Being a Support Worker is about helping build confidence and communicating differently

A smiling woman and smiling young boy

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.

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I’m proud to be a woman who just happens to have disabilities

Jo-Ann Moray

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.

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I’m flying the flag for deaf women’s rugby and disability rights

A smiling woman wearing an England Deaf Rugby Union t-shirt

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.

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I worry about the future care of my daughter

A smiling younger woman sits on a seat holding the hand of an older woman, her mother, who is kneeling at her side in their living room

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.

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Everyone supported by social care services has the right to be treated with dignity

A woman sits down in a supported living environment. Another woman stands next to her. They are smiling and communicating

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.

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Silent Witness highlights hidden problem of disability hate crime

Purple painted square and orange painted marks

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.

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My world changed forever when I met Professor Jan Van Dijk

Professor Jan Van Dijk

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.

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I used to make cars, now I work for Sense

Portrait photograph of a smiling manMy name is Errol and I started working at Sense as a support worker in 2009 before becoming a Registered Care Manager. I started my working life in retail, then became a forklift truck driver before moving to the production line at MG Rover, where I worked for ten years.

When I was made redundant from MG Rover, a friend who worked at Sense suggested I apply for a job. She saw that my football coaching skills would be useful because I had experience working with and motivating all kinds of people. I couldn’t imagine myself working in care because I’d always worked in manufacturing or retail. I kind of thought that could be where I’d stay.

I took another industrial job, but a couple of years later was made redundant again. This time I had some warning, and time to think about what I wanted to do next. I decided that I’d change career and that this time, apply for a job in the care sector.

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Your GP can prescribe you an arts activity or even a dance class

A smiling older woman with a younger woman seated at a table. They are taking part in an arts activity

‘Social Prescribing’ is a system where healthcare professionals are able to refer patients to local, non-clinical services to meet their wellbeing needs. What you can take part in will depend on what’s available locally, and how local services work together.

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