Deafblind Youth – a definition

Deafblind: the network is open to youth who are deafblind, multi-sensory impaired or have either sight or hearing loss alongside further disabilities.

Youth: is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood’s independence and awareness of our interdependence as members of a community. Youth is a more fluid category than a fixed age-group.

However, age is the easiest way to define this group, particularly in relation to education and employment.

The United Nations (UN), for statistical consistency across regions, defines ‘youth’, as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by Member States. All UN statistics on youth are based on this definition.

For activities at the national level, for example when implementing a local community youth programme, “youth” may be understood in a more flexible manner.

DbIYN has adopted the UN definition and use of ‘youth’.

The Aims of the Deafblind International Youth Network:

  • To provide a forum for deafblind youth to demonstrate their achievements and what they contribute to their communities.
  • To empower deafblind youth to be involved in the decisions that affect their lives and future.
  • To influence Government policy makers on issues that impact on the lives of young deafblind people.
  • To involve deafblind youth in consultancy on targeted key issues such as employment, transport, health and housing.
  • To provide opportunities for young deafblind people to experience different cultures in new and exciting environments.
  • To provide opportunities for peer group friendships within the international community of deafblind young people.
  • To celebrate the achievements and contribution of deafblind youth.
  • Raise the awareness and profile of DbI and its associated networks.


Outcomes that the DbIYN will strive to achieve:

  • The value and participation of deafblind youth will be fully recognised in the international deafblind community.
  • To nurture deafblind youth in expressing their views, opinions and aspirations.
  • Deafblind youth have a sense of ownership and belonging to DbI.
  • The breaking down of barriers that isolate deafblind youth, in particular those in rural communities.
  • The network will be consistent with the overall aims and strategic plan of DbI.