Research Network

The field of deafblind-related research is relatively young. Researchers in this domain are few and we are often spread across the globe across large distances. Deafblind International is providing the infrastructure in order to facilitate information exchange among all stakeholders with an interest in deafblindness research. The purpose of the Research Network is three-fold:

First, it creates an opportunity for researchers to build networks across countries and continents, thereby facilitating collaboration and exchange of ideas.

Second, within Deafblind International, it will be possible to facilitate Knowledge Exchange from researchers to individuals with deafblindness, clinicians, service providers, administrators, policy makers and other stakeholders.

Third, all stakeholders will have a direct line to researchers in order to inspire and initiate research that is relevant for them, and that can make a difference in the lives of persons with combined vision and hearing loss.


Date: Monday 12 August
Time: 1.00pm - 5.00pm
Cost for delegate to attend workshop: $AUD120

Cost for personal interpreter/aide of an attending delegate to workshop: $AUD100

Prof Walter Wittich, Assistant Professor, School of Optometry, University of Montreal, Adjunct Professor, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University

Prof Susan Bruce, Boston College, Lynch School of Education and Human Development, USA 

Dr Moa Wahlquist, Affiliated Researcher, School of Health Sciences, Örebro University, Swedish National resource center for deafblindness, Lund, Sweden 

A/Prof Bamini Gopinath, The University of Sydney School of Medicine, Sydney, Australia 

Pre-conference DbI Network Workshop registration includes day catering. 

If you have already registered for the conference and would like to add a DbI Network Workshop to your registration, contact the Conference Organisers. 

If you haven't yet registered for the conference, bookings for the DbI Network Workshops can be made via the online registration form when you complete your conference registration. 

If you only want to attend a pre-conference workshop, and not any other component of the conference, please follow the below links. 




The workshop will focus on a common theme of interest for researchers, service providers and clients alike: How to be involved in research activities that focus on persons with combined vision and hearing loss: The Good, the Complicated, and the Solutions.

The session opens with Walter Wittich, chair of the Research Network, giving an overview of some of the most commonly used research approaches as they apply to working with participants that are deafblind. He will demystify the process of obtaining research ethics, choosing the right study design and suitable statistical analyses, and will take question and engage participants in order to discuss other mysteries of the research realm.

One particularly important research approach for deafblindness is action research. Susan Bruce will provide an overview of the types of action research and studies conducted in deafblindness. She will address the promise of participatory or emancipatory action research to engage individuals who are deafblind in the research process. Resources to support the conduct of action research will be provided.

Her presentation will be followed by Moa Wahlquist, whose focus is to discuss how to bring Research into Practice, and to make research accessible in a clinical environment. Her presentation  "Building bridges, to make research available for those it concerns" will examine the need for building scientific based knowledge to develop methods and support for persons with deafblindness. For her part of the workshop she will present ideas from the National Resource center for deafblindness in Sweden of how research is made available to professionals and persons with deafblindness. One resource in this work is the online Research Overview that is a database within the field of deafblindness. The ideas also include strategies to involve different perspectives in the process and discussion about what is needed in research and in practice and for people with deafblindness. 

To close the session, Bamini Gopinath will walk us through some current approaches to Research Dissemination & Knowledge Translation. Specifically, she will examine some of the non-traditional approaches and the use of Social Media, in her presentation “Effective dissemination of findings from your research - more than just publications”. She will discuss how methods to disseminate research are rapidly developing and it is vital to know what is not only topical but also effective in making people aware of your work and, ideally, getting you further interest and support. This presentation will explore both traditional methods, such as articles and conference papers but also considers some other methods, including the use of social media, events and press releases.


The following meetingswill be held during the conference program and are at no additional cost to your conference registration. Click here to view the program and click here to see other Network Meetings.  

Research Network Meeting
Date: Tuesday 13 August 2019

Time: 5.30pm - 6.30pm
​Facilitator: Dr Walter Wittich