Building new strategies

The following videos offer insight, knowledge and information for parents and practitioners developing communication and educational strategies for children or youth with deafblindness. This page includes links to a wide variety of resources – short video factsheets, webinars, training videos – for families, service providers and anyone else involved in the life of a child with deafblindness.

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Buildling a Communication Foundation

This module discusses a rationale for the argument that all individuals with deafblindness do communicate – not that they all can learn to communicate. Dr Susan Bashinski discusses key ‘Communication Reminders’, which partners of individuals who experience deafblindness are encouraged to keep in mind.

Using Symbols for Communication

In this module, Dr Susan Bashinski attempts to bust the myth that families/teams “are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing”. She discusses the necessity of meeting a learner where he/she is and consistently responding to their observable behaviors in a predictable, consistent way.

The module includes a discussion on the development of symbolization ability. It also covers suggested strategies communication partners can put into action to help a learner use symbols meaningfully.

Communicative Intentionality

Dr Susan Bashinsky covers the key differences between ‘intentional behavior’ and ‘intentional communicative behavior’. Understanding where a learner is on the intentionality continuum is important in figuring out how to maximize their communication development.

This module includes information on how to assess a learner’s intentionality. It also includes strategies for helping in the development of communicative intentionality.

Hand Under Hand Strategy

Dr Robin Greenfield, former ICYDB director, shares that “Hands are very important for all children but particularly for children who are deafblind. Their hands become the way they potentially see the world. Hand Under Hand guidance is a strategy to help a child who is deafblind begin the journey of exploration. The approach is different than helping a child using Hand Over Hand support in that it is intended to give a child more control and be less intrusive.”

This video with accompanying fact sheet describes how adults working with children who are deafblind, can utilize Hand Under Hand guidance as a strategy.

Pause Strategy

In this video, Dr Robin Greenfield, former ICYDB director, shares that “The Pause is an instructional strategy inserted into an ongoing activity or interaction. It is designed to encourage a learner's response to continue an activity. Using a pause strategy is a way to build the skills of a learner to become a more intentional communicator in that the learner begins to understand the need to direct their behavior towards another person to have the activity continue.”

This video demonstrates how to use a “Pause” strategy while providing instruction to encourage expressive communication.