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DeafBlind people are rarely totally deaf and totally blind. Each individual's degree of hearing and vision loss is unique.

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Senior Citizen Resource Guide


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General / Comprehensive Resources

  • See also our FAQ Page for general information about deafblindness.
  • Sense
    11-13 Clifton Terrace
    Finsbury Park
    London N4 3SR
    The world's largest deafblind-focused organization. Although much of its information is focused on people living in the United Kingdom, Sense is an international organization with lots of information about vision/hearing loss in older people.
    • Sensory Impairment in Later Life
      Description: Information on a variety of topics for older people experiencing vision and hearing losses.
    • Hearing and Sight Loss in Older People Factsheet
    • Further Information - Later Life
      Description: a collection of factsheets and articles about older people with dual sensory loss.
    • Sense Publications List
      Description: A list of factsheets and articles related to DeafBlindness.
  • Elderly Deafblindness I
    Description: Proceedings from 3rd European Conference of Deafblind International’s Acquired Deafblindness Network, Marcelli di Numana, 2 - 7 October 1998.
  • Elderly Deafblindness II
    Description: Proceedings from Expert meeting on older people with vision and hearing loss, Copenhagen, Denmark 18 - 24 March 1998.
  • Sound and Sight - Understanding Age-related changes in Hearing and Vision
    Description: Sections include "Sound Familiar?, Hearing Changes in Older Adults, Vision Changes in Older Adults, When Hearing and Vision Loss Occur Together, Routine Hearing and Vision Care Can Make a Difference, Hearing and Vision Impairment Resources."
  • Information Center for Acquired Deafblindness
    Generatorvej 2 A
    DK-2730 Herlev
    +45 44 85 60 30 Voice
    +45 44 85 60 99 Fax
    +45 20 12 71 74 GSM phone
    Description: Videos, booklets, and presentations available online and/or by mail.
    • More than half of the Visually Impaired Seniors also have a Hearing Impairment
    • Facts on Acquired Deafblindness
  • Aging and Adult Services
    Description: "administers state and federal programs that provide protective services, supportive assistance, and alternative housing arrangements for older persons and vulnerable adults."
  • Senior LinkAge Line®
    1-800-333-2433 (Voice)
    Description: "Are you looking for services for seniors such as assisted living or home-delivered meals? Or, are you a caregiver looking for resources? Help is just a phone call away."
  • Minnesota Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division - Services and Resources for Consumers
    Description: "Whether you are culturally deaf, orall deaf, late deafened, hard of hearing, deafblind, or a friend, coworker, or family member of a person with hearing loss, you’ve come to the right place. Here you can find information about services designed to meet your needs. Learn about assistive technology, sign language interpreters, your legal rights, and more."
  • Children's Books About Disabilities
    Description: Grouped by age group/grade level, these books help siblings and classmates understand what it is like to live with a disability. Grandchildren and other young loved ones may benefit from these stories.

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Diagnosis / Identification of Dual Sensory Impairment

  • See also What are the Causes of DeafBlindness? on our FAQ page.
  • Sight & Hearing Association
    Description: "nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing the needless loss of vision and hearing through effective screening, education, and research. This site provides public information about vision and hearing topics as well as information regarding our products and services."
  • Aging and Hearing Loss
    Description: "How do know if I have a hearing loss?, Communication, What should I do?, Consequences, Causes, Technology, Hearing Aids, Myths."
  • Hearing Loss Simulator
    Description: Provides a way to get a general idea of what the world may sound like to a person with hearing loss, based on his or her audiogram pattern. Please note auditory perception varies across individuals; two people with the same audiogram on paper may experience sound differently.
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing Terms and Definitions
    Description: "some terms and their definitions that you may come across as you learn about deaf and hard of hearing issues."
  • Coping with Aging Series from Singular Publishing Group:
    • Coping with Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids
      "Recognizing When You Have a Hearing Loss, Hearing Health Care Professionals, The Hearing Evaluation, The Ear and Hearing Loss, The Effect of Presbycusis and Other Factors and Communication, Ways to Improve Communication, Common Hearing Aid Myths, Being a Good Consumer: What You Should Know Before Buying Hearing Aids, Understanding Hearing Aids, Understanding Hearing Aid Batteries, Obtaining and Maintaining Your Hearing Aids, Adjusting to Your Hearing Aids, Hearing Aid Repairs, Sources for Additional Information"
    • Coping with Low Vision
      Description: "What is Low Vision?, The Eye and the Visual System, Diseases of the Eye, Myths about the Eyes, Care of the Eyes, Eye Care Providers, Your Eye Exam, Your Feelings about Losing Vision, Hallucinations, Vision Rehabilitation Services, Optical Aids, Eccentric Viewing, Rehabilitation Teaching, Orientation and Mobility, Community Resources to Cope with Vision Loss, Common Questions and Concerns of People with Low Vision, Sources of Additional Information."

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Communication and Technology

  • See also Telephone Equipment Distribution (TED) Program of Minnesota's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division.
  • Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA)
    1131 Lake St., #204
    Oak Park, IL 60301
    ( 708) 358-0135 TTY
    Toll-free: 1-877-907-1738 Voice/FAX
    Email Region II (including Minnesota) Regional Director: Kathy Schlueter:
    Description: "ALDA works collaboratively with other organizations around the world serving the needs of late-deafened people and extends a welcome to everyone, late deafened or not, who supports our goals. What does "late-deafened" mean? Late-deafened usually means deafness that happened post-lingually, any time after the development of speech and language...Your regional director [can] send you an application and soon you can receive the ALDA Newsletter, attend annual ALDAcons and be a part of this wonderful group that calls everyone a friend."
  • Assistive Listening Devices
    Description: Covers the basics: What is an assistive listening system?, What does it do?, Who uses it?, Four basic systems, Types of headsets, Types of receivers, How do assistive listening systems work?, Directory of manufacturers and vendors.
  • Minnesota Interpreter Referral Web Site
    Description: "information about sign language interpreters, how to use them and how to find them… created to help ensure that all Minnesotans are able to locate needed sign language interpreter services"
  • 101 Ways to Use Braille
    Description: Easy, low-tech ways to use braille in your daily life, even if you only know the basic braille alphabet.
  • Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
    National Headquarters
    20 Roszel Road
    Princeton, NJ 08540
    Toll-free: 1-866-RFBD-585 (1-866-732-3585)
    Description: "Anyone with a documented disability—including a visual impairment, learning disability or other physical disability which makes reading standard print difficult or impossible—is eligible to use RFB&D's taped textbooks but in order to access our library, you need to become a member."
  • Tips for Effective Communication with a Disabled Person
    Description: Clear advice about how to interact with a person who has a visual, hearing, mobility, or cognitive disability.

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Disability Rights

  • See also Disability Rights Laws on our Supports Page.
  • IDEA/ADA in Plain Language
    Description: Annotated links to resources that explain legal rights, especially in educational settings, for people with disabilities.
  • Guide to Disability Rights Laws
    Description: Includes brief summaries and contacts for further information or to file a claim.

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Support and Advocacy

  • See also:
  • Aging Initiative
    Description:"Through public policy, research, and administration of funds to community services, the Aging Initiative builds networks that help meet senior needs and maintain independence, and it administers programs, such as Elderly Waiver, Long-Term Care Consultation, and Alternative Care, that support seniors in home- and community-based environments."
  • DeafBlindMinn Mailing List (DBM)
    Email to subscribe:
    Description: A mailing list for DeafBlind Minnesotans and others interested in the DeafBlind community. All discussion is welcome, but please keep your message in basic English language.
  • DeafBlind Pen Pals Directory - from Sense
    Description: "If you're feeling isolated or just [want to get] to know someone, our penpals section will help. You can search for people and then contact them electronically for a chat."
  • Deaf Seniors of America
    Description: Mission is "to improve the quality of life for senior citizens who are deaf by: Providing seminars dealing with issues impacting their well-being and safety; Conducting awareness projects or activities among decision makers, providers of services and the general public regarding their unique needs; and Acquainting those senior citizens with national, state, and local resources that will contribute to their positive image and fuller participation in the mainstream society."
  • Minnesota Department of Human Rights
    Description: "a neutral state agency that investigates charges of illegal discrimination." Web site includes Information about your rights in employment, housing, and other settings, a very extensive listing of related resources, and an online version of a CD-ROM on disability rights issues.
  • Minnesota Disability Law Center - Client Assistance Project
    300 Kickernick Building
    430 First Avenue North
    Minneapolis, MN 55401-1780
    (612) 332-1441 Voice
    (612) 332-4668 TTY
    Toll Free: (800) 292-4150 (new client intake number)
    Description: free civil legal assistance to individuals with disabilities. Client Assistance Project advocates and mediates for people who have grievances about services from state agencies.
  • Continuing Care - Minnesota Department of Human Services: People with Disabilities
    Description: "A primary goal of Continuing Care is to promote independent living for people with disabilities by funding or providing a broad range of residential care and social services close to home communities instead of in institutionalized settings." For more information on services in your county, see County Human Services Agencies.
    • Chemical Health Division
    • Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
    • HIV/AIDS Programs
    • Mental Health Division

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  • See also Self-Determination on our FAQ Page, and Consumer Advocacy Groups on our Supports page.
  • Minnesota Area Agencies on Aging
    421 First Avenue SW, Suite 201
    Rochester, MN 55902
    (507) 288-6944 Voice
    (507) 288-4823 Fax
    Toll-free: 1-800-333-2433
    Description: Find your local Area Agency on Aging and get connected with the following free services:
    "Social Support Services such as transportation, health screenings, legal services, adult day care, home health aides, housing assistance, counseling, advocacy, homemaker services, chore services, and senior centers. Nutrition Programs such as home-delivered meals and senior dining. Minnesota's nutrition programs provide more than 5 million meals a year. Minnesota's 497 senior dining sites, located in senior centers, community centers, schools and churches, offer nutritious midday meals along with social and rehabilitative opportunities. Older people unable to attend the senior dining sites may have meals delivered to their homes."
  • Recreation and Leisure Fact Sheet
    Description: "Practical information on how to get people who are deaf-blind with cognitive disabilities involved with recreational activities. The focus is on recreational activities for pre-adolescent children through adult." Includes steps required to develop a recreational plan, examples of recreation activities with different people who are deaf-blind, extensive resource list.
  • Hadley School for the Blind - Correspondence Courses
    700 Elm Street
    Winnetka, IL 60093-2554 USA
    Toll-Free: 1-800-323-4238 Voice
    (847) 446-0855 Fax
    Description: "Hadley has a course for you if you are a blind adult (14+ years of age), a parent or grandparent of a blind child, a family member of an adult who is blind, or a (para)professional in the blindness field. The Hadley School for the Blind offers more than 90 distance education courses to eligible students completely free of charge." Current course listing is on the Hadley web site, and is also available by mail in alternate formats. Designed to focus blind and visually impaired people, but many of the courses can be helpful to DeafBlind people and their friends, families, and professionals.
  • Perkins Outreach Services to Elders
    Community-based Services: "Training and consultation with individuals and their families in areas such as personal care and grooming, cooking, home management, low vision utilization, and communication skills are offered as part of the service.
    Center-based Services: The Outreach Elder Learning Center, located on the Perkins campus, offers an adult education model of training for elders with vision loss. Seniors participate in six- to ten-week courses in areas such as gardening, crafts, yoga, exercise, and cooking techniques or can participate in an ongoing book club.

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Financial Assistance

  • Minnesota's Healthcare Programs
    Description: Description of MA, GAMC and MinnesotaCare: services covered under each plan, eligibility requirements, and how to apply.
    • Medical Assistance (MA) - Minnesota's Medicaid Program
      Description: "a joint federally/state-funded [health care] program which provides necessary medical services for low-income families, children, pregnant women, and people who are elderly (65 or older) or have disabilities." Eligibility requirements, covered services, how to apply. One of Minnesota's three publicly funded health care programs.
      • MA Waivers: Home Care/Home and Community Based Services (HC/HCBS) Waivers
    • General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC)
      Description: "pays for medical care for some 23,300 low-income Minnesotans who don't qualify for Medicaid or other state or federal health care programs."
    • MinnesotaCare
      Description: "a subsidized health care program for people who live in Minnesota and do not have access to health insurance. There are no health condition barriers, but applicants must meet income and program guidelines to qualify."
    • Minnesota Senior Health Options (MSHO)
      Description: "a health care program for seniors, age 65 and over, who are eligible for Medical Assistance (MA) and Medicare. People with only MA can also join. MSHO combines the health care and support services that normally are offered by separate programs into one seamless package to make it simpler for people to get these services."
    • Minnesota Disability Health Options (MnDHO)
      Description: "a program for people with physical disabilities who are eligible for Medical Assistance (MA). People who are eligible for both MA and Medicare may also enroll… Every enrollee is assigned a care coordinator who answers questions, helps with paperwork, and helps arrange services."
  • Economic and Community Supports
    Description: "The Minnesota Department of Human Services supervises a variety of economic assistance programs… Most economic assistance (including welfare) programs are administered at local county agencies."
    • Child Support Enforcement Division
    • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division
    • Food Stamp Program
    • Food Stamp Employment and Training (FSET)
    • General Assistance
    • Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)
    • Minnesota Food Assistance Program (MFAP)
    • Minnesota Supplemental Aid
    • Refugee Assistance Program
    • Self-Employment Investment Development Program (SEID)
    • Telephone Equipment Distribution (TED) Program
    • Telephone Assistance Program (TAP)
  • Home Care/Home and Community Based Services (HC/HCBS) Waivers
  • State Services for the Blind (SSB)
    Minnesota Department of Economic Security
    2200 University Avenue West, Suite 240
    St. Paul, MN 55114
    (651) 642-0500 Voice
    (651) 642-0506 TTY
    Toll-free in Minnesota: 1-800-652-9000 Voice/TTY
    Regional Offices in MN: Bemidji, Brainerd, Duluth, Hibbing, Mankato, Marshall, Moorhead, Rochester, St. Cloud, St. Paul.
    Services for Adults and Children: Equipment, information and referral, library and transcription services, Radio Talking Book Network, self-care assistance for seniors, transition-age services, vocational training and referral.
  • Benefits CheckUp
    Description: "...helps thousands of people every day to find programs for seniors [and people of all ages with disabilities] that may pay for some of their costs of prescription drugs, health care, utilities, and other essential items or services. Please fill out our simple questionnaire to find programs that can assist you or your loved ones.” Also available in Spanish for residents of Colorado.
  • Directory of Funding Resources for Assistive Technology in Minnesota
    Description: "information about Minnesota and national agencies and organizations that fund technology, in a format that lets you compare programs and tells you how to get in touch with people who can help." From Minnesota's STAR Program.
  • Post-Secondary Financial Aid
    Description: advice and resources for people with disabilities seeking funding for college or vocational school.

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