About deafblindness

Sense: the UK Deafblind charity

Deafblindness is a combination of sight and hearing loss that affects a person’s ability to communicate, to access all kinds of information, and to get around.

Deafblindness is not just a deaf person who cannot see, or a blind person who cannot hear. The two impairments together increase the effects of each.

People of all ages can have a sight or hearing impairment. It may have been from birth, or due to deterioration later in life. But most deafblind people have some vision and hearing.

There are approximately 358,000 people in the UK who are deafblind, with the figure estimated to rise to half a million by 2030.

Types and conditions

Through these pages we explain the various types, causes and conditions associated with forms of deafblindness:


We highlight the wide range of communication methods that deafblind people use, plus some tips and important points to remember.

Legal rights

These pages unpack the laws, rights, allowances and guidance around deafblindness. They explain:

Older people

Living with hearing and sight loss in later life can be isolating and a challenge. These pages discuss how best to support and communicate with older people.


Using appropriate technology can give a massive boost to everyday living for deafblind people, enhancing their quality of life or aiding independence. We’ve categorised our information under:


Our research contributes to fresh thinking and feeds into future plans and strategies for our work in supporting deafblind people, their families and the professionals who work with them. Read about our:

Providing good customer service to deafblind people

This section is full of good tips and advice to help make your service or business accessible to deafblind people or anyone with a hearing or sight impairment.

Take a look at our pages on serving and recognising your deafblind customers, guiding deafblind people, as well as ensuring that you can communicate with people with sight and vision impairments. There’s also information on the Equality Act, too.

The Information Standard

The Information Standard 'Certified member' logoSense is a certified member of The Information Standard, a quality assurance standard established by the Department of Health to improve the quality of health and social care information. Wherever you see the Information Standard quality mark logo (pictured right) on this site this means that information has been produced in accordance with the scheme.