An older woman chatting with an older man, a young man guiding a young women while they walk in the park, a young woman in white shirt holds her hands up to her left ear

Awareness Training

Raising awareness of the practical and emotional impact of sensory loss

To support our vision of “A Scotland aware of the needs of people with sensory impairment, that includes them as equal participants in community life and offers them the opportunities available to all”, NESS delivers Sensory Awareness (visual awareness and deaf awareness) Training, raising awareness of the practical and emotional impact of sight and/or hearing loss.

Once you have completed the training you will have the knowledge, skills, confidence and awareness to be supportive and inclusive of people living with a sensory impairment. By the end of the training, you will:

  • Be aware of the range of ways vision is affected by sight loss.
  • Be aware of the different degrees of deafness and the different ways these impact on communication.
  • Be aware of the practical and emotional barriers that affect people living with a sensory loss day to day.
  • Understand the different mobility techniques that someone who is visually impaired might use to get out and about independently.
  • Understand basic sighted guiding skills.
  • Be able to communicate more effectively with someone with a hearing loss.
  • Understand what British Sign Language is and who uses it.
  • Understand the communication and information needs of people who are visually impaired, living with a hearing loss or who use British Sign Language as their first language.
  • Be aware of some of the daily living aids and technology that someone with a sensory loss might use to maintain their independence.

How is the training structured? 

There are two parts to our Sensory Awareness Training.

  1. The first part is e-learning. The e-learning provides you with all of the background information about sight loss, hearing loss, deafness, and deafblindness. When you book onto the training, you will receive a couple of emails with the log in details of our e-learning website. You can work your way through the content in your own time, at your own pace. We recommend that you do it bit by bit, and that you complete this before attending the second part of the training.

The e-learning part of the training is broken down into Visual Awareness and Deaf Awareness and includes quizzes, videos and exercises. It should take 4-6 hours to complete. You will have access to the e-learning until a month after completing the second part of the training.


  1. The second part is the interactive part of the training. You can choose to either attend a face-to-face session, all of which run from 9.30am-3.30pm or a 2.5 hour Microsoft Teams session.

The face-to-face training will explore the practical and emotional impact of sight loss and hearing loss using interactive activities, looking particularly at communication and sighted guiding skills. Lunch will be provided as an integral part of the training, and as such the training will cost an additional £15 for people who are paying for the training. Lunch will be funded for those who benefit from funding for the training.

The Microsoft Teams session will be an interactive session within a small group of training participants. You will discuss the practical and emotional impact of sight loss and hearing loss, and discuss the barriers that someone with a sight loss or hearing might face in everyday scenarios. You will also identify some of the ways in which someone with a sight or hearing loss might manage those situations independently, using the information you have learned in the e-learning.

View Dates for training 2024 (opens Word Document).

Booking your place 

You can book your place on the e-learning by completing the Booking Form (opens in a new window). Please choose to attend either a face-to-face session or a Teams session.  All of the available sessions are listed in the booking form.

Once we have received your booking, we will send you joining instructions for the e-learning, plus confirmation of your booking at either the the face-to-face training or the Microsoft Teams session.

Please note, it may take a few days for the information to be sent to you.  If you have not heard from us within a week, please get in touch by phoning NESS on 0345 271 2345 or emailing

You can start accessing the e-learning as soon you get your log-in details.

To complete the Sensory Awareness Training, you must complete the e-learning and either a Microsoft Teams session or a face-to-face session. Certificates of Completion will only be issued on completion of both parts of the training.

Paying for training 

There is some funding to cover the cost of the training for some people.

  • If you work for a public or third sector organisations, or a private care providers (e.g. care home) in Aberdeen city, the cost of the training is covered by the Aberdeen See Hear Strategy Fund.
  • If you are employed by Moray Health and Social Care Partnership or Angus Health and Social Care Partnership (that is, you are employed by the Moray Council or Angus Council, or employed by NHS Grampian in Moray, or NHS Tayside in Angus) you do not have to pay for the training. As part of our contracts with the Health and Social Care Partnerships in those areas we have funding to deliver training to employees of the HSCPs.  This does not apply to people who work for organisations who are funded by the HSCPs but are not employed by them.
  • If you are employed by another public or third sector organisation in Moray, Angus or elsewhere, the training costs £45 per person for the e-learning and Microsoft Teams session. The e-learning with an in-person interactive session costs £60. These prices apply for private care providers.
  • For people employed in the private sector (with the exception of private care providers – see above) the cost of the training is £65 for e-learning and Microsoft Teams session or £80 for e-learning and a face-to-face session.

Please get in touch (takes you the Contact Us page) if you have any questions or would like to find out more about the training.

Tailored Awareness Training

As well as our training programme, we can deliver Tailored Training, either face-to-face or remotely.   We can tailor the content of our Sensory Awareness Training to meet your needs and deliver it at a time to suit you.

If you would like to find out more about the options for tailored training and the costs involved, please get in touch (opens Contact Us page).


We can deliver talks about what NESS does and how NESS supports people who have a sensory loss to your community group.  These can be delivered remotely or face-to-face.  Please get in touch (opens Contact Us page) to arrange for us to talk to your group. Talks to community groups are usually free, but we do ask that any travel expenses are paid.

Feedback from some of our training participants

After doing the online learning modules, the session with Libby reinforced and gave opportunities to ask questions and share experiences which was really helpful.

– Sensory Awareness Training Participant


This training was ideal for me! I had very little background knowledge, so I was coming in as a complete beginner, and I found the training very enjoyable, interesting and useful to complete.

– Sensory Awareness Training Participant


Enquire about our training


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