About Sense

Sense is a national charity supporting people who are deafblind or have complex disabilities to communicate and experience the world.

Sense believe that no one, no matter how complex their disabilities, should be isolated, left out, or unable to fulfil their potential.

Over the past 4 years, they have been funded by Sport England to develop a range of sports activities for disabled people through their “Deafblind Active” and “Sporting Sense” projects.

Activities for disabled people

What changed?

They recently received some additional funding to expand this work through a new project called Sense, Active Together.

To increase the amount of disabled people accessing sport and physical activity, Sense work with local providers who have the skills and expertise to deliver high quality sessions.

They provide them with training, to ensure they understand the needs of disabled people, how to communicate effectively with them, and adapt their activity so it is appropriate and engaging for the participants attending.

The training package is called Connecting Differently Through Sport- a 3-hour workshop for those working with disabled people in sport and physical activity.

Sense delivered this workshop at Hampton Leisure Centre in Peterborough, to participants from a range of backgrounds, including County FAs, local care providers and large leisure providers such as Freedom Leisure.

Activities for disabled people

The difference

Participants took part in a range of practical activities, including trying some sports whilst wearing a blindfold and ear buds, to simulate the experience a deafblind person may have when accessing an activity.

Using the learning from this activity, participants then came up with their own game, ensuring it was accessible for those with a sight and hearing loss.

In addition, they learnt some basic sign language, as well as how to sign their name in deafblind manual, which is a tactile form of communication used by some people with a dual sensory loss. These skills are vital to ensuring people with a hearing or sight loss are welcomed into a session in a friendly and person-centred way.

The feedback from those who attended was extremely positive- they described the workshop as “very informative and interactive” and “engaging and enjoyable”. Before the workshop, only 50% of attendees felt comfortable delivering an inclusive session, and after the workshop, this increased to 100%!

The future

Sense will be delivering further workshops across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire between 2020-2022, for more information contact us at [email protected]