About Us

Our History:

The Center for Deaf-Blind Persons, Inc. first opened its doors on January 10, 1985, in a donated space at St. John’s Center (St. John’s School for the Deaf) with seed money from the Wisconsin Council of the Blind. The Center’s founder, Ruth Silver an individual with the dual sensory loss along with dedicated volunteers began providing much needed training and social opportunities to individuals with dual sensory loss. Presently the Center located in West Allis continues the founder’s vision of providing training and social outlets for individuals with the dual sensory loss.

Complete Center History

Mission Statement:

The Center is the only agency in Wisconsin specializing in services for persons who are totally deaf and blind or who have varying degrees of dual sensory loss. The agency’s mission is to provide services needed to minimize the devastating effects of a combined vision and hearing loss upon the individual and family. The Center is able to offer the support and skills training needed to assist clients to live independent productive lives.


To assist individuals with the dual hearing-vision loss live independent, productive, and fulfilled lives.

Population Served:

The Center for Deaf-Blind Persons serves youths and adults who are:

  • deaf and losing vision,
  • blind and losing hearing,
  • losing both hearing and vision simultaneously
  • totally deaf and blind.

Geographically, this agency serves primarily Southeastern Wisconsin. Should the Center’s expertise be requested to serve other parts of Wisconsin, arrangements are made.


More common causes of deaf-blindness are:

  • Usher Syndrome and other genetic conditions
  • Congenital Rubella Syndrome
  • Illness such as meningitis
  • Injury due to auto accident, war, et cetera
  • Aging process
  • Congenital blindness with acquired hearing loss resulting from disease, kidney failure, prescription or illicit drugs, and exposure to loud sounds over time
  • Congenital deafness with acquired vision loss resulting from macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and tumors