Social club connects KC's deaf & blind

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Brandie Young can't see or hear.  But it hasn't prevented her from learning Spanish.

At the latest gathering of the Deafblind Social Club of Kansas City, Young was tactile signing in Spanish, much to the amusement of her two interpreters.

The club was holding its third meeting at Alphapointe in east Kansas City. Its organizers, Young and Heather Livingston, started it so the deaf and blind could form friendships and break the isolation that so often comes with having one or more disabilities. 

"They don't have the television, the computer, and the phone to entertain themselves," Livingston explained.

The club wants to grow in numbers, and Livingston wants blind only and deaf only people to join the deafblind. 

"I'd like to see more deaf people come in and learn to approach someone who is visually impaired," she said. 

She declined to estimate how many deaf and blind people live in and around KC because, she said, there is no way to know for sure.

A breakthrough in technology has enabled Young to communicate in ways she couldn't before.  Her new Braille iPhone allows her to send and receive text messages.

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