By focussing the long awaited social care green paper on one group, older people, it will be impossible to create a truly sustainable system. The Government’s green paper should take into account the broad range of people who access social care and their differing needs in its search for a long term solution.
The social care debate is all too often focused on ‘care for the elderly’. But the reality is that growing numbers of disabled younger people, often with very complex needs, are using social care at a time when the sector is under severe pressure.
As a deafblind actor, I was excited to be involved in the production of In Touch at the National Theatre.
In Touch is a show about how deafblind people go through life, the barriers they have faced as well as learning how to live with their disability. For the production, Graeae Theatre Company collaborated with the Inclusion Theatre Company from Russia.
The DeafBlind International Outdoor Network exists to create unique and exciting opportunities for people with deafblindness to explore and enjoy all aspects of outdoor living. This year’s annual gathering took place near Aalborg, Northern Denmark.
These holidays bring people with deafblindness, their support staff and families together from across Europe and this year’s event attracted people from Norway, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Scotland and England. Our group from Sense was 15 strong, consisting of six adults with deafblindness and nine people supporting.
Overall, the trip was a wonderful experience for all involved. We overcame delayed flights and a missed fishing trip in the North Sea, but there were many moments of magic and happiness.
At Sense, we love to encourage young people to socialise, make positive and informed life choices, and support them on their transition from childhood to adult life. We support families at transition meetings, annual reviews, care-plan reviews, and at any other meeting where a family requires support.
Being Me! (A supported journey to adulthood) is a lottery-funded project that supports young people aged 14-25, with sensory impairment and complex communication needs on their journey into adult life. The project covers South East Wales and Cardiff areas, and is in its final year of the five-year project.
In addition, we hold a wide range of activities to help young people learn life skills, as well as helping them to build confidence and independence.
My name is Christopher and I work part-time as a support worker for Ben and John in their supported living service. I combine this with working as an artist and arts facilitator. I am Deaf and use British Sign Language, lip-reading and speaking to communicate.
When I first started working for Sense, I spent time shadowing other members of staff. I wanted to know Ben and John a little better so I could understand their likes, dislikes and individual needs. It was a bit daunting at first but we have gotten to know each other and have since built a good rapport with one another. They responded to different support workers in different ways; Ben’s a cheeky person (like myself) so we are well-matched, personality wise.
I like the contrast between my two jobs – It’s good for my brain to adapt and change to different environments. My work as an artist can be very intense so it’s good to have variety every now and then.
For deaf people, accurate live subtitling can allow full engagement with the visual content. That’s why, as a deaf person, and a Sense Digital Champion, I was particularly interested to learn more about the development of subtitling technologies at a recent Ofcom round-table event, feeding back on the quality of broadcast live subtitles.
Children with sensory impairments made friends and experienced something completely new when they recently joined Sense for an accessible sailing adventure in the Pennines.
As a Children and Family Support Worker for Sense, I’m lucky enough to witness the connections made and experiences shared by families and children who, through our monthly events, get to try new things like canoeing and sailing.
Once a month, we organise family events in various locations across northern England, helping them to create lifelong friendships whilst supporting one another. They get the opportunity to take part in activities they wouldn’t normally try – whilst ensuring they are accessible, enjoyable and fun!
How can sound be made visible and tangible to young people with sensory impairments? As artists, that’s the challenge we set ourselves with a collaboration between Sense and the British Library, taking inspiration from its enormous sound archive.
My name is Emma McGarry and I am a visual artist. I have been working on a Sense and British Library collaboration to deliver an exciting eight-month project with a group of young people with sensory impairments.
Every month, myself and Judith Brocklehurst – another artist working with the British Library – come together to meet with young people who have sensory impairments and complex needs, at one of the Sense Centres in Barnet.
The internet is playing an increasingly important role in our everyday lives; we use it to talk to family and friends, search for jobs, navigate the streets, pay bills and buy Christmas gifts. But for many people with sensory impairments, accessing the internet and using new technologies can present huge challenges.
Online Today, a Big Lottery funded project, supports people who have sensory loss to get online. It explores how participants can develop independence through the use of technology and the internet- for example, gaining assistance from specialist accessibility apps to identify household products or navigate to a particular destination. At Sense, the internet plays an important role in helping individuals in Sense accommodation to stay in touch with family and friends.