Tackling isolation, increasing independence


What is age acquired dual sensory impairment?

Welcome to Hearing Impairment & Visual Impairment Support UK (Hi-VisUK). We are a Charitable Incorporated Organisation working to increase awareness and skills in dual sensory impairment (DSI) – for people living with DSI and those who provide care and support.

Our flagship project MAKING WAVES funded by The National Lottery Community Fund (England) is the vanguard of our work. We are working strategically with local partners in Bradford, Cornwall and Hartlepool to transform the experience of local people with DSI – how they receive information, advice and care.

Led by conversations with local people with DSI, Making Waves stakeholders supported by our unique DSI e-learning platform, are working together to help understand what good local DSI care and healthcare can look like.

The learning we achieve in MAKING WAVES will be shared nationally and internationally. Keep up with MAKING WAVES developments on our NEWS page.

Our Vision

“A DSI friendly country where early identification and support makes a real difference to the mental health and wellbeing of older people in our ever growing, longer living society.”

Where early identification enables lower cost interventions keeping people at home longer.

Where future generations are self-aware and able to support their elderly family members to enjoy activities they used to – even as their sight and hearing deteriorates with age and as families live together for longer.

This Hi-VisUK way will be a real alternative to the current experience of rising and often unaffordable costs – to the individual and their families and to health and social care support services.

See more on our vision in the About Us page.

Our Community

Any organisation, any individual, any donor wanting to support people with DSI is part of our community.

Hi-VisUK is a charity working to increase and improve the quality of life of people by showing them, and those who support them, how to manage their DSI – from when it is first identified and through the rest of their lives.

Hi-VisUK believes that becoming dual sensory impaired shouldn’t mean you can no longer live at home, do the things you always loved or become cut-off from the world.

So if you are you a family member, a volunteer or paid carer, a local group, a care service provider, a local authority or health service provider we would love to discus how we could support you.

Or if you want to support us to increase the help and advice we provide to others, why not become a Hi-VisUK donor.

What is the problem with DSI?

For many people with DSI this impacts daily life. One big challenge is that many people are simply not being identified with the condition and so miss out on information and support.

Most people with DSI will have deafness from presbyacusis, commonly sensorineural, coupled with an eye condition, commonly cataracts or age related macular degeneration (AMD). Sensorineural deafness and AMD are incurable conditions but the impact on daily life can be significantly lowered by early identification, support and training – a requirement of the Care Act 2014.

Even low levels of DSI can cause significant health, wellbeing and mental health problems. Department of Health and Social Care (2009) lists impacts of DSI on 75+ year olds such as: 3 times more likely to have a fall; 2.7 times more likely to have depression. By far the biggest impact is social isolation. Without the right support, DSI greatly reduces our ability to stay in touch with others, to get out and about, to enjoy living.

Train your workforce, your volunteers, develop your organisation

Our ambition is to make the UK a better and safer place to live as a person with DSI.

We believe this can best be achieved by building awareness about DSI, increasing everyone’s capacity to identify people with DSI so they can get help and increase the resilience of individuals and families.

By providing access to skills through our quality, practical, professional development programme; by bringing people and organisations together we can all meet the challenge of a population with increased numbers living with DSI.

To find out more about our training courses visit our training page or to find out how our training can help your organisation, your staff and volunteers to provide support to people with DSI and or to identify who has DSI in your service users use our contact form or email Jane@hi-vis.org.

OCN accredited, our training is built so you can release staff with minimum impact on your service, Care Act compliant, delivered by experienced and qualified DSI experts.

Hi-VisUK courses and qualifications are:

  • distinctively practical and concise,
  • designed to ensure you learn what you need,
  • build on your valuable experience and current expertise,
  • designed to fit your busy work schedule.

Hi-VisUK News

Elderly Man holding a fingerspelling chart

Evaluation Findings: our training really works!

“It is also noted that almost 40% of respondents reported finding the training useful in their personal lives with family, friends or neighbours who are deafblind. This indicates added value to the training increasing the numbers of deafblind people being supported either informally or formally in a work setting.”

“Much of this equipment (to support an older deafblind person) is small scale, inexpensive and practical yet deafblind people appear to have little awareness of the availability of such equipment. The training has raised awareness of carers, support staff and others, with the result that deafblind people are beginning to benefit from the use of such equipment. This finding is now being confirmed by deafblind people.”

“…there are also early indications that the knowledge/experience and changing practices (as a result of the training) not only improve services and support but could ultimately create cost savings/save money…respondents reported that their organisation had been able to save money as a result of the knowledge gained in the training.”

“A large majority of respondents who have completed one or more of the training courses report positively as to the design, quality and content of the training. Respondents also report that the training has improved not only their knowledge and understanding but also their confidence in working with and supporting deafblind people. This increase in confidence appears to be pivotal in how they do this.”