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Multiple Disabilities and DeafBlind Division Webinar: The Impact of the Need for Closure for Students and Youth who are DeafBlind

Join us as we continue a conversation begun during the 2021 Texas Symposium on DeafBlind Education. Maurice Belote will share his thoughts on the basic human need for closure, the impact of lack of closure on individuals who are DeafBlind, and ways we might reduce stress, identify motivators, and increase active engagement. A panel discussion featuring David Brown, Mary Gyori, Adam Graves, and Linda Mamer will follow.

Humans have a need for clear endings or closure. Most humans are uncomfortable when things remain unfinished. We have all just lived an excellent example of the feelings evoked by lack of closure. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019-2020 school year essentially stopped without a proper ending. Seniors did not have prom and virtual graduation ceremonies did not provide the long-anticipated pomp and circumstance and did not provide closure as students ended their high school careers. Other students were isolated at home and suddenly had no face-to-face interactions with the adults and classmates that peopled their worlds before the day they went into lockdown. Students who are DeafBlind may experience a lack of closure throughout each day which could contribute to high levels of stress. Constant high levels of stress and anxiety are incompatible with learning readiness and active engagement. Recognizing how students who are deafblind may experience barriers to learning due to lack of closure creates the possibility for solutions. Strategies can be easily integrated into classrooms to mitigate the negative effects of constant ambiguity and uncertainty and instead provide elements of closure to support this basic human need.

Learning objectives
This session will answer the questions:

  • What is closure?
  • Why do we want and need closure?
  • What happens if we do not get closure?
  • Why might lack of closure be a significant source of stress for children and youth who are DeafBlind?
  • What can we do provide closure for children and youth who are DeafBlind?

This session is presented on October 21, 2021 by Maurice Belote, David Brown, Linda Mamer, Mary Gyori, and Adam Graves.