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Guest Blog: Common sense solutions to common sense difficulties


Well here we are again trying to re-kindle some of the tried and tested ways of aiding every-day people with a growing ‘every-day’ difficulty. How many of us wonder if common sense still exists and why people just carry on seemingly unaware of others around them who are coping with day to day tasks under what most people would see as extraordinary circumstances?

For instance, I go shopping in my home town with my guide dog Huffle and am frequently amazed by the number of people who ask me:

a)    Who chooses my clothes for me?

b)    Who does my housework?

c)     How do I know when I have got to my bus stop?

d)    How do I identify money in my purse?

These are just some of the questions which I think are amusing but purely because I know the answers! Surprisingly the loss or partial loss of two of the most commonly recognised senses e.g. sight and hearing are much more common than you would at first think and yet most people still do not know how to communicate, assist or just accept those of us with sight or hearing loss. Did you know that 1 in 30 people in the UK have sight impairment and 1 in 6 have a hearing impairment?  Therefore the ‘common senses’ are not as prevalent as you may think!  There are many and varied causes of sight and hearing impairment with the growing ageing population being one of the greatest reasons with 70% of people over 70 having some sight and/or hearing loss!  

So next time you wonder why common sense is not what it used to be . . . we can help you learn more at our unique, fun and engaging sensory awareness training sessions at ECL.  Unique because it is delivered by trainers who live with the sight loss, hearing loss and Deafblindness; fun because there is always anecdotal evidence which can help you remember some of the difficulties and engaging because we go through simulation exercises which help the participants to understand first-hand some of the barriers faced by those of us who are not blessed with two of those common senses.  I would also like to leave you with one of the questions I was asked which I thought extremely profound and made me not only smile but actually made me stop and ponder the answer.

A child asked me “how do you know when you have woken up in the morning?” Now there’s a question!

Please let me know if you have read this as it could after all just be a dream! 

Thanks for ‘listening’

Terri Sawkins, Sensory Training Facilitator


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