We’re learning British Sign Language so our deaf colleagues aren’t excluded

A smiling woman talks using BSL to a colleague in her office

If you ask any of my colleagues at Sense what drives them, they will tell you how important inclusion is, and how we can ensure on a daily basis that no one we support is left isolated, alone or unable to fulfil their potential.

At Sense we pride ourselves on being communication experts. By unlocking barriers to communication, we ensure everyone enjoys meaningful lives – and this applies equally, both to the individuals we support, and our staff and volunteers. That’s why, as part of our Equality and Diversity Week this week at Sense, we’re proud to be launching an online learning module so all our staff can learn British Sign Language (BSL).

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From working in nursing home kitchens to becoming a Registered Care Manager

Two smiling men stand together outside wearing climbing helmets

I’ve worked in social care since I was 16. Now I’m a Registered Care Manager leading a team of support workers.

It was only when I started working with Sense that I really saw how communicating and connecting differently gave disabled people with complex communication needs the confidence to live independent and active lives.

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I ran my first and 50th marathon for Sense

 

A smiling man holding a purple and orange frameI suffered from a serious back injury in 2014. I was a keen footballer and sportsman, but after my operation I was told my days of playing serious sport were over. I was devastated.

After a few unhappy months of doing no sport at all, I decided one evening to go for a run. Two and half years later and I’ll be running my 50th marathon! This year I’m running for Sense, a charity close to my heart.

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A new disability arts festival is coming to Birmingham

A man seated at a table, feeling a green cube

For years, Sense has been supporting people with sensory impairments and complex communication needs to be creative through arts workshops that explore everything from painting, to using vibrating backpacks to experience sounds.

With our new Birmingham-based multi-purpose venue, TouchBase Pears, there’s now a permanent space for artists and disabled people to come together and collaborate in new creative ways, including an arts festival taking place in May.

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How Marcos opened a tuck shop to raise money for charity

A smiling man in an accessible shopping trolley / wheelchair

My name is Marcos. I’m a wheelchair user and have cerebral palsy, which affects my speech and movement. Two years ago, I had a dream to open my own tuck shop at the Sense Centre that supports me. I told one of my managers about my idea, and it evolved from there.

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One great way to step up your step count

A large group of men walking through a corn field

As a fitness trainer with a decade of experience, I often tell my clients one of the most powerful ways to improve health is walking.

We’re recommended to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, which is about five miles. It sounds like a lot, but the majority of us can – and definitely should – be hitting this achievable target. With all the trackable technology like Fitbits, Apple watches and phone apps, it’s very easy to follow your day to day movements. But it’s also all too easy to find an excuse not to step up to the challenge.

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Even with a disability, it’s possible to have an adventure

A smiling man stands in the woods with a sweeping view of the sky and trees behind him

My name is John Churcher and I have a condition called Usher Syndrome, which affects both my sight and hearing. This summer I’ll be walking 52 miles in 24 hours for Sense, because I want to show that even with a disability, it’s possible to have an adventure.

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My proudest achievement of 2017 was walking 52 miles in 24 hours

Two smiling young women with their arms around each other in a field

If you’d told me this time last year that I’d have walked 52 miles in 24 hours, I wouldn’t have believed you. Two back-to-back marathons sounds like a huge challenge, and to be fair, it’s pretty tough! So when I finally made it to the finish line at last year’s RidgeWalk, it proved to me I can do anything if I put my mind to it.

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