Deafblindness is a condition which sees sight loss and hearing loss affecting a person’s life together. It can affect communication and mobility skills. It can also cause problems with:
- getting the right information
- receiving the best help and advice
- finding services and support to help
It is important to understand that:
- deafblindness does not mean a deaf person who cannot see
- deafblindness does not mean a blind person who cannot hear
- deafblindness can be present from birth (known as congenital)
- deafblindness can develop later in life
When deafness and blindness happen together, each condition increases the effect of the other one. Often this can be significant.
Most deafblind people do have some vision and hearing though.
You can learn more about deafblindness from:
BID Services is a charity working in Solihull with people with sensory impairments. It is commissioned by Solihull Council to help people that are deaf and hard of hearing, including deafened people living with additional needs such as physical disabilities,visual impairments and mental health conditions.
BID Services also provides a range of other support services. These can help you live independently, promote your right to make your own decisions and help you to make your own choices with the right support. Services offered to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing adults in Solihull include:
- assistive equipment for use in the home (following an assessment)
- information, advice and guidance drop-in every Monday, Thursday and Friday at Chelmsley Wood Community Advice Hub
- home visits if service users unable to travel due to mobility issues
- employment training, coaching and support
Care Plus from BID
Care Plus is a specialist care and support service to help deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind adults stay independent. There are a range of services designed to help you, whether you live in your own home or in a residential home. Care Plus can help you in a number of ways, including:
- getting out and about
- going shopping
- light gardening jobs
- paying bills
The Care Plus service also tackles loneliness and isolation with companionship and befriending.
Contact BID Services
You can choose to:
- contact BID Services by visiting their information, advice and guidance drop-in every Monday, Thursday and Friday at Chelmsley Wood Community Advice Hub
- go to the BID Services Solihull website
- email BID at firstname.lastname@example.org
- call BID Services Solihull on voice call phone number 0121 246 6100
- get in touch with BID Services Solihull textphone and minicom number 0121 246 6101
- call on your mobile to BID Services Solihull mobile phone number 07736 126 727
The local RNIB team provides services unique to our area, including:
- eye clinic support in Coventry and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham
- rehabilitation support in Solihull
You can find out more about all of the services available, and contact the Birmingham Action for Blind People team directly, by:
- calling the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999
- visit the RNIB website
Deafblind UK is a charity supporting deafblind people. It also provides information and advice to those experiencing progressive sight and hearing loss.
You can contact Deafblind UK by:
- visiting the www.deafblind.org.uk website
- calling the helpline on 0800 132 320 (the helpline takes both voice and text / minicom calls)
- emailing email@example.com
Sense is a charity which also provides advice, information and support for deafblind people, carers of deafblind people and professionals.
You can contact Sense by:
- visiting the www.sense.org.uk website
- calling the helpline on:
- 0300 330 9256 or
- 020 7520 0972 (both numbers take textphone / minicom calls and voice calls)
- sending an email to - firstname.lastname@example.org
Coping with sight problems in Solihull
If you are finding things a little more difficult at home than previously, you can also take a look at equipment to help around the home.
If things are becoming harder for you when you are out and about too, exploring what transport options are available could be a great help as well.
Additionally, there are a number of national organisations which supply essential help and advice for people experiencing sight loss and their carers:
- Guide Dogs can help you get out and about and have completely changed the lives for many blind and partially sighted people over the years.
- Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB)
Help from the NHS
The NHS also has extensive advice on deafblindness.
Covering symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, the excellent resource also explains about sight and hearing tests.
For complex needs, the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of services. Services can be accessed following a referral from a GP, local community mental health team or a community learning disability team.
Community Advice Hubs
Visiting your local Community Advice Hub could put you in contact with the best support and activities to help you live better with dual sensory loss and deafblindness. The hubs also offer information and support to you if you are carer.
You can visit the hubs in:
Taking a look for providers and organisations providing care and support for dual sensory loss in The Solihull Directory is also a good place to start. Your search for help and information in and around Solihull could be helped by searching for:
- dual sensory loss
- deaf blind
- deaf blindness
There are a number of local charities and national charities working locally. They supply essential help, support and advice for people with sight issues, as well as supporting their carers and loved ones.
Daytime activities if you have dual sensory loss or deafblindness
If you have deafblindness or are living with dual sensory loss, day opportunities in Solihull are provided by Action for Blind People
When things become difficult
Solihull Council can provide care and support for people experiencing sensory loss. This includes those who are living with dual sensory loss.
If you have deaf blindness, it is important to identify your specific needs through an assessment with BID services. That means that the very best care and support can be given to you. This will be decided through your care and support plan agreed with you.
The care plan you need will likely be significantly different than those required by people with singular sensory loss such as:
- sight impairment
- hearing impairment
A qualified worker will work with you, and your carer or representative if you would like, to discuss your needs and identify how to help.