I have a friend who I used to work with who is Deafblind (both Deaf AND blind) I run a voluntary service which enables people with a dual sensory loss to access the world of entertainment and popular culture. I started this service in 2003 as I was inspired by the people that I worked with and their thirst for wanting to know and do more. My role is mostly as an interpreter and making sure that he has fully understood what I am telling him by whatever means that may take. He takes Deafblind manual which is a special kind of sign language where every word is spelt out onto his hand at 60 words per minutes but sometimes there are obstacles that take more planning and in order for him to understand. David was born Deaf and went blind at the age of 18 and he is now 43
He remembers very little from when he could see I have known him for almost 10 years so I know him very well but there will always be things that he is unaware of.
David’s main barrier is his lack of access to the world around him. This affects his knowledge of manners, people, behaviour…well everything really.
Having no sight or hearing means that he is only aware of what he already knows and what he is told.
The more I have worked with David the more I have learnt how to deal with various situations, what he wants to know, how best to tell him, which words he understands and which words he doesn’t as he has a very limited vocabulary .
I spent a long time once brailing him out some lyrics to some songs that was going to be sung at a concert which we attended. He could read them quick enough but was not interested. He just wanted to put his hand on the stage and feel the bass and enjoy the music So I no longer braille out lyrics as I have realised that I had assumed that this would have been useful for David but I was wrong. I also do not sign every word to a song as it will be information overload and songs to not relate very well i.e. (for instance  American pie – David would take this as to be a song about pies from America but in fact The song is a recounting of “The Day the Music Died” — the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper )I just tell him the basic song content and meaning – why they are singing and what about.
What is good about the failures is that they only happen oncem, then I learn from them so then next time will be better than the last.
My experience with David at the theatre has taught me what makes a great show where he is concerned, but it has taken me 8 years to get to this level.
We recently saw a show in London which David said was the “best show he had ever seen” which tells me that I am doing something right. The show was a Russian clown show called Slava’s Snow show and was incredibly tactile and interactive which meant that David was able to be involved in the story thanks to touch.
What is bad about it is if I fail to research the play/show properly something may crop up which may take a lot of explaining due to lack of understanding – which can be a problem as I lose the pace of things and miss what is currently happening.
So it is up to me to find out as much as I can beforehand then work on these things before the event so no extra explanation will be necessary during the day.
I visited Disneyland Paris with David and he had no knowledge of Disney at all – so my main concern that he would meet a 5 foot mouse, so I started by telling him about the fact that they was costumes and not real animals and as silly as this may sound to you and me it was something that he did not know. This will not be so with every Deafblind person as It will depend on when and how they lost their sight and hearing, and how much they can remember so each individual will work in a different way.
I found this quote which I thought was inspiring
To me it tells a story of confidence and assures me that I can complete whatever task I am given in my own personal way.
I am including it as I know that I work very differently from most people as I use a lot of alternative methods, because that is me and this quote reassures me to get acquainted with myself as I really am
Norman Vincent Peale (American Protestant Clergyman and Writer, 18981993)
One of the greatest moments in anybody’s developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is.
I found a schools project using a reflective journal – this helped me
And was written in a way that I could understand,  
The language was simple and straight forward
Slava’s Snow Show website