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Deaf-Blind Reality: Living the Life

by Scott M. Stoffel

Most stories about disabled people are written for the sake of being inspirational. These stories tend to focus on some achievement, such as in sports or academics, but rarely do they give a true and complete view of the challenges individuals must deal with on a daily basis. For example: How does a deaf-blind person interact with hearing-sighted people at a family reunion? How does she shop for groceries? What goes through his mind when he enters a classroom full of hearing/seeing peers? These aren't questions you are likely to find answers to while reading that incredible tale of success. They are, however, issues that a deaf-blind person wishes others understood. Deaf-Blind Reality: Living the Life explores what life is really like for persons with a combination of vision and hearing loss, and in a few cases, other disabilities as well. Editor Scott M. Stoffel presents extensive interviews with 12 deaf-blind individuals, including himself, who live around the world, from Missouri to New Zealand, Louisiana to South Africa, and Ohio to England. These contributors each describe their families' reactions and the support they received; their experiences in school and entering adulthood; and how they coped with degeneration, ineffective treatments, and rehabilitation. They also discuss their personal education related to careers, relationships, and communication, including those with cochlear implants. Deaf-Blind Reality offers genuine understanding of the unspectacular but ongoing challenges of daily life for deaf-blind people.

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