OVER SIXTY people attended a key event to raise awareness around sensory impairment and to highlight the need for greater understanding and service provision in Thurrock.
Statistics held by Thurrock Council show that there are less than 700 known residents in the adult population who are either blind or partially sighted or deaf or hard of hearing and 20 individuals who have dual sensory impairment.
People with sensory impairments, including members of the Thurrock Unsighted People’s Society (TUPS), have told us that there is a gap in the provision of services and equipment being offered to Thurrock residents by the council.
Sixty people attended the event from across the borough. This included Thurrock residents, service providers, representatives from the Third Sector, council officers and Members.
The format of the day consisted of keynote presentations from individuals, residents and professionals, experiential sensory activities and stalls providing information and advice about sensory impairment.
This was then followed by a question and answer session at which a number of Council officers addressed a number of questions that attendees had about what is being done, and often what is not being done around the provision of sensory services for residents of Thurrock.
A spokesperson for the Thurrock Coalition said: “It is keen to provide input in a comprehensive and strategic manner and to ensure that the process is informed by the views and concerns of residents of Thurrock.
The direct outcomes / suggestions from residents on the day emphasised the importance of:
1. Listening to disabled people as the experts.
2. Employing Council staff with expertise and knowledge in Sensory impairment.
3. Stop quoting policy and procedures
4. Support the Voluntary Sector – they know us.