Deafblind Awareness Week, 24-30 June 2013
Run by the national deafblind charity Sense, Deafblind Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about hearing and sight loss
and increase support for sufferers and their families.
This year's theme is older people. There are currently 20,000 older people
in the UK with combined sight and hearing loss and this figure is expected to double
over the next 20 years.
To read more about what is happening during the week and how you can access information
as a deafblind person, see the Sense website: http://www.sense.org.uk/content/deafblind-awareness-week-2013
What is deafblindness?
Deafblindness is the combination of sight and learning loss
. It affects a person's ability to communicate, to access information and get around. The impairments might have been from birth, or due to deterioration later in life.
In 2009 the Department of Health published guidance for local authorities called Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults
. This guidance aims to ensure that deafblind people receive the support and services they need.
The first step is for the local authority to carry out an assessment
by a specialist to assess your needs in regards to:
- One-to-one support and social interaction
- Support with mobility
- Assistive technology
- What you current needs are and what your future needs might be
As a disabled person you have a legal right to request this assessment
at any time, either through your social worker or the local social services department.
Social services must provide the necessary support your child needs
, including one-to-one support to participate fully in family life and the community. Your child may already be provided with support to access education through a statement of special educational needs
. If they aren't then please contact your child's school or social services.