Reflections on Deaf-blindness: Hands & Touch

In this webcast, Barbara Miles, a well-known author and lecturer, discusses the unique function hands serve for individuals who are deafblind. For people with vision and hearing impairments, hands become eyes, ears, and a voice. Barbara’s realization that hands have so many critical roles changed the way she interacts with the hands of children who are deafblind.

I've seen children put their hands on a table. Children who are both deaf and blind put their hands on a table to feel the vibration of people walking by, so they might feel the floor shaking the table surface, shaking a little. There are ways that hands for those children become like ears. Also, for a child who's deafblind, very often their hands have to be their voice, because many of them learn sign language. Many of them certainly use their hands gesturally to communicate, or to point, or to reach in a way that their hands are really comparable to our voice” (MILES).

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