Sense wants healthcare services to be accessible for people who are deafblind or have complex needs.

A woma using deafblind manual and a man wearing a hearing aid at a an accessible health information consultation event at Sense

We believe that:

  • People who are deafblind must be involved in their health care in order to be able to make information choices about their treatment. With access to appropriate support (e.g. communication support or information in accessible formats) people who are deafblind are able to be effective partners and experts in their own care.  This is why we support The Accessible Information Standard and have been heavily involved in its development.
  • Awareness of the needs of people who are deafblind is essential for effective patient engagement and person centred care; healthcare staff should receive deafblind awareness training in order to be able to effectively and appropriately support and identify the needs of their deafblind patients.
  • Deafblindness can have a significant impact on health outcomes if not managed or supported effectively.
  • Commissioners and service managers should be aware of, and understand the specialist needs of, deafblind people and allow for flexibility in patient pathways to account for this.

In our health policy work, we seek to engage with local and national decision makers, health care professionals and people who are deafblind. We also work in a number of partnerships and programmes with other organisations.

Key areas of work:

Equal access to healthcare: read a copy of our new report into accessible healthcare and what it means for deafblind people.

The Accessible Information Standard: we are a member of the Advisory Group for the Accessible Information Standard and have worked closely with NHS England to ensure it meets the needs of people who are deafblind.

Useful links and resources:


First published: Friday 22 November 2013
Updated: Wednesday 1 November 2017