As sensory impairment can be a significant life-limiting condition, the challenges associated with the condition are likely to grow over the coming decades.
People with sensory impairment are more likely to feel lonely and isolated. Research by RNID in 2000 found that 66% of deaf and hard of hearing people feel isolated due to their condition excluding them from everyday activities.
Sensory impairment is something that cuts across system wide services; it is important that sensory impairment awareness and services are embedded in the whole system of provision.
The combination of two sensory impairments can mean that a deafblind person will have difficulty, or find it impossible, to utilise and benefit fully from services for deaf people or services for blind people. Meeting the needs of deafblind people therefore needs a different approach.
Apart from the day-to-day difficulties, people with sensory impairment also have poorer health outcomes, higher rates of poverty and lower educational achievements than people free from disability.
- Both visual and hearing impairment are projected to increase in West Wales over the coming years
- Accelerating factors for sight loss include diabetes and obesity
- Sensory impairment is associated with increased risk of falls and fear of falling has a major impact on people’s ability to remain independent.