Understanding Sensory loss
What is sensory loss?
Sensory loss is an umbrella term used to describe loss of the distance senses i.e. sight and hearing. There are three distinctive groups of people that may have sensory loss; Blind, Deaf and Deafblind people. When people have any type of sensory loss, their mobility and communication ability will be greatly affected. For instance, a blind person may be able to understand when another person is talking to them directly but they would not be able to see the facial expressions of that person. This could affect their ability to understand the context of the conversation. They may also find it difficult to know when a person is talking to them or somebody else as they are unable to make eye contact. Likewise, a Deaf person would struggle to understand somebody that is talking too fast or that is not face to face with them. They wouldn’t hear a telephone ringing or be able to use a telephone to communicate. For people suffering with deafblindness, the problem would be compounded a great deal. All of these conditions can lead to feelings of isolation and inadequacy.
Why should we care?
Societal attitudes can be a problem for people with sensory loss. People simply don’t stop to think about how people with sensory loss experience the world. For example, a person could be riding a bicycle along a pavement and ringing the bell to warn people they are coming. A deaf person would not hear this or a blind person may panic as they don’t know the source of the sound. A simple scenario for you or me could be distressing, if not a danger to someone suffering with sensory loss. Every person that has sensory loss will have found their own way of coping with the difficulties they face. This has led to the service providers having to evolve to provide a more personalised service. Most people now are offered a personal budget that allows them to use any money to gain the support that suits them the best. This ‘person centred...