The most recent episode of See Hear (see it by clicking here) featured a fantastic item on deafblindness.
Now, the programme’s Series Editor William Mager has written about deaf people who lose their sight for a BBC News blog.
Below is an extract. Read the article by clicking here.
Deaf people are very visual, we use sign language and lip-reading as a way to communicate and socialise, so the prospect of losing our sight can be very daunting. A medical study found deaf people may even have enhanced peripheral vision, compensating for a lack of hearing.
There is one group of deaf people who live with the near certainty that their sight will fade. Those with Usher syndrome are born deaf and later, through an associated condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, also lose their sight. Peripheral vision becomes restricted, night vision worsens and sudden changes from dark to light (and vice versa) take a much longer time to adjust to.
But more isolating and upsetting can be the end of a lifetime of communicating easily. Lip-reading becomes more difficult and understanding sign language becomes trickier. It can be very tiring to concentrate on small movements if you have limited vision.
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