In 2014, the Anne Sullivan Centre, in association with Deafblind Ireland, published the first large-scale research into deafblindness in Ireland. The research revealed the following key findings:
- At least one third of the deafblind population are over the age of 65, representing the largest diagnostic group within the deafblind population
- Age-Related deafblindness, Usher Syndrome, CHARGE Syndrome and Congenital Rubella Syndrome are the leading causes of deafblindness in Ireland.
- Almost 20% of the deafblind population have a diagnosis of Usher Syndrome. Of these, less than one quarter are engaged with a service provider.
- 90% of children who are deafblind and young adults have one or more additional disabilities.
- Almost two-thirds of people who are deafblind live with family. Fewer than 15% live alone and almost 20% live in a residential care facility.
- 55% of people who are deafblind are not in receipt of any services.
During 2018 the ASC has been utilising a grant received from the Teaching Council of Ireland under the “John Coolahan Research Support Framework” to investigate the impact on teachers and special needs assistants by their participation on a short skills based training course on deafblindness. The research project and a presentation based on it’s findings are available to download below: