Recognizing Deaf-blindness

Not testable. This often is the answer people with deaf-blindness/hearing-vision impairment receive when they seek information about their condition. There is still no screening and assessment tool anywhere in the world that is tailored to people with deaf-blindness/hearing-vision impairment. In most cases, the extent to which a person’s hearing and vision are impaired remains unclear.

A new educational assessment tool has recently been developed to help identify deaf-blindness/hearing-vision impairment in children and adolescents as early as possible. The Nikolauspflege, together with the Stiftung St. Franziskus Heiligenbronn, is involved in the project headed by Prof. Dr. Andrea Wanka, Professor of Education for Deaf-Blindness/HVI at the Heidelberg University of Education. The goal is to develop a screening and assessment tool that will not only enable education professionals but also laypersons without any specialized training to conduct tests. In this way, an initial assessment can be made in practical everyday settings, whether in early education centers, schools, homes or elsewhere. The assessment applies to the functional hearing and vision of the person in everyday life, while medical centers or clinics remain responsible for making the diagnosis.

The name of the tool, IKI-TAU, stands for “Identifizierung von Kindern, Jugendlichen und Erwachsenen mit Taubblindheit/ Hörsehbehinderung” (Identification of Children, Adolescents and Adults with Deaf-Blindness/Hearing Impairment).

The Lipoid Stiftung is providing financial support to make this project possible. It will create a completely new basis for the identification of people with deaf-blindness/hearing-vision impairment.

Photos: Nikolauspflege