Sensory impairment

Services for deaf or blind people

We offer a specialist service through Deaf Action or RNIB, who together form the Lothian Sensory Partnership.

For people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, deafened or deafblind

Deaf Action can 

  • assess your needs and provide advice and long term support
  • assess for and provide specialist equipment such as flashing doorbells and smoke detectors
  • provide a BSL duty service

Lothian Deaf Counselling Service, run by Health In Mind, offers free one to one counselling for

  • Deaf
  • deafened
  • hard of hearing
  • deafblind adults.

available in British Sign Language without interpreter and also English. A personal  loop system and communication in written English are available for people who are deafened or hard of hearing.

Lothian Deaf Community Mental Health service can give you support with mental health or emotional issues that make every day life more difficult.

Visit our list of helpful services for people with hearing loss.

Your library can give you free hearing aid batteries for your NHS hearing aid 

For people who are blind or partially sighted (serverely sight impaired or sight impaired)

RNIB support services can 

  • assess your needs and provide advice and long term support
  • assess for and provide specialist equipment and a rehabilitation and mobility service
  • give advice and support at the Eye Clinic Support Centre at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion.

Specialist social work services for deaf, deafened, hard of hearing, deafblind and visually impaired people

  • Lothian Sensory Partnership Social Workers undertake holistic assessments, using our sensory loss expertise, but take the whole person and all their needs (not just needs arising from hearing or sight issues) into account
  • Deaf Action Social Workers are trained in different communication tactics and can therefore communicate with the deaf service user directly, using their preferred communication style, for example British Sign Language (BSL). We also advocate for and ‘educate’ other professionals in the use of preferred communication styles (such as to ensure that interpreters are being booked)
  • Lothian Sensory Partnership Social Workers use the same Health and Social Care systems and procedures and have access to the same budget as mainstream locality social workers. We also receive referrals through the Council’s Social Care Direct service
  • Part of this specialist sensory approach involves maintain good knowledge about, and close working partnerships with, other sensory impairment services, which enables us to signpost and facilitate contact; work jointly; support people to access specialist support, equipment, technology & other opportunities such as voluntary work and employment.

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