April 28 at 11:29
Sense, the national deafblind charity, has today announced the official launch of its new deafblind awareness e-learning course, specifically designed for audiologists.
The charity developed the course in response to research produced in partnership with The Ear Foundation which found that many people with deafblindness felt that their audiologist didn’t understand the additional impact of their vision loss on their hearing and accessibility requirements.
Sense estimates that there are approximately 250,000 people who are deafblind in the UK, of which there are currently 220,000 older people with combined sight and hearing loss, this number is predicted to double over the next 20 years, rising to 418,000 over the age of 70 by 2030.
Sense’s new course is structured into eight information sections, enabling staff to study it in short sessions and find the specific information they need when required, course aims include:
· Improving understanding of the types of visual impairment those with deafblindness may present with and its impact
· Supporting deafblind patients better in an audiological and clinical setting. This will include being able to fit hearing aids with a greater awareness of the amplification needs of deafblind people
· How to ensure compliance with the SCCI 1605 Accessible Information Standard to ensure patients with deafblindness receive information in formats that they can understand as well as the appropriate support to help them to communicate
· Increasing awareness of where to signpost deafblind people to alternative support mechanisms in line with the Deafblind Guidance, such as onward referral for specialist assessment provide by sensory teams
The course, which has been awarded three accreditation points by both the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists and the British Academy of Audiology, was soft launched in October 2015 to great acclaim from audiology professionals.
Dev Joshi, a Senior Audiologist within the NHS, who completed the course during its ‘soft launch’, said, "I would definitely recommend this e-learning module to audiologists and assistant audiologists.”
“One of the things that I found useful on this course was looking at hearing aid technology and how we can best programme the hearing aids for our patients with dual sensory impairments.”
Donna Corrigan, Technology Coordinator in the Sense Information team, said, “The course makes extensive use of professional experience, scenarios and good practice videos and also includes downloadable resources to give practitioners the opportunity to explore realistic situations, critically analyse their own practice and better understand the support needed by those with dual sensory impairments.”
As an online learning resource, staff can study the course whenever and wherever suits them. Sense offers single or multiple licences and can host the course under its own learning management system, or under any suitable third-party system.
Further information on the e-learning course, which has been launched to coincide with the British Society of Audiology (BSA) Annual Conference, is available here.