Deaf-blind Cajuns

Acadiana, an area in Southwest Louisiana, is home to the largest deaf-blind population in the United States. This is due to a gene that came with the Cajuns that causes Usher Syndrome (US), an inherited form of deaf-blindness. Many forms of US exist, and each is due to a different mutation in a different protein in the cochlear and retinal cells. In the most severe form, Type I, homozygous recessive individuals are born totally deaf followed by progressively diminished peripheral vision due to Retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

A leader in the Lafayette Louisiana deaf-blind community, Dan Arabie, tells about his advocacy that led to the SSP (Support Service Provider) program.

Check out these review videos made by students in our freshman majors course in Fall 2015.

In this video, students explain how harmonin is expressed in hair cells of the cochlea.