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Through observation and listening to stories from others, list on a sheet of paper the things your deafblind student likes and doesn’t like.  We all enjoy things that we are good at and that we understand.  The student’s “Likes” will be areas of strength and indicate sensory channels that are working.  “Dislikes” will be areas of weakness and indicate sensory channels that may not be working efficiently.  The information you gather will suggest underlying themes that can be used for modifications, teaching strategies, topics of communication, and activities.

Absolutely Awesome Application!

I made a list of Joe Bob’s likes and dislikes, and discovered that he really likes touching and holding things that are cold.  I developed a work routine for him in the cafeteria.  (He’s 18 and I wanted to find jobs he could do around the school.)  His job is to get a specific number of white, chocolate and strawberry milks from the walk-in refrigerator and put them in the cooler at the front end of the cafeteria line.  Joe Bob really enjoys the job and it gives him opportunities to practice other skills like exercising range of motion with his arms, grasping and releasing, 1:1 correspondence, matching by color, and using his communication board to have conversations with the other cafeteria workers.  The one problem he has is moving through the kitchen in his electric wheelchair.  It’s a pretty tight space, but the cafeteria supervisor has offered to rearrange some of the tables, so we’ll see if that helps. 


  • Study the idea
  • Think of a way to use the idea with your student
  • Describe how you applied the idea; what it looked like, what worked well, what was a problem, etc.
  • Keep the original and send a copy by mail to: 
    Deafblind Outreach
    1100 West 45th St.
    Austin, TX 78756
    or by fax to:  (512) 206-9320

Here are some additional resources about this idea: