Information is everywhere we look—things like eye contact, body language, and environmental cues all contain information. And it’s everywhere we listen, through conversations, alerts, technology, and entertainment. Information shapes our experiences and our experiences shape us. However, when vision or hearing is affected, part of the information is missing, and this can create hurdles.
Access for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired begins with understanding needs for retrieving information. With that information, tools and strategies can be put into place to provide equal opportunities for participation.
Guided by the belief that increasing access to information promotes independence, the Outreach Center for Deafness and Blindness has created the Promoting Access for People Who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Blind, or Visually Impaired training module.
This free module is designed to help parents, families, community members and educators gain deeper insight into the factors that impact how a person receives information using sight, sound and touch. The module includes a collection of information, scenarios and strategies designed to build confidence and comfort for anyone communicating or connecting with people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired.
The module is structured into three chapters:
Chapter 1: Establishing Relationships: The relationships we form with one another are an important part of our social and emotional well-being. Understanding how we are similar and how we are different enriches our interactions and strengthens our bonds.
Chapter 2: Understanding Supports: Supports can come in many forms. Supports might be people, they might be ways our environment is structured, or they might be tools that are used for access.
Chapter 3: Preparing for Success: Ensuring that a person is able to participate at home, at school and in the community often begins with knowledge and information. Successful participation doesn’t just happen. There needs to be a plan.
When we increase access to information, it connects us, it empowers us and it promotes independence. When we promote independence, people are able to grow, learn and live their best lives.
The complete module will be available in Winter 2019. Stay in the loop by subscribing to the Outreach Center mailing list.