Deaf-Blind Retreat

Statement of PurposeSSP Marina Epstein (right) assists Deaf-Blind Retreat participant Steven Frank (left) in a yoga workshop at the 2009 Retreat in August.

— The Deaf-Blind Retreat creates opportunities for networking, connection, leadership and empowerment through a variety of recreational and educational activities in a fully accessible environment —

Our Commitment to the Deaf-Blind Community All Deaf-Blind program services offer a safe, supportive, and respectful environment; linguistically and culturally appropriate services; and consumer involvement and input. Our goal is to ensure maximum respect, independence, choice, and control over matters impacting each participant.  We achieve that goal by living our values of Communication, Culture and Community!

SSP Jenna Curtis (left) explores the Adaptive Technology Display with Retreat participant Hildegard Oker-Bogle (right)Deaf-Blind Retreat

The annual Deaf-Blind Retreat takes place in beautiful, rural Seabeck, WA, about 2 hours due West from Seattle. We may have anywhere from 60 to 90 Deaf-Blind in attendance from across the country and the world, along with 120 to 150 volunteer interpreter/guides who provide visual information, sighted guide and interpreting support and help create an environment of complete accessibility.

Some aspects of the Retreat include:

  • Deaf-Blind participants matched with qualified Interpreter/Guides (Deaf and hearing) from 8am to 10pm, daily.
  • Option to stay for a full week or a half week.
  • Option for day visits.
  • Accessible communication environment:  Contrasting backgrounds throughout (clothing as well), extra lighting, amplification systems (FM, PA)
  • ASL environment, with strong supports for Hard of Hearing participants
  • Leadership and networking opportunities
  • Exposure to latest technology and information
  • FUN!

Retreat Activities may include:

  • Water Activities – boating, tubing, swimming
  • Tandem biking
  • Workshops (Research on Usher Syndrome, Pro Tactile, International Panel, DB Travel stories)
  • Cultural presentations
  • Technology Demonstrations
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Cooking classes
  • SPA and exercise activities
  • Day or evening tours (The Lighthouse, Seattle Waterfront, Poulsbo, Bowling, Casino etc)
  • Hiking, Dances, Outdoor games
  • Storytelling and evening activities (the Big Dance, Bingo, Pictionary, Socials)

Retreat participants Paul Simonich (left) and Scott Oberg (center) riding bicycles with volunteer Gabe Shalit (right)


Retreat participants must be Deaf-Blind adults: legally blind and either Deaf, significantly hard of hearing, or late deafened. Services are open to all Deaf-Blind individuals over the age of 18 (16 with a parent or guardian present).  Note: Space is limited.  Applications are accepted until the deadline. If more applications than space, we will have a wait list. 

Volunteer Interpreter/Guides must be sighted adults over the age of 18, have a minimum 2 years experience in American Sign Language, and have experience communicating with and providing sighted guide to Deaf-Blind individuals.

Retreat participant Annie Sting (center) makes hot wax hand shapes during a workshop.


The Deaf-Blind Retreat is funded primarily through community support. We rely on financial contributions from local corporations, foundations, service organizations and individuals. Deaf-Blind participants do pay a small fee that covers their room and board during the week, but not that of the volunteers who attend, or any other costs of the Retreat. There is no fee for qualified volunteer Interpreter/Guides to attend. 

All community support for Lighthouse programs is channeled through the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation, whose sole purpose is to gather community support for fulfillment of the Seattle Lighthouse mission.

Information Contact

Amy Koehl
Senior Director, Employee and Community Services
Phone: (206) 436-2106



This entry was posted on Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 3:45 pm and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Our Mission: To create and enhance opportunities for independence and self-sufficiency
of people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities.

© 2017 The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.