Communication is often the greatest challenge a child with deafblindness faces; and, developing an effective communication system is also the most important area for a support team to work on. Communication provides access to the learning environment for the child and therefore, is the key to all learning. Its importance cannot be understated.
There is a process of communication development that most children with deafblindness can be taught over a period of time. A child with deafblindness learns by doing and by being actively involved with "hands-on" experiences. Watching and listening are not reliable learning modalities for a learner with deafblindness.
Once meaning is established with objects through routine and consistency, a skilled intervenor can start attaching more abstract symbols and language to the objects and associated activities. The unfolding nature of this communication process requires that there be someone on the support team who is familiar with the best practices used in field of deafblindness and knows how to assess those changing needs over time.
This is one of the primary roles of the Consultants with the Provincial Outreach Program for Students with Deafblindness.