Deafblind Awareness Week 2016

This year Deafblind Awareness week is 27th June – 3rd July and our focus during the week is to help people identify sight and hearing loss.

A gradual change

Sight and hearing loss can happen to anyone gradually over a period of time. Many people who acquire dual sensory loss will usually identify with either a sight or a hearing loss first, and won’t always notice when the other sense starts to deteriorate. As a result, they may start to pull away from normal everyday tasks or withdraw from social activities that they may have enjoyed in the past, all without necessarily realising or recognising why.

How we can help – an example of our support: 

Deafblind UK member Walter’s passions in life are following his beloved football team West Ham and keeping in touch with his ex-serviceman friends who he served with in post second world war. Walter’s family had recognised that his hearing and sight had deteriorated badly over recent months, preventing him from enjoying the social activities he loved so much.

Increasingly aware of how isolated Walter had become, a family member contacted Deafblind UK. All too aware of the isolating impact dual sensory loss can have on our members, we invited Walter to come along to one of our local social groups. Since his first visit a few months ago, Walter has never looked back and said:

“You don`t realise how important these groups are to people like me. I can meet people who understand how I feel and make new friends.”

Walter also benefits from our Digital Inclusion group and says “the technology support has been great.” He can now watch his beloved West Ham live on his tablet and is back to keeping in regular contact with his old friends through dedicated ex-serviceman web forums and email communication.

Without really realising it, Walter has regained an independence that had begun to slip away.

Get involved

1. If both your sight and hearing has started to deteriorate, and if you recognise this in someone, then don’t be afraid to talk about it and contact us for help and support. We are a free membership organisation and provide assistance to people living with dual sensory loss, as well as those around them.

2. Consider becoming a volunteer. Our volunteers help us in many different ways, from taking and making calls to supporting individuals through our befriending schemes. As a volunteer you would not only help to empower and improve the quality of life for deafblind people but also experience first hand what it’s like to make a real difference to someone’s life.

3. Hold a fundraising event of your own or see if family and friends would be interested in doing this. It could be anything from a quiz, a bake sale, a garden party, a fashion show or a games evening. Donations can be collected in a simple cardboard collection box that we can provide for you. Please call us on 01733 358100 and ask for our fundraising team or email: supportus@deafblind.org.uk to find out more about ways to support us.

Where to get help

If your sight or hearing is starting to deteriorate or you recognise this in someone, contact us on 0800 132 320, alternatively email us at: info@deafblind.org.uk

Nobody has to face the journey alone.

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