Deafblindness Quotes - reprinted with permission from the author.
Life goes on after deafblindness. But it takes heart
and courage to embrace the deafblind lifestyle with
open arms and to follow one's own destiny.
Phantom vision and phantom sound is a reality
for most deafblind people. The brain is constantly
doing its utmost to fill in every void, thus creating an
alternate reality every time we close our eyes.
As we lose more of our vision and hearing, our sense
of touch, taste and smell becomes so much more
acute, exotic and, shall I say, erotic?
Deaf people fear blindness and blind people fear deafness
as if it were the dreaded plague. Yet it is not a terminal
disease. Life must continue into uncharted territory where
new discoveries await those who dare to dream.
Is it possible for a hearing-sighted or deaf-sighted person
to fall in love with a deafblind person 'til death do they part?
Of course it is! Love knows no boundaries and does not
discriminate against anyone, ever!
Many of us do not look deafblind though we may walk
amongst hearing and sighted people like aliens in disguise.
I find it amazing that people fail to recognize what they see
when we walk with our white reflective canes and dog guides.
How is it that Congress can be in the dark ages when it
comes to meeting the basic needs of deafblind people
everywhere? Where are our helpers, the Annie and Andy
Sullivans of the world, the Support Service Providers (SSPs),
and the support of our representatives and senators who can
give us assistance in training, mobility, communication,
technology and recreational access?
Does it surprise you to find that deafblind people can and
do get married, have children, go to work, cook and clean,
make love, read and write, surf the web, travel, shop, earn
their bachelor or masters degrees, teach, eat out and pursue
their favorite hobbies? Or that they can laugh or cry, become
angry or defiant, pleasant or calm, or mourn the loss of loved
ones? We all share the same human experience.
Being deafblind is an occupational hazard. Bright sunshine
and elusive shadows thwart our attempts to be safe. We
trip over curbs, potholes and steps. In the winter, we slip
and fall on snow and ice. At home, we walk into open
cupboard doors, open drawers, open dishwasher doors and
partly opened doors that are even more dangerous to us.
First, our bruises and injuries begin at the lowest level of
our bodies and as we lose more vision, they will continue to
work their way up from battered toes to ankles, knees, groins,
hips, fingers, hands, elbows, arms, chests, breasts, shoulders
necks and backsides. The last and worst bruising insults are to
our faces, eyes, ears, noses, chins, mouths, teeth, foreheads,
sideheads and rearheads as bruises and injuries become even
more painful and sensitive. If we tried to learn new defensive
strategies to protect ourselves, I'm afraid we'd only end up
hurting ourselves. The last resort is to wear armor. But then we'd
only fall down -- again!
Deafblind people are not all the same. Some are born
deaf and later become blind. Others are born blind and
later become deaf. Some are born with mild hearing or
vision losses and later become profoundly deaf and/or
blind. Some are born deafblind. Others are born with
multiple disabilities in addition to being deafblind. Some
learn to speak the oral way, others learn to speak using
their hands, communicating via American Sign Language
(ASL), Pidgin-Signed English (PSE), Signed Exact English
(SEE) and a variety of other contact languages. It seems
as if each language, whether spoken or tactual, must be
tailor-made to suit the unique needs of every deafblind
person who often ends up feeling alone and frustrated,
and out of touch with the world.
Copyright © Ipo 2010
I see with my hands and I hear with my body. I feel what you see and I
hear through vibrations.
My computer is way more than just a computer.
I use it as a braille TTY to make a relay phone call.
I use it as a GPS system to figure where I'm going.
I use it to go to school.
I use it to jot down a note.
I use it to communicate with other deaf-blind people across the world.
I use it to communicate with people in the same room, who don't know sign language.
I use it to stay in touch with family.
I use it to do my grocery shopping.
I use it to find out if it's raining outside.
I use it to access the library and read books.
I use it to find out about any emergencies.
My computer isn't just a computer. It's my connection to the world.