“It’s very stressful. I find myself hoping she passes away before me. No parent should feel like this.” These words were spoken by Mark, who cares for his disabled daughter, who has complex needs. Mark lives with the fear and worry that his daughter’s care and support needs are so complex, and that his local social services are under such pressures, that should he not be able to support his daughter, then no one would.
Continue reading “The looming crisis facing disabled people and their families”
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”
At the end of an eight month project with Sense Arts and the British Library, we celebrated the archiving of sounds created by young people with sensory impairments.
My name is Emma McGarry and I am a visual artist. Together with another artist, Judith Brocklehurst, we have been working on a Sense and British Library collaboration to deliver an exciting eight-month project with a group of young people with sensory impairments. The project took inspiration from the British Library’s Sound Archive and allowed the national collection of sounds to be brought to a new audience through a series of participatory and exploratory sessions.
The project came to its conclusion and we celebrated with a big final event at the British Library and our own exciting submission.
Continue reading “Children with sensory impairments celebrate their sounds being archived at the British Library”
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”
This week we took four young people with autism and sensory impairments to the Birmingham Hippodrome for the ‘relaxed performance’ of Cinderella, and what a night it was!
The trip was organised by Sense’s Get Out There Group in Warwickshire, which takes young people aged 0-18 years old into the community with the aim of boosting confidence and social skills, as well as reducing isolation and giving parents and carers respite.
Continue reading “Children with autism went to the ball with accessible Cinderella show”
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”
Creative activities are fantastic for opening doors to new experiences, and can be a great way for people with complex communication needs to express themselves, make choices and explore stimulating sensory materials whilst creating. It can help relax behaviours and open up interactions with other people too.
Continue reading “Sensory art opens the doors to new experiences for disabled people”
My 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.
Continue reading “I used to make cars, now I work for Sense”
In the recent cabinet reshuffle, Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, retained his post, but had the small, yet key addition of ‘social care’ to his title.
Continue reading “Integrating health and social care: What’s in a name?”