How supported living helps me to live independently

A man seated as part of a panel
Joe giving evidence at the Houses of Parliament

I was recently invited by Sense to speak at the Houses of Parliament about the future of supported housing.

In particular I was going to tell the MP’s how important Sense supported housing is in helping me, as a deafblind person, to live an everyday life as independently as possible.

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How my marathon run inspired students who are deafblind to get involved

A man and boy smiling
Ben and a student from Rothwell Resource Centre

My first step into a career in the care sector began three and a half years ago when I became a Learning Support Assistant with Sense College’s Rothwell Resource Centre.

Ever since then, my life has taken off. By the end of that first week I knew that this was where and what I wanted to be. I am passionate to provide the best service for our students; it is the reason I work here and why I am running the Milton Keynes Marathon on 1 May, raising money for our centre.

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How my parents inspired me to run the London Marathon

Young man with his mum and dad

Growing up as an only child with two profoundly deaf parents meant I experienced first-hand the challenges of living with the loss of a sense. There are so many difficult situations that come with sensory loss that go beyond simply not being able to see or hear, such as the ability to communicate.

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Accessible yoga – volunteering with Sense Active

Man with outstretched arms

Having only every participated in yoga once before, I wasn’t too sure what to expect as a volunteer on one of Sense’s accessible yoga sessions. The previous activities I’d volunteered on had been geared towards slightly younger participants, who had to travel to participate. I was interested to find out how yoga can be adapted for in-house and seated participants at an accommodation service.

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How a personal connection inspired me to run the Virgin Money London Marathon for Sense

Smiling woman in pink vest running

Sense is part of my family and always has been. In 1978 my brother Robert was born deaf and blind, and with a heart defect – all because my mum caught rubella at three months pregnant. Rob is older than me, but as I grew up, I remember all the fights and battles my parents faced. But one thing was consistent – that my family always had Sense’s support.

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Why the ESA WRAG cut is another barrier to helping more disabled people into work

Man wearing deafblind sash in a train stationLast year, in what we could only describe as a bleak day for disabled people, the Government announced plans to reduce the financial support by around £30 a week for new recipients of the Employment Support Allowance Work Related Activity Group (ESA WRAG). This change took place from 1 April 2017.

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Accessible Film Project: Mentors, equipment, sight and sound

A boy placing figurines in a line
Wilf preparing a scene to film

The Accessible Film Project provides creative opportunities for people with sensory impairments to experiment with filmmaking techniques.

We are filming with three groups of participants and each person has their own preference of equipment and engagement with filmmaking. We have been lucky enough to have access to a wide range of equipment and even an experienced filmmaker and animator to act as a mentor.

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Scott’s journey towards being a rock star

A boy drummingAs Manager of the Sense Resource Centre in Wakefield, I’ve known Scott, who comes along every week, for over six years. He’s been on an amazing journey since we first met – and the transformation in him has been huge.

When I first came into contact with Scott he had a number of problems. He’d just lost the placement where he was living because of his behaviour, and had also spent time in hospital, where he gained a lot of weight. This really affected his health and self-esteem.

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Now or never – five key principles for the future of social care

A man in an office

Social care finances have been permitted to get to such a dire state that the quality and capacity of the sector has been undermined. There is no easy solution, but Sense has developed five key principles which should inform the Government’s decisions.

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Why I set up my own technology group

Hands holding a smartphoneHello my name is Sarah Leadbetter and I’m one of Sense’s Digital Champions, which is part of the Online Today project. I started to run a tech group in Leicestershire for people with sight loss and other disabilities, to discuss and support using accessible technology.

I’m partially sighted myself, and I wanted a group to discuss different types of technology, for example, what apps are good to use with voice on my smartphone.

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