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This page was last updated on Dec 6, 2018 at 2:38 pm
Importance of Youth Voices
The deaf-blind network continues to strengthen and grow through shared purpose, expertise, and resources. One of the questions we frequently ask ourselves is, "How do we continue to build and enrich an already vibrant network that celebrates good content, evidence-based practices, and relevant, meaningful information?" I believe the answer lies in the energetic and willing voices of young adults who are deaf-blind. The stories below describe journeys through the lives of young people as they prepare for adulthood with a quality of life similar to that of any other young adult.
The community of young adults and their families offers a valuable voice that embodies the cornerstones of self-determination, family involvement, and access. The voices represent:
- Young adults on a path to college, career readiness, and independent living
- Families of young adults who are unable to tell their own stories
These stories will help enrich our vibrant network and highlight one of our shared values, “together we are better.”
Miranda's JourneySuzanne Fitzgerald is the president of Specially Designed Education Services. Suzanne highlights the journey a young adult named Miranda, her family, and her educational team took to build an effective communication system and prepare Miranda for work after high school. She also describes the challenges they encountered and the tenacity of this amazing young woman. November, 2018.
Alex's JourneyAlex has been attending public schools for the past five years. In this article he describes his transition journey in a public school.He discusses how he learned advocacy skills and the importance of a great education team. He has shared a great story of the experience of going on the transition journey.
Jacob's JourneyJacob Jones’s North Carolina based team had an opportunity to participate in HKNC’s Deaf-Blind Immersion Seminar (DBIS), an assessment and training program for individuals who are deafblind and have intellectual disabilities. Jacob had a very successful and exciting journey at the seminar. His dad, Emrick, wrote this story about the experience.
Jason is a young adult who chose to take advantage of every opportunity that came his way. His transition journey is filled with great stories about how to overcome obstacles. Jason enjoys advocating and providing hope for individuals who are deaf-blind.
What is happening internationally for young adults who are deaf-blind? The Deafblind International Youth Network (DbIYN) provides a platform from which young adults can inspire others, share their views, develop ideas, and influence policy makers.
This story provides an overview of DbIYN and its activities.
This transition story was written by David's mother, Gwen. It is a journey through his life experiences as person who is deaf-blind.
When I think about the last few years and the process of readying David for an adult life, a few things play over and over in my head. David loves and is loved by so many people. His easy going style and big smile make it easy for him to charm and engage others even though his communication is still so rough. He is a hard worker. His teacher always reminded me that he has a very strong work ethic. - Gwen
"What does self-determination mean to you?" Several young adults answer this question in the video clips linked here.
When you decide and make decisions for yourself, you know what you want, and you know what you need, not another person. - Ashley