Congenital Deafblindness

Assessment

Professionals assessing the skills and development of a congenitally deafblind person may have to abandon particular assessment tools and suspend some of their current approaches to assessment, as they assume too many similarities between their world and the world of  congenital deafblindness.

To ensure a quality assessment of a person with deafblindness, extra planning, developing a strong partnership with the person’s family and support group and more coordination with other team members is required. Time is a major factor in assessing the person’s abilities, with the overall time to complete an assessment often being greater.

Draw on your knowledge, skills and experiences in assessing other people with disabilities and welcome the important challenges of communication and connection with the child. Emerging yourself in a deafblind world, where vision and hearing may take a back seat and where touch and smell, your own body and the space immediately surrounding you predominate. Be prepared to sit back and watch. Conduct observations in the places the person who is deafblind is familiar, doing things they are familiar with and with the people they are familiar with. Chase up medical reports and sensory assessments. Enjoy the journey and know your assessment is never complete.