What we do

Sense offers high quality, flexible services across the UK, using skilled staff and a dedicated network of volunteers. We tailor the support we offer to the individual needs of each person so they can live as independently as possible and participate fully in the lives of their local communities.

Woman with support worker in Sense accommodation, a young woman and volunteer on a holiday, a young boy with an intervenor

Children’s Specialist Services

Children's Specialist Services is a team of specialist teachers, children’s therapists and children and family support workers which offers a range of services including: help when a child is first diagnosed; assessments and advice to help children learn and develop; early intervention and developmental play services; plus extra support at times of crisis and transition.


We organise around 25 week-long summer holidays for more than 100 deafblind children and adults each year. Within the adult range (19 years and over), holidays are prioritised by applications from people living at home with their families. We also offer holidays for older people with hearing and sight loss.

Short breaks

Sense offers a range of stimulating, friendly short breaks for children, adults and older people. These give people the chance to enjoy new experiences, make friends and grow in confidence. They also give families and carers a much-needed break.

We provide co-produced short breaks, designed with families and young people. We want every person to feel valued, make choices, join-in activities, build capacity for self-help and social skills - with tailored support to make the break a memorable and stimulating experience.
We also offer a short breaks package for children over 14 years of age, which supports young people’s transition into adult services.

Housing options

Sense offers a range of housing options where individuals are supported to run their day-to-day lives, to be as independent as possible, to be part of their community and to thrive.

In our residential services, Sense provides and runs the accommodation as well as supporting all aspects of a person’s daily needs and wellbeing.

In our supported living services, people are tenants or homeowners in their own right, with Sense providing the support they need to enjoy more independent lives.

We use our communication expertise and person-centred approach to make sure that people are at the heart of planning and developing their service, giving individuals choice and control of their life. Whether it is shopping for food, furnishing a room, following an education programme or going to the gym, we support people to express their preferences and to make them happen.

All our housing services are registered and inspected by the Care Quality Commission.

Sense College

Our specialist Sense College is located at a number of different sites and offers a specifically designed curriculum for young people and adults.  Registered and inspected by Ofsted, all Sense College sites provide facilities and an environment that meets the particular needs of learners.

We offer creative support for individuals with diverse needs and abilities, including people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs.

A range of learning options is drawn up for each person based on their Education, Health and Care Plan and to meet their individual needs.

Each learner has their own programme that might consist of a mix of options, including:

  • Educational courses
  • Vocational activities
  • Work placements
  • Lifeskills programmes
  • Sensory awareness

Sense College offers a range of formal accredited courses, including Open College Network (OCN) and ASDAN courses.

Community resource centres

We run resource centres across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where individuals are supported to choose from a wide range of activities and programmes. These help people to develop their communication and living skills, and provide opportunities for self-expression through all sorts of activities, including arts and crafts, sport and exercise, sensory stimulation and much more.


TouchBase is Sense’s exciting new development for people who are deafblind and those with sensory impairments, and the wider community in Birmingham. 

Man with his communicator guide in a supermarket, young people at a weekend, woman reading with a support worker in Sense accommodation

Individual support in the community

Communicator Guides offer communication support, guiding skills and practical help – such as help with shopping or dealing with mail – to enable people who are deafblind to continue to live independently.

Intervenors are trained to work one to one with congenitally deafblind children, young people and adults. Their role includes support in the development of communication, access to education, social and leisure opportunities.  They promote independence by encouraging people who are deafblind to do things for themselves.

Usher Service

Sense Usher Service has an Usher team that specialise in the field of Usher and support people with Usher, their families and professionals. The Usher team support covers advice, assessments, training, mentoring and professional support.  Contact info@sense.org.uk or usher@sense.org.uk for more information. You can also follow us on Facebook - Sense Usher Service.

Branches and membership

To help families to come together for mutual support, share information and to keep up with the latest developments, Sense supports local branches and offers a membership scheme.

Information and advice

Sense is uniquely positioned to provide advice and support on all issues relating to deafblindness, sensory impairments and complex needs.

Our Information and Advice service can provide impartial information that is up-to-date and relevant to your individual needs in a format of your choice. Among other things, they can help you to understand your rights and specific guidance around social care for adults who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, such as assessments and service provision. Our Information and Advice Team also have access to other teams that are able to provide guidance on legal issues and assistive technology.