Support for health and social care professionals

A meeting of deafblind peopleSense provides a range of information for social workers working with clients who are deafblind or have sensory impairments. These may be workers, generic workers or commissioners who want to know more about deafblindness and what support deafblind people need from social services.

The Care Act

The Care Act, which came into force on 1 April 2015, includes a number of measures that have a bearing on care and support for deafblind people and people with complex needs. We have produced a guide to support senior managers and policy makers involved in implementing the Care Act, but will also be useful to anyone working in deafblind care and support to understand how the Care Act will impact on their work. The guide highlights the points in the regulations and guidance of the Care Act which make specific reference to deafblind people as well as examining other areas of the Act with particular relevance for this group.

Download Sense's practical guide to implementing the Care Act for deafblind people

Alternatively, print copies can be ordered from

Deafblind assessment and the Care Act - a five day level 3 course for professionals who carry out assessments for adult social care, to equip participants to assess deafblind people at the minimum level set by the Care Act. The course will next run in December 2015 in Barnet, London.

Deafblind Guidance

Since 2001, social services departments in both England and Wales have had specific duties in relation to deafblind children and adults, set out in the statutory guidance Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults (issued in 2001 in Wales, re-issued in 2009 in England).

Personalisation and direct payments

Local authorities in England and Wales are implementing personalisation in a range of different ways. Sense has produced information about how personalisation and direct payments relates to deafblind services.

Older people

Ageing is the single most common cause of deafblindness; around 80 per cent of deafblind people are aged over 60 (see A Sense of Urgency report). Many of these people will not identify with the term ‘deafblind’, and terms such as ‘dual-sensory loss’ or ‘can’t see and hear too well’ are often used.

However, older people with a loss of both hearing and sight may meet the definition of deafblindness and therefore need to be supported in a way which complies with the deafblind guidance. Sense has produced a range of materials aimed at professionals, including social workers, who work with older people to enable them to better support those with hearing and sight loss.

Support groups for local authority workers

There are two support groups for local authority workers, one supported by Sense in the South of England, and one run independently in the North of England. Both are run by and for local authority workers.

First published: Thursday 12 July 2012
Updated: Wednesday 25 November 2015