NESS is committed to raising awareness of sensory impairment to achieve our vision of “A Scotland aware of the needs of people with a sensory impairment, that includes them as equal participants in community life, and offers them the opportunities available to all”. We need your help to achieve this.
What really raises awareness is finding out about people’s experiences of living with a sight and/or hearing loss, of hearing your personal story. Everyone’s story if unique, each tells of a different perspective, of different ways that you live with a sensory impairment, of how you have overcome barriers in your own individual way.
Stories can be quite specific, for example like Murray’s story of living with Charles Bonnet Syndrome, or they can be a more general description of your journey living with sight and/or hearing loss, like Sonia’s and Innes’s stories. You might have learned to use a piece of technology that has made a difference to your life, or had an experience of going to the cinema or theatre that you would like to share with others. You might have read a book or a blog, or travelled somewhere, you may have learned something about your particular condition, tried something new that you didn’t think you could do before – there are so many different experience that you have had that would help us to raise awareness. You may have achieved something you’re really proud of, like Sylvia’s story.
Personal stories like yours not only give information and advice to others who may be having similar experiences, but also provide hope and inspiration to people who may be finding life adjusting to their sensory impairment a little bit difficult. Stories like these are also really important for sharing with people who give us funding, or who fundraise for NESS to explain what we do and why we do it. Over 40% of our income relies on funding and fundraising. They are also important to raise awareness of the general public, and hopefully, if the public has better awareness that in turn will improve things for people living with a sensory impairment.
You can choose to present your personal story as written text, a video or audio recording. We will endeavour to make them as accessible as possible, providing text based transcripts and BSL interpretation where possible. We share personal stories on our website, on social media, as part of training and awareness raising activities and as part of feedback that we provide to our funders.
We really appreciate it when people do share their experiences – it is always touching and humbling to hear about people’s journey learning to live with their sensory impairment, and finding ways of overcoming some of the day to day barriers. We want you to feel confident sharing your personal story with others, and for it to be a positive experience for you. If you agree to sharing your own experiences of sight and/or hearing loss, we will work with you to make sure you are happy with what is going out.
If you would like to get involved, please contact Libby Hillhouse, Training and Information Officer by phoning the NESS number or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.