How my job is to enable my deafblind colleague to do his

A woman and man, wearing cochlear implants, walking together in a public space

Enabling someone to undertake their job effectively is both rewarding and of great responsibility. As a Communication and Support Assistant, I provide part-time support to Steven Morris, Sense’s Technology Officer, who is blind with hearing loss. I help Steven to communicate fully with colleagues and the people he supports. I balance my role with running my small business alongside being a wife and mother to two young children.

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The Government has delivered a social care snub to disabled people

A woman holds hands with a person and looks up towards them

By focussing the long awaited social care green paper on one group, older people, it will be impossible to create a truly sustainable system. The Government’s green paper should take into account the broad range of people who access social care and their differing needs in its search for a long term solution.

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More working age people need social care at a time of great pressure

A smiling woman holds the arm of a young woman as they walk through a supermarket together

The social care debate is all too often focused on ‘care for the elderly’. But the reality is that growing numbers of disabled younger people, often with very complex needs, are using social care at a time when the sector is under severe pressure.

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As a deafblind actor, I was excited to join the National Theatre in telling this unique story

Two women, standing on stage, arms in the air
Zara Arnold, left, performing In Touch at the National Theatre. (Photography by Patrick Baldwin)

As a deafblind actor, I was excited to be involved in the production of In Touch at the National Theatre.

In Touch is a show about how deafblind people go through life, the barriers they have faced as well as learning how to live with their disability. For the production, Graeae Theatre Company collaborated with the Inclusion Theatre Company from Russia.

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How people, who are deafblind, from across Europe came together for a Danish adventure

A group of people outdoors with fires

The DeafBlind International Outdoor Network exists to create unique and exciting opportunities for people with deafblindness to explore and enjoy all aspects of outdoor living. This year’s annual gathering took place near  Aalborg, Northern Denmark.

These holidays bring people with deafblindness, their support staff and families together from across Europe and this year’s event attracted people from Norway, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Scotland and England. Our group from Sense was 15 strong, consisting of six adults with deafblindness and nine people supporting.

Overall, the trip was a wonderful experience for all involved. We overcame delayed flights and a missed fishing trip in the North Sea, but there were many moments of magic and happiness.

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How Sense helps children in their journey to adulthood

Several young people are posing for a picture after taking part in Bowling

At Sense, we love to encourage young people to socialise, make positive and informed life choices, and support them on their transition from childhood to adult life. We support families at transition meetings, annual reviews, care-plan reviews, and at any other meeting where a family requires support.

Being Me! (A supported journey to adulthood) is a lottery-funded project that supports young people aged 14-25, with sensory impairment and complex communication needs on their journey into adult life. The project covers South East Wales and Cardiff areas, and is in its final year of the five-year project.

In addition, we hold a wide range of activities to help young people learn life skills, as well as helping them to build confidence and independence.

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Supporting a right to independence

A man helping two people by pointing to something

My name is Christopher and I work part-time as a support worker for Ben and John in their supported living service. I combine this with working as an artist and arts facilitator. I am Deaf and use British Sign Language, lip-reading and speaking to communicate.

When I first started working for Sense, I spent time shadowing other members of staff. I wanted to know Ben and John a little better so I could understand their likes, dislikes and individual needs. It was a bit daunting at first but we have gotten to know each other and have since built a good rapport with one another. They responded to different support workers in different ways; Ben’s a cheeky person (like myself) so we are well-matched, personality wise.

I like the contrast between my two jobs – It’s good for my brain to adapt and change to different environments. My work as an artist can be very intense so it’s good to have variety every now and then.

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Can broadcast live subtitling be improved?

Image shows part of a television screen with live subtitling reading "With the latest here's Andy Moore"

For deaf people, accurate live subtitling can allow full engagement with the visual content. That’s why, as a deaf person, and a Sense Digital Champion, I was particularly interested to learn more about the development of subtitling technologies at a recent Ofcom round-table event, feeding back on the quality of broadcast live subtitles.

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A sailing adventure for children with sensory impairments

Young boy smiling on a boat with his father and training instructor

Children with sensory impairments made friends and experienced something completely new when they recently joined Sense for an accessible sailing adventure in the Pennines.

As a Children and Family Support Worker for Sense, I’m lucky enough to witness the connections made and experiences shared by families and children who, through our monthly events, get to try new things like canoeing and sailing.

Once a month, we organise family events in various locations across northern England, helping them to create lifelong friendships whilst supporting one another. They get the opportunity to take part in activities they wouldn’t normally try – whilst ensuring they are accessible, enjoyable and fun!

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Can sound be made visible? Exploration via sensory marble runs

A boy and girl holding on to a card tube, held up beside a wall and painted in red light

How can sound be made visible and tangible to young people with sensory impairments? As artists, that’s the challenge we set ourselves with a collaboration between Sense and the British Library, taking inspiration from its enormous sound archive.

My name is Emma McGarry and I am a visual artist. I 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.

Every month, myself and Judith Brocklehurst – another artist working with the British Library – come together to meet with young people who have sensory impairments and complex needs, at one of the Sense Centres in Barnet.

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