Looking back, looking forward at our Play campaign

Molly KearneyMolly Kearney, Parliamentary Manager

As anyone who reads this oldblog, follows Sense on Twitter and/or Facebook will know, last week we launched our report ‘The Case for Play’ and began a conversation about why play is so beneficial for children who are deafblind. Last week was particularly important because it was Deafblind Awareness Week (DBAW) – a time when we focus on reaching a wider audience to raise awareness of deafblindness and Sense’s work.

We decided to make this year’s DBAW about play for a few different reasons. Firstly, we know from our work with families that play is important to them. Second, for people who don’t know much about deafblindness, play is a recognisable concept that is an easy way to introduce them to what deafblind children can achieve and some of the challenges they face. Finally, play is fun!

And we did have fun last week. We made balloon faces, shared families’ stories, and got answers to sometimes silly questions like, ‘where was your favourite hiding place when you played hide and seek as a child?’.

Alongside the fun sat some more serious explorations of how children who are deafblind and who have complex needs experience play, and the developmental milestones they can reach through play.

It was a really busy week, but it was worthwhile because, above all else, it was a celebration of the families we work with and the Sense staff who support them (in all kinds of playful and interesting ways).

Though Deafblind Awareness Week is over, our Play campaign continues. ‘The Case for Play’ set out some of the challenges children who are deafblind and who have complex needs face in accessing play, but we want to understand these challenges better – not just for the children we support, but for children who are disabled more broadly. To that end, we’ll be launching an inquiry in the Autumn that will seek evidence from families, practitioners and other charities on barriers, but also on how play opportunities can be improved.

We hoped you enjoyed all of our activities over DBAW and that you are as excited as we are for the next phase in our Play campaign!

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