Resources on Establishing Interactions with Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind Bibliography

by DB-LINK on Jul 1, 2009
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This is a partial list of materials on this topic available from the NCDB Catalog Database.  If you have additional questions, please contact us via email:

Updated 7/2009

2005-0251 Analyzing Teacher/Child Interactions: What Makes Communication Successful? --Amaral, Isabel. DBI REVIEW, vol. 32, July-December 2003, pp. 12-18. (2003) The success of interactions between caregivers and learners with multiple disabilities depends largely on the ability of the caregiver to interpret and respond to the learner’s nonsymbolic forms of communication. This article describes a study that analyzed missed opportunities for communication (captured on video) between 2 children with multiple disabilities and their teachers and the results of an intervention process designed to reduce the number of missed opportunities. It found that teachers do leave many children’s behaviors unresponded to and that this number can be decreased through intervention. The article includes an opinion scale that was used to analyze communicative behavior.

2002-0282 Assessment and Instruction of Hands-On Problem-Solving and Object Interaction Skills in Children who are Deafblind --Rowland, Charity, Ph.D.; Schweigert, Philip, M.Ed. THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT, vol. 19, #2, 2001, pp. 57-68 Entre Dos Mundos, April 2002, #18, pp. 59-80. (2001) A report of two research studies that examined how deaf-blind children understand their relationship with the physical environment and how they solve problems as they try to negotiate the physical world. Addresses the issue of learned helplessness. What may initially appear to be learned helplessness may actually turn out to be a lack of skills, a lack of opportunities to learn new skills, or a lack of motivation. Describes the development of three hands-on problem-solving assessment tools, the “Home Inventory of Problem-Solving Skills” (HIPSS), the “School Inventory of Problem-Solving Skills” (SIPSS), and the “Task-Based Inventory of Problem-Solving Skills” (TAPSS). Article also published in Spanish.

2000-0049 Co-Creating Communication : Perspectives on Diagnostic Education for Individuals Who Are Congenitally Deafblind and Individuals Whose Impairments May Have Similar Effects --Nafstad, Anne; Rodbroe, Inger. Dronninglund, Denmark: Forlaget Nord-Press. (1999) Describes how the authors today see the optimal conditions for the co-creation of communication with congenitally deafblind individuals. The theory now is to present a way of thinking to other professionals in the field of deafblind education and deafblind habilitation, rather than describing a method and telling people how to do it. The suggestion is to empower communication by way of interpersonal co-creative relationships rather than by training people to perform normalized skills. This change in theory is a result of recent knowledge of how these relationships influence emotional, cognitive, social and communicative development. Available from Forlaget Nord-Press, Nordre Ringgade 2, DK-9330 Dronninglund, Denmark, TEL: +45 98 84 10 20, FAX: +45 98 84 24 88,

2007-0262 Comparison of Intervention Strategies for Facilitating Nonsymbolic Communication among Young Children with Multiple Disabilities --Siegel-Causey, Ellin. Monmouth, OR: Teaching Research Division, Oregon State System of Higher Education. Research on the Communication Development of Young Children with Deaf- Blindness, Michael Bullis (Ed.) (1989) This study tested propositions derived from Jan van Dijk's movement-based theory. It was based on two assumptions: (1) communication is facilitated by primary caregivers who are nurturing and (2) there should be direct physical contact between the adult and child during early intervention. The study examined the effects of movement intervention and passive intervention during social interaction. The purpose was to ascertain whether there are differences between the effects of movement intervention and passive intervention in promoting nonsymbolic communication behaviors in young children with severe disabilities. The participants were six children between three and five years of age who were identified as severely multiply handicapped and/or deaf-blind. The study used a modified, alternating treatments design that was modified to provide intervention blocks (successive sessions of the same stimulation) rather than rapid alternation of intervention. Overall, the results do not indicate that movement was effective in increasing behaviors among all children in the study. However, three participants showed a difference in their nonsymbolic behaviors during movement interaction. The author notes that it is important to emphasize that research directed toward individuals with the most severe disabilities is not commonly done, nor are treatment effects easy to demonstrate.

2003-0366 Contact: Effects of an Intervention Program to Foster Harmonious Interactions Between Deaf-Blind Children and Their Educators --Janssen, Marleen J.; Riksen-Walraven, Marianne; Van Dijk, Jan P. M. JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 97, #4, April 2003, pp.215-29. (2003) This study examined the effects of an intervention program to improve the quality of daily interaction between 6 congenitally deaf-blind children and their 14 educators (teachers, caregivers, and mothers). With video analysis as the most important tool, the interaction coaches trained the educators to recognize their children's signals and attune their behaviors to the children's. The intervention program tested here was developed based on the findings of two earlier studies. The overall focus is the effect that harmonious interactions have on the process of communication. For two of the children, outcomes were measured using multiple baseline observations, weekly observations during the intervention, and subsequent follow-up observations. For the remaining 4 children, single prettest and posttest observations were conducted. Pretest-posttest design.

2007-0239 'Contact': Effects of the Interaction Program on Fostering Harmonious Interactions between Deafblind Children and their Educators --Van Den Tillaart, Bernadette. Austin, TX: Texas Deafblind Project. 2007 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness. (2007) A presentation from the 2007 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness.

2007-0248 Contact: Understanding of Specific Interaction Characteristics to Build up Reciprocal Interaction with Congenital Deafblind Persons --van de Tillaart, Bernadette; Janssen, Marleen . AapNootMuis Productions. (no date) Individuals who are deaf-blind require a solid base of good interactions in order to develop feelings of security and competence. When a person who is deaf-blind and his or her interaction partner are able to attune their body language in such a way that they can share experiences and emotions, real contact in the form of affective involvement can come into existence. This contact is characterized by general interaction patterns, as well as deaf-blind specific interaction characteristics. The authors of this interactive CD-ROM developed an interaction model in which concepts such as opening and maintaining contact, initiatives and confirmations, exchange of turns, proximity, attention, intensity, and affective involvement are addressed. The model they developed can be used regardless of the age or communication level of the person who is deaf-blind. The model also can be used with individuals with other multiple disabilities as is appropriate. Implementation of this knowledge requires complementary training and support of the interaction partners in the deaf-blind individual's life such as parents, caregivers, and teachers. Available from Vision Associates, Phone: 407-352-1200, Web: [Dr. Jan van Dijk materials]. Publisher's web site:

2008-0576 Deafblindness, Ontological Security, and Social Recognition --Danermark, Berth D.; Moumllle, Kerstin. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AUDIOLOGY, Vol. 47, #S2 November 2008 , pp. S119-S123. (2008) Trust, ontological security, and social recognition are discussed in relation to self-identity among people with acquired deafblindness. To date the phenomenon has not been elaborated in the context of deafblindness. When a person with deafblindness interacts with the social and material environment, the reliability, constancy, and predictability of his or her relations is crucial for maintaining or achieving ontological security or a general and fairly persistent feeling of well-being. When these relations fundamentally change, the impact on ontological security will be very negative. The construction of social recognition through the interaction between the self and others is embodied across three dimensions: at the individual level, at the legal systems level, and at the normative or value level. The relationship between trust and ontological security on the one hand and social recognition on the other hand is discussed. It is argued that these basic processes affecting personality development have to be identified and acknowledged in the interactions people with deafblindness experience. Some implications for the rehabilitation of people with acquired deafblindness are presented and illustrated.

2007-0231 Encouraging Reciprocity in Interaction Between Deafblind People and Their Partners --van den Tillaart, Bernadette. DBI REVIEW, vol 25, January-June 2000, pp. 6-8. (2000) Social connections based on reciprocal interactions are important for all people, but the ability to interact in a reciprocal way is often difficult for deafblind people because of their sight and hearing impairments. In this article, the author describes a program to train new teachers at the Rafael school (the deaf-blind department at the Instituut voor Doven in the Netherlands) to develop reciprocal interactions with deaf-blind students.

2004-0078 Enhancing the Interactive Competence of Deafblind Children : Do Intervention Effects Endure? --Janssen, Marleen J.; Riksen-Walraven, J. Marianne; van Dijk, Jan P.M. JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES, vol. 16, #1, March 2004, pp. 73-94. (2004) This single-subject design study replicated the results of a previous intervention study [Janssen et al, Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 14(1):87-108, 2002] that examined the effects of a training program designed to improve the quality of interactions between deaf-blind children and their educators. This present study was expanded to train educators to improve their responses to deaf-blind children's independent behaviors as well as interactive behaviors, and it included a follow-up phase. The study involved 16 professional educators working with four 7- to 11-year old children. The mean percentage of adequate educator responses was found to increase by 20.2% and remain above baseline during follow-up. Comparable effects were observed for the children. The percentage of appropriate interactive behaviors increased by 29.3% and the percentage of independent behaviors increased by 38.1% and remained well above the baseline level during follow-up.

2002-0129 Enhancing the Quality of Interaction Between Deafblind Children and Their Educators --Janssen, Marleen J.; Riksen-Walraven, J. Marianne; van Dijk, Jan P.M. JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES, vol. 14, #1, March 2002, pp. 87-109. (2002) This single-subject design study examined the effects of an educator-oriented intervention program to improve the quality of the interactions between children who are deaf-blind and their teachers. The study included four children, aged 6 through 9, and their 14 teachers. The educators were trained to respond more adequately to a selected set of appropriate and inappropriate interactive child behaviors. In three of the four children, the mean percentage of appropriate interactive behaviors increased. The number of inappropriate child behaviors also decreased.

2003-0224 Fostering Harmonious Interactions Between Deafblind Children and Their Educators --Janssen, Helena Johanna Maria. (2003) This is a doctoral dissertation that describes an empirically-based diagnostic intervention model designed to foster harmonious interactions between congenitally deaf-blind children and their educators. The document begins with a description of the intervention model and subsequently tells the story of how the model was developed in a series of three empirical studies. The description of the model and 2 of the studies have been separately published in professional journals. The sections titles are: 1) Towards a diagnostic intervention model for fostering harmonious interactions between deafblind children and their educators (also published in JVIB, Vol. 97, Issue 4, 2003); 2) Enhancing the quality of interaction between deafblind children and their educators (Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, Vol. 14, Issue 1, 2003); 3) Enhancing the interactive competence of deafblind children: Do intervention effects endure?; and 4) CONTACT: Effects of an intervention program to foster harmonious interactions between deafblind children and their educators (JVIB, Vol. 97, Issue 4, 2003).

2001-0345 Initial Aspects of Children with Congenital Deafblindness: Development of Mutual Interaction --Tsuchiya, Yoshimi; Sugai, Hiroyuki. --Department of Education for Children with Multiple Disabilities. Japan: The National Institute of Special Education. NISE BULLETIN, Vol. 6, March 2001, pp. 9-16. (2001) This article documents the research done with two children who are congenitally deafblind and also have additional disabilities. These children have difficulties developing mutual interactions with each other but following a consultation programme the children reached the stage of "communication" that was desired. The authors categorized the relationship with interaction partners as (a) "contacting" and "sharing" (b) "attachment" and "approach" (c) "exploration" and (d) "dialogue" and "mutual interaction."

2007-0185 Promoting Interactions With Infants Who Have Complex Multiple Disabilities : Development and Field-Testing of the PLAI Curriculum --Chen, Deborah, PhD; Klein, Diane M., CCC-SLP, PhD; Haney, Michele, PhD. INFANTS AND YOUNG CHILDREN, vol. 20, #2, April-June 2007, pp149-162. (2007) This article describes primary outcomes of the development and field-testing of the curriculum "Promoting Learning Through Active Interaction" with 27 infants and their caregivers and early interventionists in 2 different states. The curriculum was designed to provide a systematic approach to supporting interactions with infants who have sensory impairments and complex multiple disabilities and who are at the preintentional level of communication. Participating infants had both a visual impairment and hearing loss and additional disabilities. Their families represented diverse socioeconomic, educational, and cultural backgrounds, and participating early interventionists varied widely in their qualifications. Results indicate that a diverse group of families used the strategies successfully and found them to be helpful in supporting their children's interactions and communication development. The article outlines key components of the curriculum and discusses evaluation data on the basis of caregiver feedback on use of strategies and analysis of videotaped observations on the caregivers' use of sensory cues with their infants.

2000-0469 Promoting Learning Through Active Interaction : A Guide to Early Communication with Young Children Who Have Multiple Disabilities --Klein, M. Diane, Ph.D.; Chen, Deborah, Ph.D.; Haney, Michele, Ph.D. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. (2000) The Promoting Learning Through Active Interaction (PLAI) curriculum is designed primarily for infants, preschoolers, and young children with severe or multiple disabilities (including deaf-blindness) who are not yet initiating symbolic communication and who have a limited repertoire of communicative behavior. It can also be used with older children who have not yet developed intentional communication. The curriculum consists of a Caregiver Interview to identify a child's current communication abilities and 5 modules: 1) Understanding Your Child's Cues; 2) Identifying Your Child's Preferences; 3) Establishing Predictable Routines; 4) Establishing Turn Taking; and 5) Encouraging Communicative Initiations. The curriculum also contains handouts and recording sheets in both English and Spanish. A video (Promoting Learning Through Active Interaction: An Instructional Video) is also available in English and Spanish. Publisher's web site:

2000-0499 Promoting Learning Through Active Interaction (PLAI) : An Instructional Video --Chen, Deborah, Ph.D.; Klein, M. Diane, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Haney Michele, Ph.D. Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co. (2000) This video and accompanying viewing guide demonstrates key strategies to promote communication in infants and young children who have severe disabilities, including visual impairments, through five modules. These modules include: 1) Understanding Infant Cues; 2) Identifying Infant Preferences and Dislikes; 3) Establishing Predictable Routines; 4) Establishing Turn Taking; and 5) Encouraging Initiation of Communication. The video should be used with the curriculum, which is designed for service providers working with infants and young children with severe disabilities who are at a presymbolic level of development. Available in Spanish.Order from: Customer Service Department, Brookes Publishing, P.O. Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624, Tel. 800-638-3775, FAX 410-337-8539. Publisher's web site:

2007-0228 Social and Emotional Development. --McInnes, John M.; Treffry, Jacquelyn. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Deaf-blind Infants and Children: A Developmental Guide. (1982) This book chapter provides specific suggestions for promoting social and emotional development in children who are deaf-blind. It also describes eight stages of interaction that a child who is deaf-blind moves through when exposed to a new environment or experience: (1) resist the interaction; (2) tolerate the interaction co-actively with his or her intervenor; (3) cooperate passively with the intervenor; (4) enjoy the activity because of the intervenor; (5) respond cooperatively with the intervenor; (6) lead the intervenor through an activity once initial communication has been given; (7) imitate the action of the intervenor, upon request; and (8) initiate an action independently. Publisher's web site:

2007-0506 Team Interaction Coaching with Educators of Adolescents Who Are Deaf-Blind: Applying the Diagnostic Intervention Model --Janssen, Marleen J.; Riksen-Walraven, J. Marianne; Van Dijk, Jan P. M.; Ruijssenaars, Wied A. J. J. M.; Vlaskamp, Carla. JVIB, November 2007, Volume 101, Number 11, pp. 677-689. (2007) In an earlier publication, we presented the Diagnostic Intervention Model, which can be used as a guide in the design and conduct of interventions to foster harmonious interactions between children who are deaf-blind and their educators. This article demonstrates the use of the model in everyday practice and the effects of its application in two case studies, using team interaction coaching. Implications for everyday practice are discussed. Publisher's web site:

2003-0367 Toward a Diagnostic Intervention Model for Fostering Harmonious Interactions Between Deaf-Blind Children and Their Educators --Janssen, Marleen J.; Riksen-Walraven, Marianne; Van Dijk, Jan P. M. JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, vol. 97, #4, April 2003, pp.197-214. (2003) This article describes the Diagnostic Intervention Model, a training program to foster harmonious interactions and communication between deaf-blind children and their educators in various settings (e.g., school, group, home). The model involves a cyclic process in which observations of interactions between deaf-blind children and their educators are used as a basis for the creation of intervention aims related to eight core categories of interactive behavior (initiatives, confirmations, answers, turns, attention, intensity, affective involvement, independent acting). The article lays the groundwork for this by first discussing the significance of harmonious interactions in children's social and emotional development and the difficulties deaf-blind children and their educators face when attempting to develop such harmonious interactions. It also includes a detailed review of previously developed intervention models and strategies that have focused on interaction and early communication with individuals who are deaf-blind.

2006-0123 Using Imitation with Congenitally Deafblind Adults: Establishing Meaningful Communication Partnerships --Hart, Paul. INFANT AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT, vol. 15, pp. 263-274. (2006) Using his own experiences as a teacher and a review of relevant literature, the author describes how imitation can be used to establish communication with individuals who are congenitally deaf-blind. The article begins with an overview of the history of deaf-blind education over the past 150 years and a description of the communication challenges faced by people who are congenitally deaf-blind, particularly difficulties that involve the attitudes and actions of communication partners. Then, examples of intervention approaches for individuals who are deaf-blind are linked to theories of infant communication to explore the four key functions that imitation plays in facilitating communicative exchanges: to attract attention, to stimulate turn-taking, to allow partners to recognize each other, and to craft morality (based on the idea that "the moral mind, which asks you to treat your neighbor as yourself, could not develop without imitation").

2004-0500 We Have Contact! Maylands, Western Australia: Senses Foundation, Inc. (2004) "We Have Contact!" presents a sensitive and respectful approach to interacting effectively with individuals who are deaf-blind and have additional disabilities. Strategies for interacting with children and adults are shown using examples from Individual Communication Guides (ICGs). ICGs are specially produced videos demonstrating a particular deaf-blind individual’s personalized communication system, so that all who have contact with the individual can learn to interact effectively through consistent use of that system, and acknowledge and respond to that person’s communication efforts. Important concepts such as acknowledging behavior as communication are presented by the use of examples of children of a variety of ages and one adult.

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