Spotlight on ‘life-changing’ services for sensory community during Essex Sensory Awareness Week
The Essex Sensory Community (ESC) is shining a spotlight on its vital and ‘life-changing’ services available to people living with a sight and/or hearing loss, as part of Essex Sensory Awareness Week (5th-11th July). As the country looks to come out of lockdown, the ESC want to make sure people who are visually impaired, hard of hearing, Deaf, or have a dual sensory loss can confidently get back to their everyday lives by accessing any support, advice or equipment that they may need.
Essex has the highest percentage of population living with sight loss in the country, with 53,700 people needing to access vital support and services that enable them to maintain independence and dignity in everyday life. One in five people are living with hearing loss in Essex (286,700 people) and over 10,000 people in Essex are Deafblind. As a result of the pandemic, people living with a sensory impairment have also had to navigate new challenges and Government rules, such as social distancing, lip-reading through masks and queuing outside shops.
Through its seven partner organisations, the ESC offers a wide range of services for people with a sensory impairment, from home assessments and specialist one-to-one support, to supplying assistive equipment and social activities.
Faye Harburt, Head of ECL Sensory Service which is part of the ESC, says: “Essex Sensory Awareness Week is an opportunity for everyone to consider the challenges of everyday life for people living with a sensory impairment and the additional barriers that Covid-19 has presented. We want to help anyone in Essex who has a sensory impairment to rebuild their everyday lives with confidence and independence, whether that’s returning to the workplace, improving home life, socialising or keeping active. The right support can truly be lifechanging so if you or someone you know may benefit from our services, please do get in touch.”
Local employers are also encouraged to learn more about sensory impairment and how to improve access for those with a sight and / or hearing loss. One in five potential customers has a disability in the UK and 75 per cent of those have previously walked away from a business due to poor accessibility. Businesses and community organisations can train to become Sensory Champions or make two pledges to help build a sensory-friendly Essex through the Sensory Action Alliance.
The Essex Sensory Community (ESC) is an informal partnership of seven local and national organisations delivering services on behalf of Essex County Council. Partners include:
- Deafblind UK
- ECL Sensory Service
- Essex Blind Charity
- Hearing Help Essex
- Support 4 Sight
To find out more or to access support, call 03330 133 262, send a text message to 07921 397 547 or email SensoryServices@essexcares.org. For further information about ESC and its service visit www.ecl.org/services/sensory-service/essex-sensory-community-partners.
*Statistics from RNIB Essex Eye Health and Sight Loss Report, 2020/21. For more information: www.rnib.org.uk/research
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