Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Einrichtungen und Dienste für taubblinde Menschen in Deutschland (AGTB)
Members of the German Deafblind Consortium (AGTB) are institutions and competence centers for people in Germany with deaf-blindness or multi-sensory impairment. These institutions offer inpatient, partly inpatient and outpatient services to affected people of all ages, their families and caregivers.
The purpose of the AGTB is the collaboration on a subject-specific, organizational and political level. AGTBs institutions command over the newest scientific insights and have more than 100 years of experience of working with deaf-blind people in Germany. This has led to various publications and continuing education offerings within the field of sensory impairment.
The German Deafblind Consortium is a member of Deafblind International (DBI) as well as a member of the German Joint Expert Committee on Deaf-Blindness and Multi-Sensory Impairment (GFTB). We have a close network with related institutions, associations and federations throughout Germany, e.g. The German Association for Education of the Blind and Visually Impaired (VBS) and Leben mit Usher e.V. (Living with Usher syndrome).
What is deaf-blindness and multi-sensory impairment?
Deaf-blindness and multi-sensory impairment are disabilities of their own kind and not just a combination of blindness and deafness. Since the respective compensatory sense fails or is impaired, deaf-blindness- and multi-sensory impairment is different from the situation of a multi-handicapped hearing-impaired person. In many cases, even relatively minor disabilities of the two far senses, vision and hearing, result in severe impairments of overall development. What is critical to the definition is the deafblind-specific need for support and thus the functional disability. Deaf-blindness and multisensory-impairment sometimes presents with other physical and mental impairments. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the potentiation due to existing other disabilities and accompanying behaviors that may have an impact on functional hearing. If the time of disability onset was before or after language acquisition also has great importance for the development of those with deaf-blindness or multi-sensory impairment.
Videostatement Johannes Spielmann, CEO, AGTB