Cliff Whitehead

Cliff Whitehead Pic.JPGHow long have you been a client of Deafblind Services? 

"Almost 4 years."

How has being Deafblind impacted your life?

"Being Deafblind has impacted my life by not allowing me to be part of social situations. I am no longer able to be in crowds, be with my family at special occasions because when everyone gets together I am not able to make out what anyone is saying so I end up just sitting there alone. I feel isolated, I can no longer drive, read the newspaper, mail, see and hear the TV properly, and having conversations on the phone is now a challenge."

How has intervention impacted your life?

"Having intervention has allowed me to do some of the things I am no longer able to do on my own. It also allows me to have someone that understands what I need which helps me feel not so alone. If I did not have intervention some things just would not be possible."

What would you like to tell other people about Deafblindness or intervention?

"I want people to know that being Deafblind is not nice, it’s not easy, at times feels like you are the only one but at the end of the day the world still goes round, it just goes round in a different way for me now."

Why is Deafblind awareness important to you?

"It is important for people to understand what it’s like for a person who is Deafblind because it’s a disability that is not always easy to recognize. You might see me out on the street and I may look like I can see or hear but in reality, I don’t always hear you come up to me, hear or see your car pull up to the stop sign. Or see when you are handing me something. I believe if people had a better understanding then maybe they would be more patient or helpful. One thing that is important for people to understand is that when approaching someone who has a hearing and vision impairment always say who you are. A lot of the time people will come up to me and start talking and I have no idea who they are because I can’t make out the voice well enough or see their face enough to know who it is. If there is just one thing people took away from this, it would be not to assume we hear and see you."

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