Living with deafblindness during COVID-19: An international webinar to facilitate global knowledge translation

Walter Wittich*, Jude Nicholas, Saskia Damen

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

3 Citaten (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Arguably, individuals living with deafblindness are among the hardest hit by the effects of the corona virus disease of 2019 (COVID- 19), given the importance of the sense of touch for their ability to interact with the world. To address this challenge, it is imperative to facilitate the implementation of evidence- and experience-based recommendations, and to improve knowledge translation on a global scale. Deafblind International organized a webinar to provide a platform where participants could exchange experiences and solutions to overcome the challenges created by the arrival of COVID-19, in order to facilitate information exchange among stakeholders in deafblindness during this pandemic. We present an overview of its content here and place the summarized themes in context with existing research literature. Abstract submission was open for 4 weeks in May 2020, resulting in 30 submissions from 13 countries across 5 continents. Of the 26 presenter teams, 9 (35%) had a co-presenter that was living with deafblindness themselves. The number of individual participants across all sessions ranged from 55 to 140 (M = 98), with a total of 3709 session registrations overall, and the organizers estimate a total attendance of around 400 participants. Based on extensive field notes taken during the webinar, and repeated viewing of the recordings, qualitative description allowed the team to synthesize eight principal themes across the event: access to information, communication, service accessibility, adaptations to service delivery, online safety and security, physical distancing, mental health and research. The first Deafblind International webinar was able to fill an important gap by bringing together a variety of stakeholders in deafblindness across the globe. The event created a sense of group membership and peer support, brought the participants, researchers, the professionals as well as their service agencies closer together and generated a sense of hope and collaboration.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)487-499
Aantal pagina's13
TijdschriftBritish Journal of Visual Impairment
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
Vroegere onlinedatum17-jun.-2021
StatusPublished - 1-sep.-2022

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