DeafBlind Services

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Serving those with both vision and hearing loss

Since 1900, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind (CLB) has been dedicated to helping the visually impaired, blind, and DeafBlind population of Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia overcome the challenges of vision loss. CLB’s work enables people of all ages who visually impaired, blind, or DeafBlind to remain independent, active, and productive in society.

Orientation & Mobility (O&M) Training

O&M is designed to promote safe, effective, and independent travel in a variety of settings including the home environment, local community, and the world at large. The training could include cane training, learning to cross streets, learning how to solicit assistance from the general public, learning to navigate the public transportation system, and developing specific routes to locations of interest. This training is specifically designed for clients who are DeafBlind and is provided using direct communication.

Independent Living Skills (ILS) / Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)

ILS or VRT training provides individuals with skills and techniques to assist them in activities of daily living. These activities include personal care/hygiene, home management, labeling and organization, medication management, financial management, cooking, cleaning, shopping skills, and Braille. This training is specifically designed for clients who are DeafBlind and is provided using direct communication.

Support Service Provider (SSP) Program

Signing to a man with low visionThe SSP Program is a service program that pairs DeafBlind individuals with trained human guides called Providers. This program is aimed to, at a minimum, allow individuals who are DeafBlind to maintain their independence in their community and continue to make informed decisions independently. The program also provides the security of self-determined community access, the freedom of increased mobility, and connections with social and cultural experiences.

Assistive Technology (AT) Training

AT Training is being done through iCanConnect, the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP). CLB is the official NDBEDP distributor for the District of Columbia and
an exclusive NDBEDP partner with Perkins School for the Blind for Maryland. The goal of this program is to ensure that every person with combined hearing and vision loss has access to modern telecommunication tools and the training necessary to use them, granting every individual the opportunity to interact with the world as an involved, contributing member of society. This program provides outreach, assessments, telecommunications technology and training free of charge to those who meet federal eligibility guidelines.

Internships and Mentorships

Internships and Mentorships are available to individuals who are DeafBlind or interpreting students. CLB provides opportunities for individuals who are DeafBlind to work in a supported environment where they learn organizational skills and have an opportunity to coordinate programs and events. Of course, these programs are tailored to fit the needs of the program participants.


CLB provides comprehensive individualized educational services which allows DeafBlind students to have full access to the classroom experience. These services include assessments, direct service, and consultation. We work in collaboration with the school districts, teachers, and other professionals
to provide Learning Media, Orientation & Mobility, Functional Vision, and other assessments. We provide assistance in the classroom utilizing the skills of our Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialists. We provide skilled Interveners to work one-on-one with a DeafBlind students. Interveners help the student gather information, learn concepts and skills, develop communication and language, and establish relationships that lead to greater independence in the educational setting.

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