Help with sensory loss

Sight loss

If you suffer from sight loss you can make every day jobs easier by using items, such as:

  • a cane 
  • watches and clocks which talk and vibrate
  • specialist lighting including book lights, portable lights and magnifier lights
  • assistance technology e.g. voice recognition software, reading machines
  • kitchen and bathroom gadgets, such as non-slip mats, and ‘talking’ gadgets
  • a wide range of magnifying glasses for computers and watching TV
  • audio books
  • products in Braille, including learning and writing materials
  • mobile navigation devices with GPS to track your location and talk you through your journey step by step

Also, a guide dog may provide you with a sense of independence and companionship. 

Hearing loss

Contact your GP to request a referral to the Audiology department if you are hard of hearing and think you may need a hearing aid. They will carry out a hearing check and advise you on hearing aids if this is the best option for you. 

There are tools and useful pieces of equipment that may be able to enhance your hearing, such as telephones which are specially adapted for use with hearing aids or vibrating smoke alarms. Also available are:

  • doorbells which are extra loud or which use different sounds, and flashing lights
  • amplified telephones which make voices louder and which have an extra-loud ringer. Some have a built-in flashing light to attract your attention when it rings
  • hearing aid-compatible phones are adapted to work with your hearing aid
  • some people prefer to use a text phone, which has a keyboard and display screen
  • mobile phones usually have a range of ringtones, adjustable ringer volume and can also be set to vibrate when they ring
  • you can get smoke alarms that have vibrating pads which go under your pillow or mattress, and have flashing lights to alert you when you are awake
  • you can get alarm clocks and wrist watches with vibrating and flash lights

Help and support to deal with sensory loss

The Royal National Institute for Blind people (RNIB) offers a wide range of equipment, accessories and technology to help with sight loss. They also provide expert advice and practical tips for everyday life.

There are also number of national and local visually impaired groups and organisations that offer activities, advice, information and support. For more information you can download the ‘Visual Impairment Groups’ document (pdf, 203kb).

Southwark Disablement Association (SDA) have a worker who can help with benefits, letters and bills, housing issues, work issues and accessing health services. You can contact Southwark Disablement Association using the following details:

T: 020 7701 1391
F: 020 7277 0481
SMS Text: 07804 405 893
E: sda@sdail.org
Skype: Ann at  Southwark Disablement Association

If you want to learn more about the Southwark Deaf Forum (which meets once a month) you can use the following details:

T: 0808 808 0123
W: www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk
E: informationline@hearingloss.org.uk

The Sensory Services team

The Sensory Services team is a specialist team that supports people who live in the London Borough of Southwark.

We can help anyone who:

  • is blind or partially sighted. Services are only available if you have a significant non-correctable sight loss in both eyes
  • is deaf, deafened or hard of hearing. Services are only available if you are affected by permanent hearing loss
  • has both hearing and sight loss

We may be able to provide you with equipment, adaptations or rehabilitation training. The rehabilitation training and equipment can help you manage daily tasks, reading correspondence and/or finding your way around safely.

We do not provide hearing aids. If you need hearing aids, please contact your GP who will refer you to a hearing aid service.

Contact the Sensory Services Team for a referral:

T: 020 7525 3324
SMS Text: 07870 220 659
F: 020 7525 4606
E: Sensory@southwark.gov.uk

Page last updated: 03 October 2017