It has been a while since the last time we sent out news about the Cross-Cultural Project on Deafblindness, so here is a short update on some of activities that has been happening on the ERASMUS+-project this year.

Deafblindness among us – our first theme day

In June, we hosted our first theme day titled “Deafblindness among us”. It was held in the facilities of DLAN in Ljubljana as a hybrid event with people joining online from several different parts of Europe from Sweden in the north to Greece in the south. The theme day was a success – we had two introductory sessions that focused on how we perceive deafblindness in two distinct regions in Europe, and then we had the opportunity to learn more about some of the approaches that we use at our two organisations. Though we have different histories of working with deafblind issues, we are both motivated by a common goal – to understand and provide better support for people with deafblindness. Bridging our two perspectives on deafblindness made us aware that the approaches are not so different from one another.

Nordic Conference on Deafblindness

In late September, we attended the Nordic Conference on Deafblindness. This was an opportunity for the Slovenian organization DLAN to learn about Nordic perspectives on deafblindness and get in touch with other people working within the field of deafblindness. Our poster presentation showcasing the focus areas of this project (see picture below) was well-attended, and we had several good talks with other European professionals.

At the conference we also released our first English booklet on deafblindness “Introduction to deafblindness” (see picture below). The booklet received a good reception from the professionals at the conference who could get a copy of the booklet at no charge. More booklets will be released in 2023, including “Growing up with Usher syndrome” and “Tactile communication” as well as the Slovenian booklets which are currently being translated. Having materials in English and Slovenian pave the way for more people to understand deafblind issues, and we are eager to see what impact these booklets might have.

Next theme day: Human rights and the identification of deafblindness

This theme day will focus on the status of human rights in the field of deafblindness and how to implement these rights in countries like Denmark and Slovenia. In 2021, Slovenia became the first country in the world to include what they refer to as the language of the deafblind in the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia. This recognition is a milestone and it is fundamental for ensuring basic human rights for people with deafblindness. But how can we de facto implement these changes in society?

In the Nordic countries we have been developing a new material to identify people with deafblindness – a new Nordic Identification material. The new material will qualify the identification process and ensure the right kind of support for the individual person with deafblindness. Still, much is needed in the field of deafblindness to implement real change both in Central Europe and in the Nordic countries. This theme day will revolve around these topics and hopefully, we can learn a lot more together.

More information about the theme day will be shared in the months to come, but please make sure to save the date on Wednesday May 24th. The theme day will be hosted at University College of Northern Denmark in Aalborg in hybrid format both open for physical and virtual attendance. We look forward to organise the content and welcome you to an inspirational day!

We are excited for the next steps and look forward to bringing you more news about the Cross-Cultural Project on Deafblindness.

Best regards,

Steering group for the Cross-Cultural Project on Deafblindness