What do you do when you meet a deafblind person?

1. Treat a deafblind person as you treat anyone else. Always be natural-never patronizing in your questions and your actions.

2. Address a deafblind person directly, not through someone else. Speak by fingerspelling or signing while he/she holds one hand lightly over yours to feel the position of your fingers. Be careful to move the fingers directly from one position to the other and pause slightly between words. Or print capital letters in his/her palm.  Be sure to pause between words.

3. Use the words "see", and "hear", or "blind" naturally, without hesitation if your conversation calls for them.

4. Let the deafblind person know when you enter or leave the room. Always say who you are.

5. Offer your elbow when walking with a deafblind person. Do not push him/her ahead of you let him/her hold your arm, just below the elbow.

6. You do not have to physically support a deafblind person who is entering a car, or going up stairs. Simply place his/her hand on the door knob or stair rail for guidance. To assist with seating, place his/her hand on the back of a chair to show its position.

7. Describe things that are happening, or about to happen, around you when you are with a deafblind person.

8. Show deafblind persons that you are confident they can do useful things. This is an important form of encouragement.

9. Remember that your behavior toward deafblind persons will not only affect your attitude, but may be important in reinforcing the attitudes of their family and friends.

A-Z to Deafblindness http://www.deafblind.com