Deafblind people have a unique disability because we have lost the use of two main sensory functions – our sight and our hearing.  The loss of both sensory functions impacts on each other and means we may experience varying degrees of difficulty with communicating, with our mobility and just carrying out simple daily activities.


Causes of deafblindness are defined under two categories:

  • Congenital deafblindness - from birth
  • Acquired deafblindness - developed after birth.

Congenital deafblindness can stem from:

  • Pre and post-natal trauma such as asphyxia, prematurity or cerebral palsy
  • Maternal alcohol and drug addiction
  • Maternal Rubella
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Usher syndrome (congenital deafness combined with the deteriorating eye condition known as Retinitis Pigmentosa)
  • CHARGE syndrome. (a multi-featured disorder, cause unknown)

Acquired deafblindness can stem from:

  • Illness such as meningitis
  • Infections such as encephalitis
  • Brain tumour
  • Head injury
  • Ageing Disease.