Lived Experience Sensory Awareness Training

An invaluable opportunity to learn directly from those living with sight and hearing impairments and deafblindness. Our trainers encourage participants to explore any preconceptions they may have, ask the awkward questions and ultimately instill confidence and break down barriers.

“It was wonderful to attend a course that had a human (and canine) element. Annette helped me to understand not just learn facts. There was no “death by powerpoint” Sula was wonderful as a “non-human person” in the room and made the whole session enjoyable and relaxing.”

“It was totally different to what I thought a whole new understanding in all areas.”

“Very interesting and informative session which kept my attention throughout. Great knowledge and experiences mixture of practical and theoretical.”

Sensory Champions – 2019

Did you know that 1 in 30 people in the UK have a sight impairment and 1 in 6 have a hearing impairment?

This means that no matter what services you deliver or where you work, you will inevitably be interacting with people with a sensory loss.

Training course being delivered

About our training

Our trainers are Fiona Potter, Jill Murray, Carly Waters and Annette Bodsworth MBE and together with a fabulous group of sensory impaired volunteers they have developed ‘Lived Experience’ Sensory Awareness Training in a suite of courses designed to engage people with the lives of those with sensory impairments.

They cover subjects including:

  • The causes and effects of sensory loss
  • Communication methods and equipment
  • Barriers to independence
  • Rehabilitation and mobility
  • Specialist daily living equipment
  • Independence, well-being and social inclusion

We offer bespoke training sessions varying from half day to full days, to meet your needs and open courses are available throughout the year and cover all three sensory impairments, sight, hearing and dual sensory.

Training is available either in your workplace or at our training rooms in Chelmsford and includes practical, simulated and communication exercises.

“This training has been inspirational, both Jill and Annette have an amazing wealth of knowledge, I take home so much from today’s training.”

“Excellent course with brilliant stories and speakers.”

“Having a sight impaired volunteer talk openly about her life and experience has been such a huge enlightening experience. Thank you.”

“Very important training that would enable practitioners to provide support that is tailor made to people with sensory issues/impairments.”

Essex County Council Social Workers – 2019

Who is this training for?

Whether you work in a Bank, Supermarket, Care agency or Sports Centre this training is for you.

Our courses are aimed at any public facing service provider or designer from service commissioners and business managers through to care workers from any setting such as health and social care, voluntary organisations, residential care, housing or transport providers.

Bespoke courses delivered include:

  • Sessions tailored for Essex Police and Essex Fire and Rescue Service.
  • Essex County Council Social Workers and call centre staff.
  • Multidisciplinary hospital staff.
  • GP Practice training.
  • Residential Care staff training.
  • Boots the Chemist staff.
  • Sports and activity centre staff training.
  • Half day sessions for Essex County Councillors and District Council staff.

“It was amazing to hear Annette’s story first hand and the experiences she has encountered.”

“The presentation was very clear and the day was made interesting with interactions and personal experiences. Thank you.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed, learnt a great deal and would love to learn more.”

Essex Police Officers – April 2019

Contact us to discuss your needs on 03330 133 262


Annette Bodsworth MBE is passionate about improving deafblind awareness and provides a rich training experience on how to support and communicate with deafblind people. She shares her experiences of living with Type 2 Usher Syndrome and all the challenges and surprises this brings.


Carly Waters has been working for the Sensory Service for 15 years and also assists with the sensory awareness training; drawing on her own experience as a Deaf BSL (British Sign Language) user and member of the Great Britain and England Deaf Women’s Football Teams; her role as Technical Officer for Deaf and Deafblind people she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the training.

Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your needs or book a place.