Living life on your own terms

THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Everyone wants to live their life to the fullest. With purpose and without limits.

For Dawnelee Wright, experiencing hearing loss in early 2016 as a result of a “neuropathic deficit,” her story is no different. What makes her journey different is that she also lives with a visual impairment.

She is still learning to navigate her new reality, living with deafblindness, commenting that despite her challenges, “I’m determined to follow my dreams.”

When she first learned about her diagnosis last year, she admits she had some concerns. She worried that her sense of privacy and ability to engage independently in her community would be affected. She did not want to rely on others to live her life to the fullest. Now she is interested in embracing a new reality: “I’m excited to challenge myself to do things I would not have previously pursued.”

Dawnelee attributes the communication support made possible through intervenor services for helping her live her life with reduced barriers and a sense of privacy. Intervenors are specially trained professionals who act as the “eyes” and “ears” of the individual who is deafblind through the sense of touch.  She receives intervenor services through a partnership in northern Ontario between DeafBlind Ontario Services and CNIB.

Today, Dawnelee is proud to add “author” to her list of accomplishments after publishing her first book, “A Better Sense of Self” in June 2017. Working with her intervenor, she read her editor’s feedback through the review process. Her intervenor worked closely with Dawnelee by reading each printed draft to her so that she could complete the edits. Dawnelee completed it in time to launch her book in June, which coincided with National Deafblind Awareness Month across Canada.

Dawnelee is excited about continuing to take on new challenges.  Now that her children are at an age where they can be more independent, she is interested in reintroducing herself into the paid workforce noting, “Everything’s possible when you are true to yourself.”

She is currently writing her second book that will take an idea from her first book and turn it into a children’s book focused on building awareness about disabilities.


Founded in 1989, DeafBlind Ontario Services is a not-for-profit organization that helps individuals who are deafblind increase their independence and improve their quality of life through specialized services. With residential locations and community services programs across the province, their services extend into a wide range of communities in Ontario.

To learn more, visit www.deafblindontario.com.