I’ve worked at Sense for nearly 21 years as a Communicator Guide, and since 2010 as a Children’s Intervenor. Both roles are about my supporting people who have sensory impairments and complex communication needs. That could be a trip to the supermarket, a day out at a theme park, or closer one-to-one support.
Continue reading “Being a Support Worker is about helping build confidence and communicating differently”
Whilst I was studying for my A-Levels, I decided to gain some extra experience volunteering on a Sense Holiday. It seemed like a great way to achieve my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. But I never imagined I’d come away with the experience, memories and bond I developed with Michael, the young man I supported. Looking back, it was through a mutual love of music that enabled me and Michael to connect and communicate.
Continue reading “A love of music connected Michael and volunteer James on a Sense Holiday”
Today is International Women’s Day. First and foremost, I’m a woman. I have the basic rights to aspire to be the best I can be, maximizing on all opportunities to reach my full career potential. The fact I have Usher Syndrome is irrelevant.
Yes, like others, I face many challenges, but on the whole, I’m a woman with career aspirations. I seek to achieve my hopes and dreams just the same as that of a non-disabled person in an equitable fashion, regardless of my gender identity or my disabilities.
Continue reading “I’m proud to be a woman who just happens to have disabilities”
As a deaf woman, mother and rugby player, I was honoured to be selected to head to Australia this year with the World Deaf Rugby 7’s. I’m really excited to get to Sydney where I’ll not only be flying the flag for England, but raising awareness of the importance of inclusive and accessible sports for disabled people.
Continue reading “I’m flying the flag for deaf women’s rugby and disability rights”
Today is National Mental Capacity Action Day. The action day was designed to raise awareness of mental capacity and prompts us to consider the impact that the Mental Capacity Act has for the lives of the people who use health and social care services.
Continue reading “The impact of the Mental Capacity Act”
As a university student studying British Sign Language (BSL) interpreting, a Sense Holiday seemed like the perfect way to get some practical experience. But when I met Raji, I came away with so much more.
Continue reading “I came away with far more than just BSL experience when I volunteered on a Sense Holiday”
My daughter, Noreen, is delightful, with a mischievous sense of humour and so loving. But because of her disabilities (she has learning disabilities, is quadriplegic, blind, epileptic and without speech), Noreen requires full-time care and I worry about the future.
Continue reading “I worry about the future care of my daughter”
Today is national Dignity Action Day. This prompted me to reflect on what ‘dignity’ means to Sense, and how we ensure the people who use our services are treated with dignity and respect.
Continue reading “Everyone supported by social care services has the right to be treated with dignity”
Tonight’s episode of Silent Witness covers the subject of disability hate crime. This is something that’s widely experienced by people with disabilities across the UK.
In the episode, a road traffic accident leads the Silent Witness team to uncover widespread abuse and harassment occurring in a group of support services for people with learning disabilities.
Continue reading “Silent Witness highlights hidden problem of disability hate crime”
I was very sad to hear about the recent passing of Professor Jan Van Dijk, a pioneer in deafblindness research and practice.
I first met Jan in 1979 when we were searching for support for our four-year-old rubella son. At the time we couldn’t find much information on these wonderful, but complicated children.
I recall there was a distance support course run by the John Tracy clinic in the USA. This was established by the actor Spencer Tracy, and although primarily for deaf children, it gave useful hints and tips for children with the dual disability.
Continue reading “My world changed forever when I met Professor Jan Van Dijk”