Sensory Orientations and the Emplacement of DeafBlind Individuals in Educational Ecosystems

ID: 4029
School: TBD
Program: TBD
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2019
End Date: September 2020


In recent years, with development of the ProTactile Movement and insights from DeafBlind leaders, institutions have begun to acknowledge the gaps between sighted and DeafBlind students and the need for improved services, but many are not sure how to do so. This research considers the sensory worlds of DeafBlind children and sensory cultures of these institutions. Interviews with interveners focus on the DeafBlind children’s emplacement in the classroom and their ways of learning, their relationships with other students and staff (specifically their intervener). Through conversation with DeafBlind leaders this research attempts to reimagine educational environments which foster DeafBlind ways of knowing. This ethnographic study began with the research question; “what sensory orientations are present in educational environments for DeafBlind children?”. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, the study incorporates a review of existing literature and six interviews with three DeafBlind leaders in the ProTactile movement and three interveners. Participants were chosen based on personal networks, interest in participating in the study and with the intention to be as inclusive as possible. As this research is ongoing, results of this study are not yet conclusive.

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