PAHVL: Project Summary
Persons Aging with Hearing and Vision Loss: Project Summary
The National Research and Training Center (NRTC) on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University (MSU), in collaboration with San Diego State University (SDSU), and the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) in Sands Point, NY, established a consortium Disability & Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on Persons Aging with Hearing & Vision Loss funded by a grant from the national Institute of Disability Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR Grant # H133A020701). The collaborative effort has focused on the exploration of strategies to improve outcomes for persons who are blind or visually impaired or who are Deaf or hard of hearing and who are now experiencing a secondary onset of hearing loss or vision impairment as a result of the aging process. The DRRP has conducted a variety of research and training activities, and now is working on the dissemination phase of the project. This web site contains a variety of information related to the 3 research priorities of the Project and the Training that has evolved from those activities as well as resources for consumers, their families and service providers.
The research component of the study has focused on gathering information from several sources: small focus groups and a nationally representative study sample of consumers over the age of 55 with both hearing and vision loss, service providers and vendors of assistive technology used by persons with sensory loss.
The exploratory research has concentrated on 4 major priorities that investigated how persons with vision and hearing loss, especially those who lost one sense before age 55, and one after age 55, cope with the challenges of maintaining their independence and continuing involvement in their communities. Specific areas to be addressed include employment, use of assistive technology and communications systems, transportation, housing, specialized services, and psycho-social adjustment to sensory loss.
The 4 research priorities mandates funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), were stated as follows:
Dissemination and Training:
The training and dissemination phases of the project continue to be implemented. The first phase included 2 national conferences in 2006 and 2007, and on-line resources through this website in addition to numerous journal articles and presentations.
Guidance and oversight of the Project was provided by a Participatory Action Research (PAR) Team comprised of older persons with hearing and vision loss who represent major consumer organizations of persons who are blind, deaf or Deafblind.
Results from the Project Newsletters:
PAVHL Newsletter I: Getting Started and Recruitment
PAVHL Newsletter 2: Demographics, Levels of Hearing and Vision Loss
PAVHL Newsletter 3: Communication, Assistive Technology and Employment
PAVHL Newsletter 4: Housing, Transportation, Rehabilitation Services
PAVHL Newsletter 5: Psycho-Social Aspects of Adjustment to Dual Sensory Loss