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Carers who care for people with disabilities and sensory loss

If you care for a person with physical and learning disabilities and/or a person with sensory loss the following offers a range of information, advice and care options that are available for your cared for.

Sensory Services

Based within the Sensory Unit

This is a small team of staff trained in helping people with a sensory loss regain or maintain their independence in the community.  They give support and information to people who have sight or hearing loss, or dual sensory impairment (which is a loss of both sight and hearing) including specialist equipment and training to help them get out and about and take part in normal life.

If you are worried about your cared for's sight or hearing, you can arrange an appointment for them to visit their doctor or optician. They might say that your cared for needs help from the Sensory Unit and will refer them.  As a carer you can contact them on your behalf, but only if your cared for say you can.

Click here to find out more if you are worried about your sight or hearing

The Sensory Unit will visit your cared for at home and talk about how their sight or hearing loss is affecting them. They will ask them about their daily living, how they are feeling, and what they need help with. They call this an assessment.

What is an assessment?


The Sensory Unit will have a register of people who live in the borough who have a severe sight or hearing loss. Depending on what the doctor or consultant tells them, they will ask your cared for if they would like to register. The Sensory Unit can use this information to contact your cared for with information on events that may be of interest to them.  If your cared for is registered as Partially Sighted, Blind or Deaf, they may be able to claim certain benefits.  For example, they may be entitled to a Freedom Pass, Personalised Independent Payment (PIP) or Attendance Allowance (if over 65).  You as a carer may be entililed to carers allowance, the Sensory Unit will be able to provide advice on these and other benefits. 

How much will it cost?

They won't charge your cared for anything for their assessment, but if they need services then they might have to pay for them or towards the cost of the services they require. If your cared for needs services they will suggest they have a Personal Budget. You can find out more about that by clicking the button below.

What is a Personal Budget?

What help is available?

There is a range of help available, such as equipment for the home or help to get around, but this will depend on the needs of your cared for. You can talk about this with the Sensory Unit when they are conducting an assessment. 

There are a number of other local and national groups that provide support for people with sensory loss. Click on the button below to find out more.

Organisations and groups that support people with a sensory impairment 

More information

Click here to find out about visiting your optician

What's on;

Drop-in Service Deaf and Hard of Hearing

A drop-in service for people who are deaf and hard of hearing for practical support, advice and information* takes place every Monday between 10:00am and 2:30pm at the Civic Centre, Dagenham. Please go to the reception on the ground floor.
*Please note that this is NOT a hearing aid service.

Getting in touch 

The Sensory Unit

Telephone: 020 8227 2446
Fax: 020 8227 2449

Support getting out and about in the community

There are a number of ways that people with a learning or physical disability, or with sight or hearing loss, can be supported to feel part of their local community.


If your cared for finds it difficult to get around, there are a number of different travel options and services that can make life easier for them.

Click here to find out more information about transport, passes and schemes.

Social and leisure activities

Getting out, taking part in leisure activities and spending time with friends can make all the difference.

Support, day services and employment

There are a number of ways that people with learning or physical disabilities, or with sight or hearing loss, can take part in a range of daytime activities.

The Community Learning Disability Team (CLDT)

The Community Learning Disability Team are here to help your cared for decide what kind of care, support and services they need, and to help them organise it. They can help your cared for to plan their care and support, and help to arrange services.

For more information on the Community Learning Disability Team click here.

Art therapy

Making art can help your cared for to express themselves and communicate feelings that are hard to put into words, it can help with challenging behaviour and frustration. They can look at their art with a specially trained art therapist in a safe and confidential environment, and think about ways of dealing with their difficulties.

For more information on Art Therapy click here.

Day centre

Day centres offer fun and educational day time activities. Below offers details of the Heathland Centre which offer fun and educational activies to people with profound disabilities.

Heathlands Day Centre

Support into Employment

If your cared for has a disability, they might need support or additional equipment so they can do their job. Help is available whether they are working, looking for work, or about to start work. If they qualify, Access to Work might be able to help provide them and their employer with advice and help with extra costs to make sure they can work to their full potential.

For more information for Support into Employment click here


People4People is the Personal Assistant service designed to help people who have a learning disability, physical disability, a mental health support need or who are older, to take more control of their lives.

Click here for details for People4People 

East London Vision (ELVis) 

East London Vision (ELVis) is designed to provide an effective and efficient way of ensuring that vision impaired people living in East London get the support and services they need. It is an umbrella organisation with voluntary sector, user led representation in each of the east London boroughs.

For more information on East London Vision (ELVis) please click here

Transitions into adulthood

Transitions into adulthood

There is a wide range of support for you as a carer and your cared for on their journey to adulthood if they need extra help and support because of a disability or health problem.

The Local Offer 

The local offer is more than simply a directory of services. It is the outcome of partnership working with our local community.

The Council have a new duty under the Children and Families Act to set out in one place information about provision across education, health and social care for children and young people who have SEN or are disabled – including support for families. This is the Council's ‘Local Offer’. The purpose is to:

  • Provide clear information
  • Make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving children, their parents and young people as well as service providers in its development and review

Click here to find our more about the local offer 

Someone to support you as a carer or your cared for to be heard

Having someone to help you and maybe speak on your behalf is known as advocacy.

Advocacy means having someone who will make sure you know your rights and choices and help you get your voice heard.

If you need somebody to help you or your cared for to get views and choices across, you could ask for an advocate. This is somebody who is independent and not connected to council services. Sometimes we may suggest that this is a good idea.

Advocacy enables people with a physical or learning disability, mental health needs, or older people to make informed choices and decisions about their own health and social care. Advocacy can also help you or your cared for to access important information, like benefit entitlement.  There are other services providers in the borough who can help advise on welfare benfefit entitlements including Carers of Barking and Dagenham.

If you or your cared for have an advocate, they will act based on the individual's wishes. They will not take their own view of what is best, or try to influence the individual to make a different choice.

Sometimes people who are working with your cared for might think they are not able to make certain important decisions.  If they have no one in their family to represent their wishes they will be referred to the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service.

This is an independent advocate who is appointed to help the person with the disability to express their wishes and make sure their rights are met. An IMCA can also provide a special type of advocacy which is called non-instructed. This means that if somebody is unable to express their own views, perhaps for health reasons, the IMCA can make sure that the right decisions are made on their behalf.

If you think you might require advocacy support for ourself as a carer or your cared for contact the Cambridge House:

Telephone: 020 7358 7007 
Email: chadvocacy@ch1889.org

You can also contact the Adult Intake and Access Team for more advice and information on 020 8227 2915.