Philip Clarke – Esplanade Hotel Llandudno Unit 393 – Understanding Sensory Loss Outcome 1 – Understand the factors that impact on an individual with sensory loss 1

Philip Clarke – Esplanade Hotel Llandudno
Unit 393 – Understanding Sensory Loss
Outcome 1 – Understand the factors that impact on an individual with sensory loss
1.1
There are many factors that can impact on individuals with sensory loss, these are:
Impact on communication – Individuals may not be able to hear a conversation, distinguish facial expressions or be able to speak or have their speech understood. All of these can lead to isolation and frustration and affect a person’s health and well-being.
Impact on information – An individual with sensory loss may find it difficult to obtain information they need e.g. a person with sight loss may want to read their bank statement, or look at a menu when going out. The nature of their sensory loss may impact on this. Another example may be a person with hearing loss needing to change an appointment over the telephone.

Impact on layouts and routines – A person without sight will need to have a familiar layout in their home for example. People with hearing difficulties may find they need to use a familiar route to the shop for example, as the need to cross roads or even ask for directions being difficult for them.

1.2
Societal attitudes and beliefs towards can impact people with sensory loss in quite a negative way. People can be very judgemental towards people with sensory loss, assuming that they are in a group of people with below average intelligence and that they can’t think or do the same way as a person without sensory disabilities can, often speaking to people with sight loss for example in a patronising slow, loud manner or that it’s ok to grab someone and pull them in a direction. People also seem to think that it is ok to make fun of people with sensory loss. Although not all people are like this and the majority of people are very open, positive and helpful to people with sensory loss, and can have a positive impact in their lives.

Society is far better towards sensory loss now than it has been in recent years, cinemas ; theatres having hearing loops to aid people with hearing loss and TV programmes with sign language available on some channels, although this is usually aired late at night.

1.3
There are a range of factors, societal attitudes and beliefs that impact on service provision for people with sensory loss. The social model of disability supports the idea of person centred services, where in the past an organisation would decide on the support an individual would receive in a way most convenient to the organisation. Now person centred planning is involved, where a person’s best interests are put at the heart of everything, and gives them choice and control over their lives.

Outcome 2 – Understand the importance of effective communication for individuals with sensory loss.

2.1
There are many different means of communication with people with sensory loss. Some examples are:
Sight Loss –
Braille books or readings.

Large Print, capitalized, if written in felt or marker making it more visible.

Recordings onto tape/Disc/From internet in the form of podcasts.

Specially adapted telephone with larger buttons.

Electronic magnifiers to enlarge print
Hearing Loss –
Sign language
Hearing loops to amplify sound from the loop to the hearing aid only, cutting out background noise.

Lip reading
Speech to text reporter which produces speech to text for a person to read.

Telephone relay service using an operator to convert speech to text.

Hearing Aids.

Deaf blindness (both sight & Hearing loss) –
Communication with some sight or hearing that is left.

Fingerspelling on the individual’s hand, drawing letter shapes.

Tactile communication such as:
Braille system of raised dots that represent words/letters.

Moon Alphabet – embossed shapes that can be read by touch.

Objects of reference – objects that have special meanings assigned to them. They stand for something in the same way words do.

Tadoma – Where a person directly contacts the face of the talker to monitor the various articulatory (formation of speech sounds) actions that occur during speech.

2.2
The environment can facilitate effective communication for people with sensory loss:
For sight loss:
Colour – Creating a visual contrast between surfaces can help people differentiate between them, it can highlight key and safety features and enable people to see edges and perceive depth more easily. Things can be put on contrasting colour backgrounds too to make them easier to see,
Making things bigger – This makes things easier to see e.g. clocks/watches with large print, larger print books or large button telephones. The use of a magnifier can also make things appear larger.

Brighter – Using better lighting can make things easier to see e.g. task lighting, where a lamp can be adjusted to shine directly on something a person is reading.

For hearing loss:
Reduction of background noise – This can help so a person can concentrate on what tjhey require to hear, an example suggesting taking a person to a quiet area in order to communicate with them.

Lighting – better lighting can help so a person whom may be lip reading can see a face more clearly.

2.3
Effective communication can have a great positive impact on a person’s life, considering their feelings and imagining yourself in their position is a good start to facilitate this. This can lead to the following positive effects to a person:
Improved health and emotional well-being.

Improved quality of life.

Lack of discrimination.

Making a positive contribution.

Choice of control.

Personal dignity.

Outcome 3 – Understand the main causes and conditions of sensory loss
3.1
There are many causes of sensory loss some of these can be:
Sight Loss:
Macular degeneration, both wet and dry types.

Glaucoma.

Diabetic eye diseases.

Cataracts.

This list is by no means exhaustive.

Hearing loss:
Conductive hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss.

Tinnitus.

This list is by no means exhaustive.

3.2
Congenital sensory loss is where the loss is present at birth, sometimes linked to illness during pregnancy or a gene carried by one of their parents.

Acquired sensory loss is where a sensory loss is not present at birth, but develops some time later, cataracts or diabetic eye conditions can be an example of these.

3.3
Demographic factors that may influence the incidence of sensory loss in the population are:
Age – people can start to lose sight/hearing with age
Working environment – Working in a noisy environment or using a screen can affect the senses.

Social activities – Visiting noisy concerts or use of headphones with high volume can affect hearing
Personal preferences – people may choose not to wear glasses for example for personal reasons, this in turn can make their sight worse.

Outcome 4 – Know how to recognise when an individual may be experiencing sight and/or hearing loss and actions that may be taken.

4.1
There are many indicators of sensory loss:
Sight loss:
Moving around cautiously
Holding reading material at arm’s length, or close up.

Overcautious habits, such as driving.

Finding lighting too light or dim.

Squinting.

Bumping into objects.

Difficulty in recognising things/people.

Disorientation or confusion
This list is by no means exhaustive.

Hearing loss:
Not responding when speaking to them
Asking people to repeat themselves.

Complaining that people cant be heard, or they’re mumbling.

Having the TV too loud.

This list is by no means exhaustive.

Deaf Blindness:
A loss of both senses may cause a combination of the above symptoms.

4.2
If there are concerns about a person that they may have the onset of sensory loss, then firstly you need to talk to them in a tactful manner and explain what you have noticed. Offer to help them by explaining the support available, and go through all the options available. Always ensure you have the person’s full agreement before going ahead and take any action. If the person has a support network, these people should also be contacted if the person agrees.

4.3
Support for people with sensory loss can be:
Specialist sensory support workers – People in the local authority who can offer sensory support advice.

Specialist organisations – RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) or RNID – (Royal National Institute for the Deaf) – These organisations can provide information and specialist advice.

Local Council for Voluntary service/Citizens advice Bureau – These will have lists of specialist help/advice available in the local area.