Dual sensory loss, often referred to as deafblindness, is a combination of sight and hearing loss that affects a person's ability to communicate, access information and get around.
Visit your GP if you think your hearing and/or eyesight may be getting worse.
NHS Choices has more information about the signs and symptoms deafblindness.
Where can I get further information and support?
Once your dual sensory loss has been assessed by your GP and/or optician, you may want to find out more information and support yourself. There are local and national services that you can access yourself, without a referral and equipment and devices that you can purchase.
Deafblind UK provides information, advice and support to deaf blind people and their family / carers. They have a free information helpline and provide peer support and befriending services.
Cambridgeshire Hearing Help offers free advice on your concerns about hearing loss and runs weekly drop-in sessions where NHS hearing aid users can get free batteries and hearing aid care. They also have equipment that can help you to hear the television or telephone.
Action on Hearing Loss provides information, support and advice for deaf and hearing impaired people and their families.
Cambridgeshire Deaf Association supports the welfare and interests of deaf people living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. They arrange social events and groups for deaf people. They offer a befriending service and provide independent advocacy for deaf people. Their staff and advocates are fully qualified in British Sign Language. They mainly focus their services within the Deaf community.
British Deaf Association is focused on achieving equality for deaf people through community empowerment, membership and campaigning.
Cam Sight offers advice, information and practical support to children, young people and adults with a visual impairment. They provide emotional support and counselling; monthly social groups in villages across Cambridgeshire offering information and advice; visits at home by a community team and volunteers to provide help and company. Their two Low Vision Centres display and demonstrate a wide range of equipment and provide advice and training on specialist and mainstream technology. Groups for pre-school children, 6 to 12 year olds and teenagers provide fun, skills and opportunities for parents/carers to gain support and meet each other.
Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) provides practical and emotional support for anyone affected by sight loss.
Our Sensory Services work with adults who are deafblind, deaf, hard of hearing, severely sight impaired, sight impaired or experiencing visual loss.
They are responsible for keeping a register of severely sight impaired and sight impaired people in Cambridgeshire. They also keep a register for people with dual sensory loss and people who are severely hearing impaired.
They provide information, services and support for people with dual sensory loss:
- literacy support
- access to the environment
- mobility and orientation training
- independent living skills
- lighting and advice on low vision aids
- access to benefits and entitlements
- access to work or training opportunities
- referral to specialist provider agencies who may be able to offer further support and advice focused on the particular needs of your carer.
You may also be referred to a dual sensory loss specialist within the team who will work with you to ensure your needs are fully assessed.