“Hi, my name is Sylvana. I Live in Niagara Falls. I am in my 60s and still consider myself to be very active. I live alone in my house. I love that I have been able to do this for many years. I cook, play piano, and I am expanding my gardening skills.
Being practically deaf/blind is very difficult because when people see that you have capabilities, they think that you should be able to manage everything in your life well. Unfortunately, that is not the truth. I don’t see details. And I don’t hear very well. There are missing letters in the words. This leads to misunderstanding in conversation. There is so much that I miss out on because I don’t get the whole picture. Whether it’s in a store not being able to see where things are, or not being able to hear what a store worker is saying to me, because of dropped letters in words. Even with my hearing aids.
I would like to let everyone know that just because someone can still see and hear some, doesn’t mean that they are able to be totally independent. I can’t drive. I can’t scan a store to find things. And I am not able to have a conversation without missing sounds or letters. So, I’m grateful for Deafblind Community Services because they are my bridge to life. They fill in the missing pieces. They help me by letting me know where things are in stores. They will help me cross a street or navigate, whether in a store, street, or house. The peace that this brings me is incredible. I don’t need to be hyper-vigilant or afraid about crossing a street when I am with them.
Receiving services from Deafblind Community Services benefits everyone that I come in contact with. As now I am more confident, less stressed, and the biggest thing is, I am so much more independent. I really love being able to do things that I never thought that I would ever be able to do but so desired to do, like going to the beach to go swimming, to bake things that I never imagined that I could.
I really enjoy getting to spread my wings to try new things at my age (who knew!). Without these services I would live very isolated, lonely, depressed, discouraged, and helpless. I know this because I have lived this way for most of my life until I started receiving support from Deafblind Community Services. People who are, or become, Deafblind never asked for this life. So, I would like to believe that we would have the opportunity to live life to the fullest. By having Deafblind Community Services, I CAN.”
“I have so many accomplishments. It is hard to say them all. One of my biggest accomplishments is being married for 73 years. I also have so many grandchildren. I am 98 years old!
Having intervention is important to me because I really enjoy my time with the Intervenors. I don’t know what I would do without them. They are also a great help. They help me by taking me out to go shopping and banking as well as medical appointments. They also take me for drives to get out. I enjoy my time so much.”
“I am so grateful for the time with my intervenor as it allows me to get out into the community.
During the pandemic lockdown, I have had the opportunity to get to know other Intervenors as they have been calling me from London when I cannot get out.
Intervention has made using the city bus and cabs more accessible to me, opening up my world. I value knowing they are there to support me and making sure I am safe.
I believe every province should offer Intervention services to their local Deafblind communities especially in Windsor so all clients can experience meeting their goals safely.”
“I was born with rubella, and I am congenitally Deafblind. Which means I have been Deafblind since birth.
I am proud to be Deafblind, because of CNIB-DBCS, they really helped me identify myself as a Deafblind person. My involvement has allowed me to continue my learning through the Literacy classes with DBCS. I have intervenors helping me in the community, we attend doctor and dentist appointments. I go grocery shopping and attend events with my intervenors. I love going for walks with my Intervenors, I get fresh air and have a chat.
In Ontario we have Intervention Services throughout the province. This is very important so the Deafblind can continue their independence.
I believe an important lesson for others to learn about Deafblindness is how to approach the Deafblind in an appropriate manner. This can be done with a gentle touch on the shoulder or the top of a hand. I want the public to know we don’t bite; you can approach us.
If CNIB-DBCS did not exist I would not be as independent as I am today.”
“Having [intervention] is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I honestly don’t know where I would be today without [it]. The amount of help for medical and just my every day-to-day stuff and information I now have access to is just amazing.
I don’t look at this as a service. I look at it as I have someone that comes in and makes my life better, [my intervenor] helps me do the things I love that I can no longer do on my own. Without DBCS, I wouldn’t enjoy my life again as much as I do now, she brightens my days.
There are lots of people like me and worse off than me and I can’t imagine the struggle they must go through without having these services. Anyone who is dealing with Deafblindness deserves to have access to services like this. This has changed my life. I am forever grateful to have them.”
“[Intervenor] services have meant [I have] connection to my friends, the world at large, fun activities like bingo/movies, things that would be impossible without the services. Especially because I live in long term care and am confined to my room and this helps me stay connected. Without the services I would be very lonely and sometimes at a disadvantage with the staff as they sometimes have problems understanding.”
“I wish people could understand the struggles of being Deafblind, it’s not easy. Life is hard, scary, not knowing if things will get worse. With Covid, life for me is even harder. I lip read a lot and when everyone is wearing a mask, I am just lost, I don’t know what is going on anymore.
DBCS helps me with everything, they are like my family. I couldn’t live without them. I have three kids that don’t understand my needs and they don’t help or see me. DBCS, they understand me, my needs, they help me do everything I can’t do on my own.
I can’t live without them. They are like family to me. I look forward to the girls coming, we have a good relationship, they know me, and I know and trust them with everything. They know everything that is personal to me, so you have to have a good relationship with them. They saved my life.”
“These services mean a lot to me. They help me in my daily life and support me when I need it. They help me book appointments, take me to appointments, help me food shop, help me with my bills. They help me connect with my brother which means a lot to me. If I didn’t have them, I would have no way of connecting with him. They make sure I get important information that I wouldn’t be able to access on my own, they also help me feel less isolated.
[I think that they] should provide these services [everywhere] so that we are free to be anywhere and not be isolated and have access to the help and support we need. I have no family here so without the services I would be stuck. I would like to move closer to family and thankfully they live in Toronto where I can still get services but if they didn’t, I would not be able to move.”