Recommended Resources

by DB-LINK on Oct 17, 2014
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The resources in this section are for those who are new to working with deafblind people and/or want a general overview. These would be good picks if you only have time to look at two or three resources.


DeafBlind Interpreting Guidelines National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting (NTFDBI) (2014) Adapted from Interpreter Guidelines by Sharon Barrey Grassick, Communication Specialist, Western Australia, 2001.These guidelines provide interpreters and interpreter agencies with an awareness of the unique needs of DeafBlind people and their individual interpreting needs. It is important to remember that support needs vary greatly among DeafBlind people.

Deaf-Blind Communication and Community: Getting Involved - A Conversation --Smith, Theresa. Seattle, WA: (1993) This 90-minute video offers two presentations of a 45-minute conversation with Pat Cave and Janice Adams, two Deaf-Blind individuals. Moderated by Theresa Smith, this video presents a discussion of topics such as general perceptions and experiences of deaf-blind adults and their communication frustration and needs. In addition, the two interpreters, one who is deaf and the other who is hearing, share some of their experiences and perceptions. The first portion of this video is a full screen, edited version of the conversation. The second portion uses special digital effects to present all five individuals on screen at the same time. Available from Sign Media Inc. for $69.95 ($115.95 when purchased with Overview and Introduction). Phone: 800-475-4756. Publisher's web site:

Deaf-Blind Communication and Community: Overview and Introduction --Smith, Theresa. Seattle, WA: (1993) This 40-minute open-captioned video features Theresa Smith discussing a number of topics that provide a glimpse into the multi-faceted Deaf-Blind community. Among topics discussed are a definition and description of the community, individual communicative differences and preferences, becoming involved in the community, and setting limits. This resource also makes use of video footage to illustrate guiding and communication preferences. Available from Sign Media Inc. for $59.95 ($115.95 when purchased with Getting Involved: A Conversation). Phone: 800-475-4756. Publisher's web site: 

Deaf-Blind Interpreting: Many Paths on the Road --National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting. RID VIEWS, vol. 25, #2, February 2008, pp. 11-13. (2008) This article presents a list of some of the opportunities for interpreters to expand their skills around interpreting for deaf-blind people. The task force is seeking to gather and compile lists of all available training, volunteer and educational resources and opportunities.

Guidelines: Practical Tips for Working and Socializing with Deaf-Blind People --Smith, Theresa B. Burtonsville, MD: Sign Media, Inc. (2002) This second edition of Guidelines includes expanded chapters on topics such as tactile sign language, interpreting, conversation and physical environment. New information and more examples are included. Three new chapters include: Support Service Providers; Authority, Power and Control; and Meetings. The book is intended for people who know Sign Language, who are already experienced in "deafness" and in interacting with Deaf people, and who want to know more about "deaf-blindness" and interpreting for Deaf-Blind people. Professional interpreters, student interpreters, and anyone who wants to communicate and/or work more effectively with Deaf-Blind people will benefit from reading this book. May be ordered from Sign Media, Inc., 4020 Blackburn Lane, Burtonsville, MD 20866. Phone: (800) 475-4756. Cost: $24.95 Publisher's web site:


Interpreting Strategies for Deaf-Blind Students: An Interactive Training Tool for Educational Interpreters [DVD & Manual] --Morgan, Susanne, MA, CI, CT. Columbus, OH: Ohio Center for Deafblind Education, University of Dayton. (no date) This curriculum is designed to train interpreters to work with students who are deaf-blind. It consists of a 60-minute DVD and a print manual. There are 8 modules covering legal issues related to interpreting and deaf-blind education, interpreting methods (sign language, voicing using an FM system, typing, braille), environmental and sign language modifications, and strategies to help interpreters work effectively with teachers and students to make sure that deaf-blind students have access to educational content and the classroom environment. It describes how various types of visual impairments (low vision, blurred vision, central field loss, reduced peripheral vision, fluctuating vision) affect the interpreting process and describes sign language modifications such as tracking, tactile sign language (one-handed and two-handed), and print on palm. Each module is followed by a self-check quiz. The narrated DVD provides numerous examples of the content covered by the manual and additional opportunities for self-testing. There is no date listed on either the DVD or the manual, but the curriculum was released in 2005. Cost: $15.00. Copies may be ordered from the Ohio Center for Deafblind Education (OCDBE):
Allison Glasgow
936 Eastwind Drive, Suite 100
Westerville, Ohio 43081
Phone: (614) 785-1163
Fax: (614) 785-0513


Interpreting for Individuals who are Deaf-Blind: Standard Practice Paper Alexandria, VA: Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (2007) The amount and type of vision and hearing a person has determines the type of interpreting that will be most effective. This document provides an overview of interpreting for individuals who are deaf-blind including communication modes, environmental considerations, professional standards for interpreters, and a brief description of support service providers (an additional service that an individual who is deaf-blind may request). Available on the web:


The Mind Traveller: The Ragin' Cajun --Sacks, Oliver. Princeton, NJ: BBC Worldwide Americas, Inc. (1998) This video takes a look at Usher syndrome through the experiences of Danny Delcambre, a deaf-blind restaurant owner in Seattle, Washington. Neurologist/author Oliver Sacks explores the nature of deaf-blind culture, American Sign Language, and tactile signing with several deaf-blind adults in both Louisiana and Washington. This is available for loan or videostreaming via the Described and Captioned Media Program ( Requires membership in DCMP, which is free to qualified applicants.

NCDB : The Research Institute : Western Oregon University : 345 N. Monmouth Ave. : Monmouth, OR 97361
Contact Us: 800-438-9376 |

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