Sensory Loss

Topics: Blindness, Deaf culture, Hearing impairment Pages: 5 (1878 words) Published: November 11, 2014
Sensory loss
Sensory loss takes place when a person’s sight or hearing becomes impaired. For some people who have been born with a hearing or sight impairment the term “loss” is inappropriate. However many people who have spent their lives hearing or seeing and will experience a sense of loss if these abilities are affected. Very few people are totally deaf or completely blind so design for sensory loss should be about supporting remaining ability as well as compensating by using other senses. There are three very distinct groups within sensory impairment: visually impaired people

Sight can help us perceive the world through image, motion and colour. The term sight loss is used to describe those who are ‘blind’ and can’t see at all as well as people who are ‘partially sighted’ and might be able to see something such as shadows or hazy colour. Sight loss can mean people move around and interact with the environment by using alternative strategies which design can support. Sight loss has numerous causes relating to, accident, age, disease and dementia deaf people

In our culture many forms of communication are built around the ability to hear. On this site hearing loss is used to describe those who are either deaf or hard of hearing. It is important to note that people with hearing loss living in care will have a board spectrum of hearing ability that ranges from mild to severe impairment. Hearing loss is one of the most common disorders to affect elderly people and has many causes. deafblind people

When a person has difficulties seeing and hearing then the person can be termed deafblind. Although it is more common to refer to someone as being deafblind if there combined sight and hearing loss which causes difficulties for them with communication, mobility and access to information.  The combination of the two sensory impairments intensify the impact of each other, which  usually means 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 requires a separate approach. Deafblindness is a unique and extremely complex disability that often requires specialist communication methods and and systems being introduced to the person and those around them to enable communication to take place. Deafblindness has adverse effects on all areas of development, in particular the language acquisition process, conceptual development, motor development, behaviour and personality of a person. People who are deafblind can generally be separated into two groups: Congenital Deafblindness - People who were born with a   hearing and vision impairment. This category may also include individuals who are born hearing – sighted, but who become deafblind through accident or illness within the first months of their lives. The important factor being that they become deafblind before they had the opportunity to gain formal language skills. Acquired Deafblindness  - People who develop deafblindness later in life. Three combinations are possible:

a)  Individuals who are born blind and later develop a hearing impairment. b)  Individuals who are born deaf and later develop vision impairment. c)  Individuals who are born sighted and hearing, but later develop a  vision and hearing impairment. Causes of sensory loss

Blindness/partial sight
Ageing process, e.g. age-related macular degeneration
Disease, e.g. diabetes
Infection, e.g. meningitis
Genetics e.g. retinitis pigmentosa (RP)
Injury or physical trauma

Ageing process
Infection, e.g. meningitis, mumps, measles
Disease, e.g. Ménière’s disease
Physical trauma
Exposure to loud noise

Ageing process
Maternal infection, e.g. rubella
Genetics, e.g. Usher Syndrome
Other congenital causes, e.g. premature birth
Combination of causes of deafness and blindness
At times it may be obvious...
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