Sense-logo-300x240Deafblind Awareness Week runs from the 24 June – 3 July 2016 and aims to raise awareness of the issues facing people who are deafblind. 

Theme this year is ‘older people’, with over 250,000 people aged over 70 living with sight and hearing loss. Events this year, include a deafblind art exhibition in London, a mass participation ‘sensory walk’ in Exeter and a special fundraising concert in Caerphilly. An art exhibition, mass participation walk and music concert are among the activities being coordinated by the deafblind charity, Sense, for Deafblind Awareness Week this year.

Deafblind Awareness Week, which runs from the 24 June – 3 July 2016, aims to raise awareness of the disability, and is timed to coincide with the birthday of prominent 19th century deafblind activist Helen Keller (27 June).

Throughout the week, the charity’s volunteers, shops, communities and services will be running events and activities. Highlights this year include:

Quayside, Exeter – Mass Sensory Walk – Friday 24 June – 10:30am

There will be opportunities for visitors to explore some of the challenges people living with deafblindness encounter, learn some simple signing and attempt reading Braille. At 11:45 there will be a 4km sensory walk. The event is inspired by Roger Mulholland, a local deafblind man who has sadly since passed away.

Park Regis Hotel, Birmingham – Photography Exhibition – starts Friday 24 June

A photographic showcase of Sense’s work in sport, as it has attempted over the last 18 months to make physical activity more accessible to people with disabilities. The photography has been taken as part of the Deafblind Active project, funded by Sport England.

Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall, Wales – Live Music Event – Friday 1 July

Fundraising festivities kick off with karaoke and a disco from 3.30pm until 6.30pm, with special guest Cardiff Captain Jack Sparrow. From 7.30pm, Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall will then host a special fundraising concert, with live music from three local bands and a special performance by the Caerphilly Ladies Choir.

St Luke’s Community Centre, London – Art Exhibition – Friday 1 July -1pm

A special event will be hosted at St Luke’s in London to mark the end of a community art project involving older people with sight and hearing loss in Islington. During the project, which took place over 10 weeks, the group drew creative inspiration from visits to the British Library and the Charles Dicken’s Museum and with artist Alex McEwan they have created their very own unique and collaborative sensory work of book-art.

Richard Kramer, Deputy CEO of Sense said:

“We’re really excited about the number of events taking place in Deafblind Awareness Week, from a photography exhibition at the Park Regis Hotel in Birmingham, to a group sensory walk in Exeter. We hope that the public take an interest in their local activity and come down and get involved. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about deafblindness, and of course have fun too!”

Deafblind people have a combination of sight and hearing loss and it is estimated there are 356,000 deafblind people in the UK.

The theme this year is ‘older people’, as an estimated 222,000 people in the UK aged over 70 living with sight and hearing loss, Sense has created a booklet to help to understand what an older person living with sight and hearing loss is going through, how to help and where to go for more support.

Download it here: