I am excited and want to continue this blog! It is gonna pay off, eventually!
I have a trio of blogs to get out today. Keep watching…
A friend of mine made a comment on the Preference blog I did last week. She made two comments actually. I am going to expand on both.
Up until now, I have made a generalizations of Deaf-Blind individuals. If you where not in the know of things, you would assume that all people who are Deaf-Blind are of one big happy family. However, this is far from the truth.
There is actually two distinctive and separate groups, which also have different levels of funding and services.
Group 1) People who are born deafblind usually, through not always, have other disabilities and possible developmental delays. There are a large number of reasons for being born deafblind, some of which are the rubella epidemic of the 1960’s. At the time, parents fought hard and were successful in securing school intervenors, which continues to this day. And, when the deafblind children reached adulthood, the parents fought again, and set up a service that provides intervenors, sometimes 24/7, for their adult children. This group will always have intervenors, whether in school or in the community. There is a long list of government funding going to this group.
The other group?
Group 2) People who become Deaf-Blind usually, through not always, in early adulthood. Most , again, not always, are born Deaf and lose vision due to genetics or other causes. There are also Deaf-Blind people who are born with a vision loss, and become deaf later in live. Most of this group use ASL to communicate, they most likely went to Deaf schools, and and have strong Deaf Culture values.
Have you noticed the different capitalization I have used? The lowercase word usually refers to those who are congenital, those who are born, in this case, deafblind. The uppercase word, also spelled without the hyphen, refers to those who are acquired, who became DeafBlind later in life. The common sense of this is that DeafBlind have strong culture ties.
Across Canada, DeafBlind people usually have families, have jobs, have mortgages, have bills and bills, and have no intervenor services. Why is that? Why does this group have no intervenors when they are sorely needed? The reasoning usually follows along this line of reasoning: Provincial government are funding intervenor services, they provide services to those who are deafblind, therefore all deafblind people are getting services. Period. End of reasoning. Here is an alternative explanation: Provincial governments believe it is funding the entire population, so they will not give funds to those who are Deaf-Blind even through they need it just as badly!
For the record, Ontario has intervenor services for both congenital and acquired populations. This was because of many years of hard work lobbying the Ontario provincial government. Calgary and Winnipeg also provides some level of intervenor services.
As you can see, there is a gap big enough to drive an 18 wheeler through in terms of funding intervenor services across this great nation that is Canada! Congenital deafblind have intervenors, and Acquired Deaf-Blind have no intervenors. Somethings got to give, will it be money?
Next: Who is running the show?