SERVICES for people with sight or hearing loss on the Isle of Wight are to be brought together under the umbrella of a national charity.
Starting from February 1, Action on Hearing Loss will provide sensory impairment services such as mobility and orientation training, assessments, advice on the maintenance of aids and other equipment, family awareness training and interpreter services — all of which are aimed at ensuring people with sight or hearing hearing loss can live independently.
The nationally recognised charity has won the contract to provide the services from the Isle of Wight Council and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, the organisation responsible for planning and buying health services on the Island, for the next four years.
It follows a consultation with service users, which attracted 460 responses from 1,800 questionnaires, which found access to information could be problematic. Respondents said services should be better advertised and called for improved access to public transport, independence training, workplace support and social opportunities.
People with both sight and hearing loss, and those who used British sign language, said they did not feel well supported.