Skip to content

The Deafblind International Youth Network (DbIYN)

Simon Allison - DbI Youth Network

June 2016

Hello to our friends in the USA, a warm welcome from all at the Deafblind International Youth Network (DbIYN).  Networks recognized as one of the core activities of Deafblind International. In the constitution, one of the stated objects of DbI is to stimulate the development of networks of specialized professionals collaborating to benefit deafblind people and their families.

Network Overview

DbIYN provides an international platform from which young deafblind people can inspire others, share views, develop ideas and influence policy makers. DbIYN recognizes that youth transitioning from childhood to adulthood are at a very important developmental stage of life. The Network enables young deafblind people to support one another to gain skills and develop their confidence. DbIYN actively encourages young people to share their achievements and suggest solutions to others facing challenges. This brings young deafblind people from many countries together combining their shared experiences leading to a more positive future.

DBIYN Globe logo

Our Key Aims

  • The value and participation of deafblind youth will be fully recognized in the international deafblind community. 
  • To provide a nurturing platform from which deafblind youth may safely express their views, opinions and aspirations.
  • Deafblind youth have a sense of ownership and belonging to Deafblind International. 
  • The breaking down of barriers that can isolate deafblind youth 
  • The network will be consistent with the overall aims and strategic plan of Deafblind International


Membership is free and open to all young deafblind people between the ages of 13 and 25 years. Associate membership is also free and open to all people that support deafblind youth and / or interested in the issues of importance to deafblind youth.


The Network also has a strong emphasis on developing and sustaining friendships through participation in a range of engaging and fulfilling international activities.

This promotes and values the positive contribution that young deafblind people make in their communities and respective countries. Although we are a very new Network our membership has shown a keen interest in developing the following activities:

  • Holidays, short breaks and exchange visits hosted by deafblind organizations throughout the world.
  • Conferences, forums and consultation groups representing the voice of deafblind youth.
  • Newsletters and social media providing access to information on network events.
  • Award schemes and ceremonies to champion individual and collective achievements of deafblind youth.
  • Talks and seminars bringing together deafblind youth, practitioners and specialists in deafblind youth services
Three young adults who are deaf-blind.

Country Coordinators

The network has recruited a team of country coordinators. Each coordinator is responsible for sharing information on the network with youth services in their respective countries. Coordinators also assist with Deafblind youth who form links with each other via the network. Countries represented are France, USA, Australia, Romania, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Malawi, Iceland, Canada, Norway, The Netherlands and Brazil. New country coordinators are always welcome and more information on the role is available from the Network


A Glimpse of Our World has now been published. This is a collection on inspirational stories from deafblind young people from around the world. Each story highlights how culture, heritage and service provision influence the lives of deafblind youth. There are some wonderful heart-warming stories featured in the book that provide a unique insight into how young people overcome the many challenges they face. Stories feature from countries including Romania, Malawi, USA, Scotland and Norway. 

"A Glimpse of our World: Inspirational Stories by Young Deafblind People"

Exchange Visit

The youth network has held its very first youth exchange visit during October 2015. A group of Deafblind youths from Sense in the UK traveled to Perth Western Australia to link up with youths from Senses Australia. Host families kindly accommodated the traveling group and transported the youths to a joint program of activities. Angela Wills from the Youth Network coordinated activities including a visit to Yanchep National Park, sailing on catamarans on the famous Swan River, a traditional Australian BBQ at Matilda Bay and barefoot bowling.

The group also represented Deafblind international during a visit to meet Kerry Sanderson, the Governor of Western Australia. A full tour of government House followed the meeting.

The exchange visit also included performances by the Sense young person’s drama group GOT 2 ACT. The group performed 3 plays including a piece about Helen Keller. The performances at Mossman Park School and the Rendezvous Hotel created much media interest and were both featured on the Australian ABC News Network.

After a successful nine day visit many friendships were created. The Youth Network is looking forward a future visit from the Senses youth network trip to the UK.

A group of DbI young adults at an exchange visit.