Information on Intervenors and Intervention

The terms "Intervenor" and "Intervention" are the industry standard terms in the community of deafblindness. However, there is often confusion because these words are better known for definitions in other professions.

Listed below are descriptions that answer the questions "What is an Intervenor" and "What is Intervention?"

What is an Intervenor?

Intervenors are professionals who provide Intervention to an individual who is deafblind.  The Intervenor mediates between the person who is deafblind and his or her environment to enable him or her to communicate effectively with and receive non-distorted information from the world around them.  In other words, an Intervenor acts as the eyes and ears of the person who is deafblind.

What is Intervention?

The term "Intervention" means to go between or to mediate between.   With regards to persons who are deafblind, Intervention is the process which allows an individual who is deafblind to receive non-distorted information such that he or she can interact with his or her environment.

While the intervention provided to an individual who is congenitally deafblind may look very different from that provided to a person with acquired deafblindness, the principles governing the provision of intervention services are identical. In all cases, the Intervenor must address the following issues:

What information do I need to provide to ensure that the person who is deafblind is aware of what is going to happen, whether immediately or in the future?
What information do I need to provide to give the person who is deafblind encouragement? What are the person's goals? What adaptations to the environment are necessary based on the person's levels of sight and hearing?
How will I communicate with the person who is deafblind? What are his/her preferred methods of communication? How will I ensure that the person has opportunities for expressive communication?
What information do I need to provide to ensure that the person who is deafblind has understood what effect his/her actions have had? How will I let him/her know how successful s/he has been?

Intervention is not just a set of skills that can be easily learned. It is in fact a process that must vary to meet the individual needs and abilities of each person who is deafblind. Successful Intervenors are those who understand their role and who have not only the necessary skills but also the knowledge, training and experience that ensure their effectiveness.

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