Sensory disabilities, or sensory impairments, affect one or more of a person’s senses: touch, hearing, sight, taste, smell, or spatial awareness. Achieve supports people with varying sensory disabilities, the most common of which are described below.
Blindness or low vision
A person is considered legally blind if their field of vision is less than 20 degrees in diameter or if they cannot see at six metres what somebody with normal vision can see in 60 metres. A person is said to have low vision if they have permanent vision loss that cannot be corrected.
Blindness and low vision can occur as a result of disease, infection, conditions or accidents and blur. Various technology aids, equipment and strategies help people with blindness or vision impairment to lead independent and safe lives.
Deafness or hearing loss
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.
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.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurological condition that causes people to misinterpret information they receive through one, or many of the senses. This can cause severe functional impairment, which can be disruptive to daily life, routines and learning processes for people with SPD.
People with SPD are either Hypersensitive, meaning they are over reactive and avoid sensory stimulation, or Hyposensitive meaning they are under reactive and seek our sensory stimulation.