Emblem of the Italian Republic

National Observatory on the Condition of Persons with Disabilities


25 February 2016, presentation of the ISTAT- Lega del Filo Report on deafblindness in Italy

On 25 February 2016, the first important study on deafblindness in Italy was presented in the press room of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. The report was promoted by Lega del Filo d'Oro - the Italian association for assistance, education, rehabilitation and family and social integration of the deafblinded - and realised by the National Institute of Statistics (Istituto Nazionale di Statistica - ISTAT).

According to the results of the study "The Italian Population with Visual and Hearing Impairment" presented on the eve of the World Rare Disease Day of 29 February, 64.8% of the deafblinded are women and more than 87.9% are aged over 65. 30.6% live in the southern regions, 21.4% in Central Italy and 16.8% in the Islands.

Around 108,000 people are confined within their homes, since they cannot autonomously provide for themselves due to other severe forms of disability which often add to visual and hearing impairment.

According to the same data, almost half of the deaf-blinded (51.7%) also have physical disabilities. Permanent damage related to mental disability is recorded in 4 disabled out of 10, while behavioural troubles and mental illnesses affect almost one third of the deafblinded (32.5%).