It’s already started out great: With the opening of the 7th Africa Forum on Visual Impairment in the African Union. And it ended with two celebrations. Addis Ababa, the host city, celebrated the Nobel Peace Prize for the Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali. And DbI the newly created network for the very first African conference of DbI. It will take place in autumn 2021 in Kenya. It involves passion, competence and great commitment throughout the continent and beyond. 13 people sat at the dinner table: activists with Deafblindness, researchers and practitioners. They will all do their utmost to ensure that the first African Conference takes place. As a conference that makes a real difference. For people with Deafblindness, for their families, their teachers and caregivers, for research, for Africa and the DbI world. Make a note right now: Kenya, autumn 2021.

Mirko Baur, Vice-President DbI

Addis: View of an Ethiopian Orthodox ChurchDbI dinner guests


Three family members from around the world share their stories with us. In their stories, we see their questions, their strategies and their strong messages to all of us who care for children who are deafblind.

By Yvette Gallegos, Namita Jacob and Graciela Ferioli

Introducing Deafblind International Communication Network

Deafblind International invites you to join the Deafblind International Communication Network. It gives you the opportunity to build connections around the world and to contribuite to the scientific world about deafblindness. Welcome and enjoy the video!


The 2nd International Young Researchers Conference on Deafblindness is a unique opportunity for newly engaged professionals (under the age of 40) to share their research initiatives and/or participate in training from highly recognized experts in the field. It is the largest venue in the world for those interested in the development, education and support of people with various degrees of vision and hearing impairment including individuals with addition disabilities (e.g. intellectual disabilities). In November 2019, exceptionally talented students, graduate students and young scientists from Europe, Asia, Americas and Russia will meet in St. Petersburg, Russia to engage in an agenda that includes professional development, research presentations, and networking with peers and experts. In addition, this 2nd annual conference will include a Pre-Conference for young adults with deafblindness. The Pre-Conference will overlap by one day with the researchers’ conference and participants will have the opportunity to share experiences, engage in action research activities and make personal connections to support continued collaborations.
The conference agenda spans a five-day period, with the following agenda:
Days 1 & 2 Young Adult Conference devoted to youth with deafblindness. Participating youth with participate in art workshops, excursions within the beautiful and historical city of St. Petersburg; team-building exercises; creative dramatic training; and other valuable experiences of determination.
Day 3 Young Deafblind Adults and Researchers will jointly participate in a program that provides facilitated activities for networking; building relationships; identify/discuss emerging challenges in the field of deafblindness and participate in the design future studies.
Day 4 & 5 These last two days of the conference are dedicated to the participating young researchers to share their experiences in the field; present their research and discuss their shared as well as country-specific developments in educating and support individuals with deafblindness. In addition, leading experts in the field of deafblindness will present plenary sessions and workshops.

Deafblindness is a unique and low incidence disability in which individuals present with a combined vision and hearing impairment. Professionals and scholars continue to develop and practice strategies that will make the lives of people with deafblindness better. Scientists travel the world, share their experiences, research difficult questions and literally explore the future. However, there is so much more to discover, develop and implement to address. It will take an international effort to solve challenges and create new methods on behalf of children, youth and adults with deafblindness – BECCOME A PART OF THIS INTERNATIONAL TEAM OF RESEARCHERS.
Parameters for Participation:
• Applicants must be young professionals who are interested and/or currently engaged in research within the field of deafblindness (it`s not important to have a great deal of experience in the field and a participant can be newly engaged; Youth with deafblindness should be interested in new experiences within the global community and have a desire to make new friends.
• Proposals may include presentations reflecting both large or small (single case) studies representing various fields (e.g. psychology, pedagogy, medicine, physiology, social work, etc.)
• Presentation Categories:
o Master Class Presentation: The Master Class is a 20-minute presentation of original research or practice relative to individuals who are deafblind and supported by current/emerging evidence;
o Short Message Presentation: The Short Message venue reflects a 5-7-minute presentation of original research or practice and/or an emerging research/practice idea or concept;
o Poster Presentation: Posters are an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the use of an emerging innovative practice, typically in the early stages of development.
• For the Pre-conference the registration fee is not required
• Registration fee for the Conference is 100 Euro, includes:
• Conference Bag and Program;
• Coffee-breaks and lunches;
• Access to conference proceedings after the event.
• To participate, please fill in the registration form, mark the form of participation and submit abstracts until September 20, 2019.
For more information, please, contact the organizers
Travel-coordinator (hotels, visa support)

Commemorating Deafblind Awareness Week

Deafblind Awareness Week
We have shared different posts during the Deafblind Awareness Week, all of them tell their own story, stories that need to be told, stories worth listing to.
Deafblind International promotes the awareness and knowledge of deafblindness as a unique disability and enhances services for people who are deafblind around the world.

Still millions of persons who are deafblind around the world are denied their rights to independent living, education and employment. Even in developing countries, most of the children with disabilities do not go to school. By making connections with persons with deafblindness you can make the first step, a step to connect. An important step to build bridges between us. Together we will be able to influence the systems of support, promote important research, talk about improving policies and accessibility for all. Together we will communicate, exchange stories and ambitions.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are very clear and they have put pressure on governments to ensure wellbeing, participation and lifelong learning for persons with deafblindness . We as an international community have the obligation and the opportunity to include everyone. That is why the Deafblind Awareness week is still needed, in order not to lose focus on what really matters in life, because “losing your sight and sound but not your identity”.

Frank Kat, DbI President