All posts by Geof Collis

How Do Deaf-Blind People Communicate?

American Association of the Deaf-Blind

Deaf-blind people have many different ways of communication.
The methods they use vary, depending on the causes of their combined vision and hearing loss, their backgrounds, and their education.

Below are some of the most common ways that deaf-blind people communicate. These methods described are used primarily in the United States.

Sign Language and Modifications

Signed Languages:

Stargardt Disease

Stargardt disease is the most common form of inherited juvenile macular degeneration. The progressive vision loss associated with Stargardt disease is caused by the death of photoreceptor cells in the central portion of the retina called the macula.

The retina is the delicate light-sensing tissue lining the back inside wall of the eye. Photoreceptor cells in the retina provide vision by conveying information from the visual field to the brain. The macula is responsible for sharp central vision for tasks like reading, watching television, and looking at faces.

Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a deterioration or breakdown of the eye’s macula. The macula is a small area in the retina the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. The macula is the part of the retina that is responsible for your central vision, allowing you to see fine details clearly.


Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight without warning. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no symptoms. Experts estimate that half of the people affected by glaucoma may not know they have it.

Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve acts like an electric cable with over a million wires. It is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain.

Smell the Coffee Blind Businessman Knows When the Roast is Just Right

By Alicia Wallace, Camera Business Writer September 7, 2003

Gerry Leary slowly flipped the switch on the coffee roaster, and the small machine started to hum.

Leary, founder of The Unseen Bean, a Boulder-based coffee roasting company, slid his hands along the counter to a bag of beans from Malawi and Zambia. Unroasted, the beans smelled sharp and bitter.

That smell changed dramatically after the green beans were poured into the 375-degree barrel of the roaster.

ACC Installs Wind Chimes to Help Students With Vision Disabilities Navigate Campus

May 26, 2016

The wind chimes now hanging around Alvin Community College (ACC) are there for more than just decoration and ringing pleasant sounds on campus. The college installed the chimes to assist students with vision disabilities at the college.

wind chimesWind chimes were installed at certain locations on campus to help students find where they need to be.

Still I Rise

A poem by a Washington State School for the Blind student
written by Elora Handcock.

Still I Rise

Can you see colors?
Can you see the words on a page?

These are the questions I hear every day

I want to answer, but I can’t find the words

Still I Rise

I know I don’t have to be the same as everyone else
But I still feel as if I have to hide
Have to lie

Accessible Media Inc(AMI)

AMI-audio offers a wide range of compelling stories and engaging original content for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. Daily, a team of professional narrators present feature articles from top Canadian and international magazines and hourly information updates. AMI-audio also produces a variety of original programs covering historical and current events, technology, entertainment and more.


National Federation of the Blind(NFB)

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.


Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians(AEBC)

Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is a national grassroots, peer support organization that comprises Canadians who are blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted and our supporters from the public at large. We work to ensure we have a voice on all matters affecting our participation in Canada’s mainstream society.