Walk for Deafblind Awarenesss Week 2018

A crowd of people walking along a street wearing orange tshirts

Deafblind Awareness Week 2018 is almost upon us. From 24 – 30 June, hundreds of people will be raising awareness across England, by taking part in our Sense Walks. And we’re inviting you to join us.

Deafblind Awareness Week includes celebrating the birthday of world famous deafblind American author and activist, Helen Keller, who was born on the 27 June, 1880. Keller was instrumental in raising awareness of deafblindness among the public, helping them understand what life is like when you have both sight and hearing loss.

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How accessible and useful is the Amazon Echo?

Two men seated by a table with a black cylundrical device
Tony Lodge and Steven Morris with Tony’s Amazon Echo

You may have heard about Amazon’s Echo, a hands-free, voice controlled device that uses Alexa (Amazon’s version of Siri, a talking digital assistant) to perform various tasks such as play music, control ‘smart’ home devices, read the news, set alarms, add items to shopping lists and more.

I met up with Sense member Tony Lodge to learn more about using the Echo and how it might be of help and accessible to disabled people. Tony brought one with him and we and put it through its paces.

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I’ve really grown in confidence since I volunteered on a Sense Holiday

Smiling man and boy in climbing helmets on cargo net

Sense are always so welcoming, they ensure all the volunteers are well prepared and ready to support the holidaymakers.

I’d never worked with any blind people before, but Sense provided training – such as teaching us how to safely guide blind people – so I felt really comfortable going into the holiday.

The experience has definitely given me confidence in communicating and supporting people with disabilities – being in an environment where the holidaymakers and volunteers are using British Sign Language is fantastic.

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#GivingTuesday

Two young boys with their mother and pet cat
This Giving Tuesday we’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout the year. Sense supports people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs to enjoy more independent lives, and we couldn’t do it without you.

From donating and volunteering, to taking part in an event, here’s a rundown of some of the ways you can help. And if you’d like to do something quickly, you can text SENSE to 70111 to donate £3 (T&Cs).  Thank you.

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In Search of the Golden Racquet

Dramatherapist Kate Copley has been working with Providence Court in Exeter, a community resource centre with Sense’s flagship community café, Café 55, which is run by deafblind and disabled volunteers.

Kate, individuals (the actors) and intervenors (the support actors) will bring to life the original drama that they have been developing. They have been learning theatre and acting techniques on a weekly basis, to culminate in this performance.

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Wayne McGregor and Random Dance at TouchBase South East: a short film

Celebrated choreographer Wayne McGregor CBE and his company are collaborating with national deafblind charity Sense to explore the infinite possibilities of dance as a means of expression for people with sensory impairments.

During a week-long workshop that took place last week at TouchBase centre in Barnet, company dancers, deafblind people and their care staff explored their creative and physical potential.

Building a common language through touch, the dancers and participants tried out various exercises and games and came up with movement phrases unique to each participant’s communication and mobility needs.

 

Sense Holidays: a new dimension

Janet Caldwell, Sense Online Champion

For the first time this summer, iPads have been provided for some of the holidays, as part of the Online Today project (funded by the Big Lottery).

Two holidaymakers looking at an iPadScrapbooks have always been part of the holidays, and then much enjoyed by the kids with their friends and families afterwards. This year for the first time, the young people have been able to generate and view immediately photos on the iPads, and then send images back so that they could be enjoyed at home and shared. A bit like an extension of the conventional scrapbooks. As always happens when a young person gets hold of an iPad, another world of adventure and excitement opens up, sometimes in unforeseen ways. Continue reading “Sense Holidays: a new dimension”

No such thing…an immersive installation created by eighty young people

Over the past few months we’ve been touring our immersive installation created by eighty young people that Sense supports in Peterborough, Luton and Cornwall. The project that has been supported using public funding by Arts Council England, has been designed by the sound art group Call & Response and developed in-situ at Metal Peterborough.

Last stop was the contemporary art MK Gallery in Milton Keynes over the weekend of 5 & 6 September.

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The weekend was a great success with many visitors dropping by the Project Space to immerse themselves in our sound project.

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