Touch for Inclusion: Promoting Communication for Deafblindness in Zambia

Involved alumni:

The challenge that the project addresses

“Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people,” Helen Keller laments. Imagine living in a world where you cannot hear and see anything. How do you communicate your feelings and needs to family members and friends and above all, how do you earn a decent living? That is the situation in which persons with severe deafblindness- a disability of access to information and communication due to a combined loss of the sense sight and hearing find themselves. This project promotes communication between deafblind children and their parent’s/caregivers n Zambia.

What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?

We will:

  • identify children with severe congenital deafblindness;
  • train parents/caregivers of deafblind children in tactile communication; and
  • produce communication materials to facilitate communication with deafblind persons and reduce extreme social isolation of deafblind persons in Zambia.

Describe the project's impact

The project addresses a critical problem of social isolation of children with a disability. This is a challenge that is hardly recognized and lacks intervention. The project provides a model of social inclusion for deafblind persons from which access to social services e.g education can be enhanced.

If the project was awarded the grant, we would spend the amount on transport, food and accommodation as well as production of training materials for at least 15 participants who will attend the training.