The Sensory Needs Service for adults

The adult Sensory Needs Service is a specialist team that supports people who live in Camden. We can help if you: 

  • are blind or partially sighted 
  • are Deaf or hard of hearing 
  • have both a significant hearing and sight loss 

We start by looking at how your sensory loss affects your day-to-day life. We call this process an assessment. If this assessment shows that you have a need that makes you eligible for help, we may be able to provide you with services. 

How do I get help?

If you are an adult Camden resident with sensory needs, you can contact the Access and Response team who will then refer you to the Sensory Needs Service.

Services for adults who are blind or partially sighted 

This service is for adults and children who have a significant sight loss that cannot be corrected, in both eyes. 

If you have a need that makes you eligible for help, we may be able to help. We provide rehabilitation services to people who are having difficulties in day-to-day life because of their sight loss. 

After your specialist assessment, we may provide you with equipment, adaptations or rehabilitation training. This training and equipment can help you manage daily tasks, read correspondence or find your way around safely. 

RNIB Low Vision Centre 

If you find it hard to see things clearly, even after you’ve had your eyes tested and are wearing the right glasses or contact lenses, you may have low vision. 

You may have been told that there is nothing that can be done to improve the medical condition of your eyes. However, there may be a lot that you can do to improve the way you use the sight that you have. 

The staff at the Low Vision Centre can advise and help you make the most of your vision. The centre is part of the Camden and Islington Sensory Needs Service. 

The rehabilitation worker will ask you how you are managing with your vision and what your main difficulties are. This will help in deciding on the best solutions for you. 

The optometrist will be able to assess your vision and prescribe, if necessary, glasses, loan you a magnifying glass or other low vision aids to help you with specific tasks. 

If you have been given a low vision aid, the rehabilitation worker will give you practical advice on how to use it. 

The service is free of charge and all low vision aids are loaned to you for as long as they are of use. If you need new glasses you will be able to pay, although many people are eligible for help towards the cost of these. To find out more about this, you can ask the optometrist who sees you on the day. 

We can do home visits for those unable to get out. 

Camden residents who would benefit from low vision aids can self-refer on 020 7391 2241.

Visualise

Visualise has a resource guide for people with visual impairments.

 

Services for adults who are D/deaf, Deafened and Hard of Hearing 

This service is for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and have difficulty staying safe and socially independent at home. 

Before we can offer you our services, a doctor needs to make sure that your hearing loss is permanent. You can ask your family doctor for an ear examination. Your doctor can refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) department or hearing aid clinic. 

If your hearing loss is permanent, we will assess your needs at home and discuss with you how to make sure you are safe and independent at home. 

Registration 

Your GP or the audiologist at your local hospital will be able to tell you the details of your hearing loss. This allows social services to ensure they can provide you with the right support. If you have not seen an audiologist, please contact your GP for a referral to audiology at the Royal Free Hospital or the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital. 

How can I access these services? 

People who have hearing loss can be referred for a service in several ways including: 

  • self-referral (a friend or relative can contact us on your behalf) 
  • GPs 
  • audiologists 
  • health service (for example District Nurse or Health Visitor) 
  • via another Council department 

Equipment to help you live as independently as possible 

If you are eligible for support, we can provide equipment free of charge. The type of equipment depends on your eligibility and individual needs but may include: 

  • a vibrating pad which is linked to a smoke alarm 
  • a baby alarm or wrist receiver that has been specially adapted to alert deaf parents of their baby crying 
  • a flashing light for a doorbell and/or telephone 
  • an amplified telephone 
  • Headset or neck-worn T- loop for connection to a TV or a one-to-one meeting
  • a textphone 

Other Camden Council services

BSL interpreter service

At Camden Council each department will provide BSL interpreters or other communication support for deaf and hard of hearing residents in the borough if requested in advance.

Portable T- Loop

The council will provide a portable T- Loop to those who have hearing loss resident in the borough, if requested in advance.

Sign Video

Camden Council have a Sign Video service available, this can be requested at reception or you can access sign video from the comfort of your own home.

British Sign Language videos

Home Connections BSL Video

These short British Sign Language videos will give you information on how to log in to Home Connections, search for properties, and place or withdraw bids.

Working partnership with Camden Healthwatch and Camden Clinical Commissioning Group

The Adult Social Care working partnership with Camden Clinical Commissioning Group and Camden Healthwatch is all about promoting the Accessible Information Standard and Deaf Awareness in Camden Practices.  We aim to break down barriers, so D/deaf and hard of hearing patients can easily access health services.

Children, Young People, Families and Adults working partnership with DeafHope

Camden Council is working in partnership with Deafhope which is the UK’s only sign-language based service to help Deaf women, men and children who experience domestic abuse. People who are Deaf are more at risk of domestic abuse than people who are hearing.

Deaf Parenting UK

Camden Council is working in partnership with Deaf Parenting UK.  This website is a central resource of information for Deaf parents and professionals working with Deaf parents.  The service offers Family Fun days, Deaf Parenting Skills, Parenting Support and a Befriender Service, etc.

Camden Council signed up to the British Deaf Association BSL charter May 2015.  The charter has 5 pledges that the council have pledged their commitment to achieve.

Five pledges of the BSL Charter:

  • Ensure access for Deaf people to information and services
  • Promote learning and high quality teaching of British Sign Language (BSL)
  • Support Deaf children and families
  • Ensure staff working with Deaf people can communicate effectively in BSL
  • Consult with the local Deaf community on a regular basis

Other local services 

Travel 

If you are profoundly deaf or severely deaf and you would like to apply for a Freedom Pass, please make sure to include your audiogram, proof of your Disability Living Allowance or either Personal Independence Payment or evidence of your hearing loss.

The emergency SMS service lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK send an SMS text message to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire rescue, or coastguard.

Emergency SMS

Simply by sending an SMS message to 999 you can call for help and the emergency services will be able to reply to you.

You will need to register your mobile phone before using the emergency SMS service.

Losing weight

If a deaf person is obese you will need to see a GP who will then refer you to Better Gym. Better Gym, based at 5 Pancras Square, will provide a deaf trainer or provide communication support so that you can have access to healthy exercise plans.

Disability Action Group

Camden Disability Action is setting up a D/deaf and hard of hearing group, if you are interested and would like to be involved, please contact Camden Disability Action.

Services for Deaf adults who use British Sign Language or Signed Support English

RAD (Royal Association for Deaf People) provide information, advice and guidance for D/deaf people living in Camden. 

If you need help with: 

  • benefit advice 
  • employment 
  • debt 
  • understanding correspondence and form filling 

you can visit the Contact Camden reception on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays between 10am and 4pm. 

Various equipment for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing children

National Deaf Children Society:

How technology helps my deaf child cope with hearing Loss

Borrow to Buy

National Deaf Children Society have partnered with Phonak to launch our new Borrow to Buy pilot scheme. This scheme offers deaf children, their families and the professionals working with them immediate access to Phonak products. Each product can be borrowed for up to 90 days. At the end of the 90 day loan period you can choose to buy the product if you think it is of benefit, or you can simply return it to us if not.

NDCS Technology and products for deaf children at home and out and about

Find out more information at the National Deaf Children's Society

Apps for deaf people

There are many apps for deaf people or those with hearing loss, for both adults and children. These apps are available on Apple, Android, Windows or Blackberry and could have real benefits in everyday life.

NDCS has created an apps resource suitable for deaf people (we use the word 'deaf' to refer to all types of hearing loss) or for families of deaf children to easily find out which apps are most suitable - all in one place. To access our apps resource you will need to become a member of NDCS

Go to our apps resource 

NDCS has also created an information resource about tablets and useful features to look for when choosing a tablet. We have included a step-by-step guide to setting up 'Guided Access' on an iPad, which gives you a range of options, like locking the iPad to one particular app.

Go to our tablets resource

Below we categorise the apps available in our resource for deaf people including those with different types hearing loss. For example:

Developing Early Skills

Apps which have been designed to target a range of early skills for young children aged 0-4.

The apps resource features:

  • Apps to help develop early numeracy skills
  • Apps to help develop early reading and writing skills
  • Apps to help with communication, including sign language
  • Apps to help encourage interaction and discussion
  • Apps which help develop problem-solving and memory skills

Fun apps for your holiday for those with a hearing loss

The apps resource features fun and engaging apps which could be really entertaining for deaf young people to use both with friends and independently over the school holidays.

This includes:

  • apps which support communication and could be useful for deaf young people when they are abroad
  • very accessible mainstream apps which offer fun and creative things to do either at home or whilst out and about

Apps to help you visit the doctor independently

The apps resource features apps which could help a deaf young person to see a Doctor or nurse by themselves or find out information about their health. 

This includes:

  • apps which may improve communication between you and your Doctor or nurse.
  • apps which can help increase your independence by giving you access to useful health-related information
  •  

Apps for communication

The apps resource features apps which could help with communication in a number of ways.

The resource features:

  • Apps which allow you to communicate by text or video
  • Apps which amplify sound in the environment
  • Examples of apps for deaf people including Skype,  Google +, Dragon Dictation, Aud1 and more
  • We feature the costs of apps

Alerting apps

We feature alerting apps in our apps resource because these can help deaf users be aware of what is going on around them wherever they are.

The apps resource includes:

  • Apps which alert users to sounds or movement in their environment
  • Apps which make your Smartphone or tablet flash or vibrate to notify you of a message
  • Examples of alerting apps including Flash Notifications, Tap Tap and more
  • We include the costs of alerting apps

Entertainment apps

The apps resource features apps that could help deaf young people and children enjoy and have better access to music, TV, films, books and games.

Visit the apps resource to find out about:

  • Apps which provide subtitles and lyrics
  • Mainstream games that can be enjoyed by deaf people
  • Apps that allow you to tailor your device to receive news or special interest stories in a very accessible format
  • Examples of entertainment apps including BBC iPlayer, Sound Hound, My Playhome and more
  • We also include costs of entertainment apps

Travel and leisure apps

The apps resource features travel and leisure apps which could make it easier for deaf people to travel independently, as well as enjoying their interests and social activities.

Visit the apps resource to find out about:

  • Apps for travel - mainstream travel-related apps that could help deaf people or those who have hearing loss
  • Taxi-hailing apps, booking transport apps
  • Apps to help a deaf child take part in leisure activities
  • Travel and leisure apps including Inclusive Britain, UK Train Times and more
  • We also feature costs of apps

Apps to help with your child's education

There are many apps which could help children learn to read, write or cover any aspect of their education.

The apps resource features:

  • Apps to help with note-taking at school
  • Apps to help with organisation at school
  • Apps to help with revision
  • Links to further resources for Apple, Android and Blackberry Educational Apps

Sign language apps

Do you use British Sign Language or looking to learn?

The apps resource includes:

  • Apps for learning BSL
  • Apps that feature BSL
  • Sign language Entertainment apps and learning resources for younger children and older learners
  • Sign language apps including ITV Signed Stories, Sign It and more 

Audiology Apps that explain hearing loss and the ear

Apps which have been designed as audiological tools or to provide information on a range of specialised topics, from physiology to hearing aids.

The apps resource features:

  • Information resources for hearing devices e.g. hearing aids or cochlear implants
  • Apps for audiologists, therapists and teachers
  • Examples of audiology apps including Auditory Verbal, Cochlear Baha Support and more

Apps for deaf people with additional needs

Our section on apps for deaf people with additional needs features:

  • Communication apps for children who require extra help expressing ideas or emotions
  • Entertainment apps - Games which may be enjoyed by deaf children and young people who have additional needs
  • Apps for activities and routines - e.g. charts and planners
  • Examples of apps for additional needs including Grid Player, Special Stories and more 

The Sensory Advisory Service for children and young people 

The Sensory Advisory Service supports the inclusion of children and young people diagnosed with hearing needs from birth to 25 years. We aim to help families and schools understand the impact of sensory needs on learning and to raise the educational standards and achievements of children and young people with sensory needs.

The advisory service for Deaf children and young people is a team of specially qualified teachers of Deaf children.

The team works with children, young people and their families at home, in early years settings, mainstream schools, further education settings, special education settings and hospitals.

The service provides advice, training and support on all aspects of deaf awareness, audiology, equipment, language and communication development, learning, social / emotional well-being, post-16 studies and support through each transition stage.

Contact: Sensory Advisory Service

Advice for schools on accessibility for D/deaf pupils and D/deaf parents

The Sensory Advisory Service can provide advice to schools about making their services accessible to D/deaf pupils and D/deaf parents.  

For example, holding a meeting where the pupil or parent are unable to access the content without an interpreter is indirect discrimination and therefore unlawful. Also not providing an interpreter for the pupil and/or their parent is “subjecting them to a detriment” and is also therefore unlawful.  

We refer to the Equality Act 2010 schools advice

Further information for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing people

Audiology

Royal Free Hospital Audiology Department

Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital Audiology Department (PDF)

Local voluntary sector organisations

Age UK Camden

Camden Disability Action

Schools

Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children

Mainstream Schools. There are Partially Hearing Units (PHUs) in some mainstreams schools. If you need more information, contact Camden Sensory Advisory Service.

British Sign Language classes

City Lit

Frank Barnes School

Remark!

Further Education

City Lit College
There is communication support provided for deaf and hard of hearing students who attend courses. Some courses are specifically for deaf students.

Westminster Adult Education Service
Offers communication support work, specialist notetaking, BSL/English interpreting.

Higher Education

UCL Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre

National organisations

Action on Hearing loss

British Deaf Association

British Tinnitus Association

DeafPLUS

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

National Cochlear Implant Users Association

National Deaf Children Society

Royal Association for Deaf people

UK Council on Deafness

Arts and Entertainment

Attitude is everything

British Sign Language Broadcast Trust

Deafinitely Theatre

Graeae Theatre

Shape

Signed Culture

Stagetext

Your Local Cinema

Carer agencies

Deafplus carer service

Helping Hand Care and Nursing at Home

RAD deaf carers

Sam2Sam Deaf Care service

Health

SignHealth

Mental Health 

National Deaf Service

Counselling Service

Deaf4Deaf

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Queer

deaf LGBTIQA

Parenting

Deaf Parenting UK

Deaf Parents Deaf Children

Religious organisations

Al isharah

Catholic Deaf Association

Deaf Church

Deaf Bible Ministries

Jewish Deaf Association

Muslim Deaf UK

Radha Krishna Deaf Association

Sport

UK Deaf Sport

Technology

SignLive

SignVideo

Women’s Groups

Deaf Ethnic Women Association

DeafHope
DeafHope is the UK's only sign-language based service to help deaf women and children who suffer from domestic abuse.

Young people

British Deaf Association Deafroots and Pride

British Deaf Association Youth

Deafinitely Youth Theatre

National Deaf Children Society Young People Advisory Board

Europe

European Union of the Deaf

International

Children of Deaf Adults

International Federation of Hard of Hearing people

Sound Seekers

World Federation for the Deaf