Number 56 • January 2016

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Outdoor Network

Joe Gibson reports:
The DbI Outdoor Network continues to grow with a membership of now over 100 members on the e-mail list and representing 21 different countries. A new development is the Outdoor Network Facebook page which currently has 60 members (

People are now beginning to share their experiences on the groups’ Facebook page which is a good way to keep in touch with other people interested in the outdoors.

This past September the annual meeting of the Outdoor Network occurred in Sømådalen, Norway1 where we celebrated the Norwegian year of Friluftsliv2. The theme this year was ‘food’ and the group caught, cleaned, cooked and ate fish from the lake. They also had the opportunity to collect and prepare vegetables and herbs that were used in the final meal. We also travelled by canoe to a nearby beach and had the chance to put up tents and spend the night sleeping on the beach.

We are hoping for an early announcement of the 2016 outdoor week soon!

For more information, contact Joe Gibson, DbI Outdoor Coordinator ( Also, for further information about the network check out

2 Friluftsliv is a Norwegian word loosely translated as “open air life,” which characterizes Norwegian culture

First Announcement of the Deafblind International Outdoor Network’s annual meeting for 2016

This is an early announcement of the DbI Outdoor Network’s annual meeting for 2016

  • In 2016 the week will be held during week 37 (12th–16th September)

  • For the first time the outdoor week will be held in England hosted by Sense

  • We will be based at the Calvert Trust – Exmoor, in the south west of England.

  • The cost will be £405 per person. (This applies to both the deafblind and their support workers, and covers accommodation, food and all the activities.)

The Calvert Trust is an “Adventure for All” centre and we will give the participants the opportunity to experience a British outdoor education tradition.

To see a short film of some of the English members of the Outdoor Network who visited the centre this year visit:

For more information on the Calvert Trust visit:

To register an interest please contact either: Jon Fearn – or Joe Gibson –

Research Network

Walter Wittich reports:

The first six months of the DbI Research Network have been full of activity and discovery. As of November 2015, we now have 75 members on our e-mail contact list.

A big Thank You goes out to Saskia Damen and Flemming Ask Larsen for the creation and maintenance of the Deafblind International Research Network – Facebook Group ( currently at 84 members and growing. Also, another big Thank You to Christine Lehane, who has taken on the creation and maintenance of our Deafblind International Research Network LinkedIn group ( currently with 5 conversation streams.

Susan Bruce has actively been promoting collaborative opportunities already, specifically by creating the Action Research Working Group, and you can learn more about her efforts on our Research Network web page

We look forward to hearing from you. So please feel free to check out the networking opportunities on our web page and contact us with your interests and ideas.

Walter Wittich on behalf of the DbI Research Network Team


Usher Network

Emma Boswell reports:

The DbI Usher Network has been busy producing a special piece of work at the moment, as well as publishing several articles from the Usher Network Pre-conference, held in Belfast in November 2014.

Several committee members, in particular Nadja Hoegner from Germany and Karen Wickham from Australia, have been putting a lot of time into pulling together a brand new resource about the Usher network which will be up and running as soon as the final tweaks have been made.

We are looking forward to sharing this informative online resource with you soon.

The new revamped webpage about Usher Network on the DbI website ( will include information about Usher syndrome and material from other countries.

The content includes an informative Home page, What is Usher syndrome?, Current Research and Publications, Activities of the Network as well as forums and Members contacts.

We welcome you to join us online as soon as we release our refreshed and interactive section on the website.

Please come and have a look.

We are very pleased to welcome our newest committee member, Bettina Kastrup Pedersen from Denmark, welcome!
Emma Boswell (

Co-chair of DbI Usher Network

Youth Network

Simon Allison reports:

The DbI Youth Network has held its very first youth exchange visit during October 2015.

A group of Deafblind youths from Sense in the UK travelled to Perth Western Australia to link up with youths from Senses Australia1. Host families kindly accommodated the travelling group and transported the youths to a joint programme of activities.

Angela Wills from Senses Australia coordinated activities including a visit to Yanchep National Park2, 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 ACT3. The group performed 3 plays including a piece about Helen Keller. The performances at Mosman Park Primary 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 UK youths are looking forward to a future visit from the Australian youths.

For more information about the Youth Network, contact Simon Allison, Youth Network Coordinator ( and check out
1 Senses Australia is a large corporate member of Db!.
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