How Do Deaf-Blind People Use Assistive Technology?

A person is considered deaf-blind if there is a combination of hearing and vision loss. Although some people are completely deaf and completely blind, most people who are deaf-blind have residual hearing and/or vision. Some people will see more than just hear; others will hear more than see.

It is important to note that if you see someone using a white stick or guide dog, it does not mean that they are completely blind. This means they experience so much loss of vision that it is easier and safer for them to navigate independently if they have a dog or a cane. Deaf-Blind Tactile Interpreting is the way to interpret what the other person says.

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Assistive Technology (AT) is a broad term that refers to hardware and software that enables people with disabilities to access technology. Deaf people use a combination of AT for blind users and AT for deaf users, depending on their individual needs.

AT for visual impairments

Screen readers: Programs that analyze the layout and content of websites and allow text to be translated into speech. Playback speed can be adjusted by the user and commands allow him to jump from track to track, click on links and perform other important tasks.

Braille display: A device that translates digital text into finger-readable braille dots.

Dictation: Voice recognition software allows users to navigate, write and interact with websites with their voice.

For more detailed information on assistive technology used by people with low vision, see our previous two articles for visually impaired and visually impaired users.