What is Sensory Impairment?
95% of the information about the world around us comes from our sight and hearing. Sensory impairment is when one of the senses; sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste and spatial awareness, is no longer normal. Communication is the greatest challenge. A sighted and hearing person will explore their surroundings, a person with sensory impairments will need encouragement to explore and interact. Normal progress to language is hard, and intensive education and support is needed throughout the person’s lifetime.
Types of Sensory Impairments
People who are blind or have low vision can use technology aids, equipment and strategies to lead fairly independent and safe lives at home and in the community. Blindness and low vision can occur as a result of disease or infection, conditions or accidents. Today, more than 500,000 people in Australia are living with vision impairment, low vision and blindness. That figure is expected to double in Australia by the year 2030 as our population ages. Symptoms of vision impairment are central vision loss, peripheral vision loss, contrast impairment, glare, reduced depth perception and blur.
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Hearing loss, hearing impairment or deafness is a partial or total inability to hear. It can be caused by genetics, aging, exposure to noise, illness, chemicals and physical trauma. It is usually described as mild, mild-moderate, moderate, moderately severe, severe, or profound. Hearing loss exists when there is diminished sensitivity to the sounds normally heard. Deafness is defined as a degree of impairment that a person is unable to understand speech even in the presence of amplification. Many in the deaf community view it as a condition, rather than an illness.
Learn more about Hearing Loss
Sensory Processing Disorder
Sometimes called ‘sensory integration’, SPD refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses. Often aligned with Austism Spectrum Disorder, SPD is a condition that exists when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. Acting like a neurological ‘traffic jam’ SPD prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly, resulting in motor clumsiness, behavioural problems, anxiety, depression, and learning difficulties. It can affect people in only one sense or in multiple senses. While most of us have occasional difficulties processing sensory information, children and adults with SPD find these difficulties to be chronic and highly disruptive to everyday life, making it difficult to perform routines and activities at work, form close relationships and participate in recreation.
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Our mission is to [support] people with Sensory Disabilities to lead meaningful and valued lives, Contact us today for more information on how we can help