How Steven lives with deafblindness
Posted on October 25, 2013
2 min read
Steven Hellier suffers from Usher Syndrome, a major cause of deafblindness which is a combination of deafness from birth and late onset retinita pigmentosa, a deteriorating eye condition, more generally known as tunnel vision.
People with Usher Syndrome Type 1, grow up within the deaf community and use Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as their main form of communication which they modify as their vision worsens, by firstly reducing their signing space and then by using tactile Auslan, where they read the signs with their hands. Many people with Usher Syndrome are fortunate to retain a small amount of vision into their fifties and they use this vision very effectively to enable them to continue to live full and independent lives.
Steven’s deafness causes serious balance issues so he uses a walking frame to provide stability. He lives in his own home in Adelaide and has a large network of friends that he stays in contact with via email and Facebook. He travels to America each year to attend a deafblind camp in Seattle and he travels to Melbourne regularly to participate in recreational events for the deafblind community. When in Melbourne he always attends digital literacy training at Ablelink, a training centre and digital literacy program supported by Telstra and Able Australia. (more…)
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