Sound Travels: Evaluation, Collaboration, and Development Tools for Individuals who are DeafBlind

A collection of documents on special considerations for Orientation and Mobility (O&M) for students who are deafblind.

By Chris Tabb

Sound Travels: Evaluation, Collaboration, and Development Tools for Individuals who are DeafBlind is a collection of documents designed to aid in evaluating the unique environmental needs of travelers who are deafblind. There are tools to collaborate with other team members such as the Audiologist, resources for understanding the roles of service providers, activities for developing auditory skills, and more.  

The collection includes the following sections:

Environmental Sound Considerations for the Audiologist and the Orientation and Mobility Specialist

“Students with deafblindness need extensive training from infancy to transition age to learn to detect, discriminate, and identity environmental sounds.”  This section examines:

  • Discrimination
  • Identification
  • Localization
  • Auditory Landmark, Cues, and Clues
  • Echolocation

Audiology and Orientation and Mobility Collaboration Tool

A series of items as a guideline for the collaborative efforts of the Audiologist, Teacher of Deaf and the Hard of Hearing, and the Orientation and Mobility Specialist, including:

  • Landmarking, Cues, and Clues
  • Echolocation
  • Traffic Considerations for Safety in the Community
  • Other Skills

Developing Auditory Skills

Activities using residual hearing include:

  • Distinguishing Sound Sources
  • Recognizing Sound Shadows
  • Recognizing Sound Masking
  • Localizing Sounds

Delineation of Roles Related to Safe and Independent Travel for the Student with Deafblindness

Students with deafblindness often have a core team to address their complex needs.  These include:

  • Audiologist
  • Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS)
  • Intervener
  • Families
  • Teacher of Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (TDHH)
  • Teacher of Students with Deafblindness (TDB)
  • Teacher of Students with Visually Impairments (TVI)

Tip Sheet for AI (Auditorally Impaired) Teacher

This tip sheet is designed to help the TDHH (Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) determine the extent to which a student’s vision and hearing loss impacts his/her ability to move and travel with purpose and safety in the environment of home, school and community. It includes considerations such as:

  • Access to Information
  • Assessments
  • Teaming
  • Communication
  • Etiology
  • Behavior
  • Social Issues
  • Orientation and Mobility (O & M)
  • Transition Planning

Working with Audiologists

Sample statement from an audiologist regarding O&M

Access the full collection of documents.

Collage of Sound Travels