing the strategies involved in teaching deafblind and multiply impaired kids. With this in mind, videos are included so that you might be able to see and hear the strategies being described. To view video content click on the “video clips” button at the bottom of each page.

We are working to develop a self-test so that visitors to the site can check their understanding. We have included three webinars that reflect the main headings of Interaction/Bonding, Routines, and Calendars. These webinars offer additional, in-depth, information that supports the self-test, and allows for deeper study of Communication Systems. A list of resources is included for those who wish to read further.

Who is this website for?

This website is intended to support individuals in their interactions with children who have deafblindness including also those with visual and multiple impairments. The purpose is to offer a place for sharing strategies and ideas in the design and use of communication systems.

What is a communication system?

A communication system can be thought of as a holistic model for teaching concepts, supporting bonding and interaction, and language. The Communication System for a student with deafblindness may include structured routines, calendar systems/time piece, and interaction strategies, which should all be used together to make the whole.

Why is it important to form a bond?

For a communication system to work, you need the magic ingredients of trust and the ability to establish a bond between you and the child. Without these ingredients it is impossible to bring these different parts together to create conversations and meaningful relationships with others.

Give me feedback:

I hope to keep adding to these pages over time in order to provide more video examples of calendar systems, interaction techniques, and routines in the belief that most people need to see them in use. You are encouraged to send feedback through the contact link.... This is a new project and your thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated.

I owe a great deal of thanks to many people for their help and encouragement including Robbie Blaha for her support and knowledge and for allowing me to steal some of her words. The other parts come from my experiences and the experiences of other colleagues and the families of deafblind and multiply-impaired children whom we have come to know and love.

Sincerely,

Chris Montgomery, M.Ed, TVI,
Deafblind Education Specialist
TSBVI Outreach Programs