Developing our understanding of an impairment much misunderstood: Researching the experiences of deafblind people

Simcock, Peter (2022) Developing our understanding of an impairment much misunderstood: Researching the experiences of deafblind people. In: The Advancement of Social Work. Studies in Social Work to Mark the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Social Workers' Educational Trust. 1972-2022. British Association of Social Work, Birmingham, pp. 7-18. ISBN 9781861780911

BASW SWET Chapter Pete Simcock March 2022 Final updated (2).pdf - Accepted Version

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Deafblindness, sometimes termed dual sensory loss, is a complex impairment, and deafblind people have been described as some of the most vulnerable in society. Yet, the condition is also a much misunderstood impairment, and despite both its known psychosocial impact and the substantial diversity of the deafblind population, work with deafblind people has been largely marginalised by the social work profession. In this chapter, I describe the provenance of my long-standing practice and research interest in deafblindness, before exploring some of the challenges that can result in the exclusion of deafblind people from social work research. I then outline the ways in which funding from the BASW Social Workers’ Educational Trust helped me to respond to these challenges during my doctoral studies (2012-2020) involving older deafblind people. Recognising that research on vulnerability has principally concentrated on policy analysis and theoretical debate, my study explored the lived experience of the phenomenon amongst adults ageing with deafblindness. The chapter presents the core findings of the study, paying particular attention to the ways in which misunderstanding contributes to deafblind older people’s felt vulnerability, and then highlights the implications of these findings for social work practice in the field. The chapter concludes with some suggested further reading and helpful resources.

Item Type: Book Section
6 December 2022Published
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-03 - social policy
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Education and Social Work
Depositing User: Peter Simcock
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2022 11:57
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2022 11:57

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