Child with Deafblindness and teacher


This initial global report on the situation of persons with deafblindness seeks to start a dialogue between international disability rights and development stakeholders, and is based on research undertaken by the World Federation of the Deafblind (WFDB) combining the largest population-based analysis of persons with deafblindness conducted to date (disaggregation of 22 population-based surveys from low, middle and high-income countries), an academic literature review, two surveys conducted among members and partners of WFDB and Sense International.

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Schoolgirl with deafblindness

People with Deafblindness & Inequality

Echoing the changes triggered by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the adoption of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasised the importance of inclusive development and leaving no one behind.

Read more about Inequality →

People with Deafblindness & Poverty

WHAT DOES THE DATA SAY? The majority of the studies included in the literature review did not provide evidence on the socioeconomic status of people living with deafblindness. In all 11 countries covered by the data analysis, households that included persons with deafblindness were more likely to be in the…

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Mother with daughter with deafblindness
Social worker and woman with deafblindness

      People with Deafblindness & Work

Only three studies included in the literature review, two from the United States and one from Denmark, examined access to work among persons with deafblindness. All found barriers to engaging in employment, although sample sizes were small and not representative of the…

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People with Deafblindness & Education

Children with deafblindness were statistically less likely to be in school than children without disabilities across each of the datasets, with the biggest gaps in enrolment in Mexico (33% gap), Indonesia (62%) and Vietnam (75%).

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Boy with deafblindness with friend at school
Boy with deafblindness in a wheelchair

People  with Deafblindness  &  Health

Between 20% and 75% of persons with deafblindness reported functional difficulties, such as mobility and cognition, and the presence of other functional difficulties remained high across all age groups…

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People with Deafblindness & Social Life

Women with deafblindness were also statistically less likely to be married than women with other disabilities across the five datasets, and less likely to be married than women without disabilities in all datasets.

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Wedding between two people with deafblindness
Woman with deafblindness and a soccer team

People with Deafblindness & Participation in Politics and Public Life

The survey found that, whilst few countries legally restrict the right to vote of persons with deafblindness, few actually provide support to enable political participation.At the 2018 Helen Keller World Conference, WFDB members were keen to share their experiences about political participation and engagement in public life.

Read more about Participation in Politics and Public Life →

Woman and Mother with deafblindness

The Long Read: Being a Woman and a Mother with Deafblindness

The history of women is marked by struggle and challenges, as we fight for equality and for opportunities within society.Women are often excluded and discriminated against simply because of our gender, and we often have to fight to overcome assumptions and guarantee gender equality.

Read more about Camila Indalecio’s Story→

Ongoing Efforts

In our own words

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