About Deafblindess

95% of everything we learn is perceived through sight and hearing

A person is considered deafblind when they have a total or partial loss of vision and hearing. Multisensory disabilities occur when visual and auditory deficits are compounded by other impairments (motor, intellectual, neurological damage, organic pathologies, etc.). These disabilities can cause severe limitations in communications, personal autonomy and learning, as well as serious difficulties in both interpersonal relationships and perceptions of the surrounding environment.

Deafblindness can be congenital or acquired. The causes vary, and include premature birth, sensory loss with age, or rare syndromes like Usher and CHARGE, which compound severe medical and developmental issues with loss of vision and hearing.

In 2015, Lega del Filo d’Oro sponsored Italy’s first comprehensive census of people affected by problems related to both vision and hearing. According to the study, 189,000 people – or about .03% of the Italian population – are affected by problems related to vision and hearing. This is much higher than previous estimates of 3,000 to 11,000 people.

64.8% are women

64.8% are women

57% are confined to their homes

57% are confined to their homes

66.7% have difficulty accessing employment

66.7% have difficulty accessing employment

10,000+ children with visual or hearing impairments have other severe disabilities

10,000+ children with visual or hearing impairments have other severe disabilities

More than 10,000 children with visual or hearing deficits have other severe disabilities.

%

motor disabilities

behavioral problems and mental illness

%

cognitive impairment