Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

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

A young boy steps down out of a bus while holding his cane

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




Collage of Sound Travels


Peer support and technology

Posted by Leslie Bailiff

Re: Peer support and technology

Posted by Christopher Tabb

Posted on April 2, 2021
Updated on: April 5, 2021

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

Christopher Tabb commented on June 7, 2017

Thank you for your comments on the post Leslie!
First thing I should begin with is that I feel very honored that Liam's photograph was included with the post as I very, very much enjoy being able to learn about his journey in life and his growth of independence along the way. I actually do not work with Liam; I am only a delighted observer enjoying all that he encounters and the fantastic strategies his mom shares on Paths to Literacy.

I agree that peer connections are an amazing resource. At Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) we are just about to begin our Summer Programs and I know that as students arrive, they will be gaining more from just being together in one place than I could ever hope to give in terms of teaching. And as you mentioned the GPS, I am also in full agreement and encouragement here as well! The present state of technology that allows a student to receive information about their surroundings is incredible. It provides a new opportunity for incidental learning. For students who are DeafBlind, they can use a smartphone combined with a refreshable braille display to have access to everything the app relays about streets and landmarks in their community as they drive with their parent or on the school bus. So many wonderful benefits that were not available 10 years ago.

Thank you again Leslie!
: )

Leslie Bailiff commented on June 6, 2017

I would like to add peer support and technology to the list of tools used for Liam, if I were on his incredible team. Starting young with him interacting with peerings to arrive at a destination could really assist when he grows older. Also usings GPS as young as possible since I know he is learning braille would really open his world! Especially when he is traveling with his family out of the school.