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Sensory Support Services

If you are experiencing difficulties with your sight or hearing, you can:

  • make an appointment with an optician or a consultant ophthalmologist (eye specialists)
  • ask your GP to refer you to an audiologist (hearing specialist) at the hospital

Once your condition is confirmed, you can get advice and support from the council sensory support team.

Council sensory support includes:

  • registering as blind or partially sighted which helps you access benefits and concessions
  • support to manage daily living tasks and communication
  • advice about your home environment
  • emotional and practical support

Use these links below to jump to information about:

Sight loss support

Deaf and hard of hearing support 

 

 Sight loss support

Support from the Council

When you are registered as having sight loss you will be issued with a Certificate of Vision Impairment. This will state whether you are severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted). With your permission, this certificate will then be sent to the Council, the Department of Health and your GP.

Council staff will contact you within two weeks of receiving the form to complete the registration process and undertake a needs assessment.

Your assessment will start with a Sensory Support Specialist arranging to meet you at your home. They have the right skills and knowledge to help you, and you will be asked about your needs and what it is you want to achieve. They will give you information and advice.

Sensory support home visit

They can signpost you to:

  • home care agencies 
  • Your Equipment Newcastle where you can find and buy useful equipment to make your daily living easier
  • equipment such as personal loops to help you hear the TV, portable doorbells, liquid level indicators, or talking clocks
  • minor adaptations to your home or property, for example, to improve lighting
  • an ongoing care service in your home, day care or a short break to relieve your carer
  • information and training/vision rehabilitation to help you adapt to your sight loss and learn new skills 
  • advocacy services where independent help is required

Vision rehabilitation

Vision rehabilitation at the council supports you to be as independent as possible. This service is free. It is available to you for as long as you need it. You don’t have to be registered as blind to receive vision rehabilitation support.

Vision rehabilitation can give you more information and support with:

  • understanding your eye condition and the adjustments that you may need to make to live your life
  • benefits you are eligible for such as the blue badge and concessionary travel
  • learning new ways of completing tasks
  • getting out and about, travelling confidently and safely and making the most of your community
  • looking at your communication needs and how you keep in touch with others, such as reading, writing, telling the time, using smartphones, tablets and speech software
  • social activities that match your interests, for example, community groups, local sight loss charities such as Newcastle Vision Support
  • talking books and newspapers
  • emotional support. For example, counselling, telephone support, peer support, courses or groups
  • access to employment, education and learning opportunities

Ongoing care and support

You may also be eligible for long term support. The council will carry out a care and support assessment to find out what is important to you.   Your needs may need to be reviewed in case they have changed.

Support if you are deaf, deaf blind, hard of hearing, deafened

Support from the council

If you have hearing loss you can contact Community Health and Social Care Direct and ask for help.

You may qualify for disability benefits if you meet certain criteria. Whether you qualify for disability benefits or not, Council staff will help you complete a registration process and undertake a needs assessment.

Your assessment will start with a Sensory Support Specialist arranging to meet you at your home. They have the right skills and knowledge to help you, and you will be asked about your needs and what it is you want to achieve. They may also provide you with information and advice and help you to understand your condition better as well as emotional support.

They will signpost you to:

  • home care agencies 
  • Your Equipment Newcastle website where you can find and buy useful equipment to make your daily living easier
  • practical aids to help you with daily living such as
    • equipment to make the sound from your television or radio louder
    • talking amplified telephones
    • hearing loops
    • alerting devices, for example a flashing light to alert you when someone rings your doorbell
    • home safety aids
    • text phones
    • text relay arrangements which enable text-to-speech and speech-to-text translation services. A relay assistant in a call centre acts as an intermediary, enabling people with hearing or speech impairments to communicate with other people over the telephone
    • RNIB React system to help you get out and about
  • information about British Sign Language and lip reading
  • social activities that match your interests for example, community groups and local hearing loss charities such as Deaflink
  • advocacy services where independent help is required

Ongoing care and support that you may need

You may also be eligible for long term support. They will carry out a care and support assessment to find out what is important to you.   Your needs might change so you may need a review of your needs from time to time.

Did you know?

Information NOW has more information that you may find useful if:

Need more information?

Visit Your Equipment Newcastle to find and buy useful products that can make your daily living easier.

 

Contact Community Health and Social Care Direct

Email: scd@newcastle.gov.uk

Phone: 0191 2788377

Mobile: 0796 8474891

Fax: 0191 278 8312

Address: Community Health and Social Care Direct,

2nd Floor,

Westgate Community Complex,

West Road,

Newcastle upon Tyne,

NE4 9LU

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

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