The Sensory Needs Service for adults

The adult Sensory Needs Service is a specialist team that supports people who live in Camden. We can help if you: 

  • are blind or partially sighted 
  • are Deaf or hard of hearing 
  • have both a significant hearing and sight loss 

We start by looking at how your sensory loss affects your day-to-day life. We call this process an assessment. If this assessment shows that you have a need that makes you eligible for help, we may be able to provide you with services. 

How do I get help?

If you are an adult Camden resident with sensory needs, you can contact the Access and Response team who will then refer you to the Sensory Needs Service.

Services for adults who are blind or partially sighted 

This service is for adults and children who have a significant sight loss that cannot be corrected, in both eyes. 

If you have a need that makes you eligible for help, we may be able to help. We provide rehabilitation services to people who are having difficulties in day-to-day life because of their sight loss. 

After your specialist assessment, we may provide you with equipment, adaptations or rehabilitation training. This training and equipment can help you manage daily tasks, read correspondence or find your way around safely. 

RNIB Low Vision Centre 

If you find it hard to see things clearly, even after you’ve had your eyes tested and are wearing the right glasses or contact lenses, you may have low vision. 

You may have been told that there is nothing that can be done to improve the medical condition of your eyes. However, there may be a lot that you can do to improve the way you use the sight that you have. 

The staff at the Low Vision Centre can advise and help you make the most of your vision. The centre is part of the Camden and Islington Sensory Needs Service. 

The rehabilitation worker will ask you how you are managing with your vision and what your main difficulties are. This will help in deciding on the best solutions for you. 

The optometrist will be able to assess your vision and prescribe, if necessary, glasses, loan you a magnifying glass or other low vision aids to help you with specific tasks. 

If you have been given a low vision aid, the rehabilitation worker will give you practical advice on how to use it. 

The service is free of charge and all low vision aids are loaned to you for as long as they are of use. If you need new glasses you will be able to pay, although many people are eligible for help towards the cost of these. To find out more about this, you can ask the optometrist who sees you on the day. 

We can do home visits for those unable to get out. 

Camden residents who would benefit from low vision aids can self-refer on 020 7391 2241.


Visualise has a resource guide for people with visual impairments.


Services for adults who are D/deaf, Deafened and Hard of Hearing 

This service is for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and have difficulty staying safe and socially independent at home. 

Before we can offer you our services, a doctor needs to make sure that your hearing loss is permanent. You can ask your family doctor for an ear examination. Your doctor can refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) department or hearing aid clinic. 

If your hearing loss is permanent, we will assess your needs at home and discuss with you how to make sure you are safe and independent at home. 


Your GP or the audiologist at your local hospital will be able to tell you the details of your hearing loss. This allows social services to ensure they can provide you with the right support. If you have not seen an audiologist, please contact your GP for a referral to audiology at the Royal Free Hospital or the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital. 

How can I access these services? 

People who have hearing loss can be referred for a service in several ways including: 

  • self-referral (a friend or relative can contact us on your behalf) 
  • GPs 
  • audiologists 
  • health service (for example District Nurse or Health Visitor) 
  • via another Council department 

Equipment to help you live as independently as possible 

If you are eligible for support, we can provide equipment free of charge. The type of equipment depends on your eligibility and individual needs but may include: 

  • a vibrating pad which is linked to a smoke alarm 
  • a baby alarm or wrist receiver that has been specially adapted to alert deaf parents of their baby crying 
  • a flashing light for a doorbell and/or telephone 
  • an amplified telephone 
  • a textphone 

There are five free walk-in hearing aid support clinics in Camden:

  • Age UK Camden, Great Croft Resource Centre. Visit their website or call 020 7278 5090. 
  • We can also provide a home visit service to help you with your hearing aids. Contact the Access and Response Team for more information. 
  • Age UK Camden, Henderson Court Resource Centre. Visit their websiteor call 020 794 6588. 
  • Kingsgate Resource Centre. Call 020 7624 8818. 
  • Charlie Ratchford Resource Centre. Call 020 7485 2968. 

Other Camden Council services

BSL interpreter service

At Camden Council each department will provide BSL interpreters or other communication support for deaf and hard of hearing residents in the borough if requested in advance.

Portable T- Loop

The council will provide a portable T- Loop to those who have hearing loss resident in the borough, if requested in advance.

Sign Video

Camden Council have a Sign Video service available, this can be requested at reception.

Home Connections BSL Video

These short British Sign Language videos will give you information on how to log in to Home Connections, search for properties, and place or withdraw bids.

LINK to replacement for

Working partnership with Camden Healthwatch and Camden Clinical Commissioning Group

The Adult Social Care working partnership with Camden Clinical Commissioning Group and Camden Healthwatch is all about promoting the Accessible Information Standard and Deaf Awareness in Camden Practices.  We aim to break down barriers, so D/deaf and hard of hearing patients can easily access health services.

Other local services 


If you are profoundly deaf or severely deaf and you would like to apply for a Freedom Pass, Link to FP page here please make sure to include your audiogram, proof of your Disability Living Allowance or either Personal Independence Payment or evidence of your hearing loss.

Losing weight

If a deaf person is obese you will need to see a GP who will then refer you to Better Gym. Better Gym, based at 5 Pancras Square, will provide a deaf trainer or provide communication support so that you can have access to healthy exercise plans.

Disability Action Group

Camden Disability Action is setting up a D/deaf and hard of hearing group, if you are interested and would like to be involved, please contact Camden Disability Action.

Services for Deaf adults who use British Sign Language or Signed Support English

RAD (Royal Association for Deaf People) provide information, advice and guidance for D/deaf people living in Camden. 

If you need help with: 

  • benefit advice 
  • employment 
  • debt 
  • understanding correspondence and form filling 

you can visit the Contact Camden reception on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays between 10am and 4pm. 

The Sensory Advisory Service for children and young people 

The Sensory Advisory Service supports the inclusion of children and young people diagnosed with hearing needs from birth to 25 years. We aim to help families and schools understand the impact of sensory needs on learning and to raise the educational standards and achievements of children and young people with sensory needs.

The advisory service for Deaf children and young people is a team of specially qualified teachers of Deaf children.

The team works with children, young people and their families at home, in early years settings, mainstream schools, further education settings, special education settings and hospitals.

The service provides advice, training and support on all aspects of deaf awareness, audiology, equipment, language and communication development, learning, social / emotional well-being, post-16 studies and support through each transition stage.

Contact: Sensory Advisory Service

Advice for schools on accessibility for D/deaf pupils and D/deaf parents

The Sensory Advisory Service can provide advice to schools about making their services accessible to D/deaf pupils and D/deaf parents.  

For example, holding a meeting where the pupil or parent are unable to access the content without an interpreter is indirect discrimination and therefore unlawful. Also not providing an interpreter for the pupil and/or their parent is “subjecting them to a detriment” and is also therefore unlawful.  

We refer to the Equality Act 2010 schools advice

Further information for D/deaf and hard of hearing people


Royal Free Hospital Audiology Department

Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital Audiology Department (PDF)

Local voluntary sector organisations

Age UK Camden

Camden Disability Action


Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children

Mainstream Schools. There are Partially Hearing Units (PHUs) in some mainstreams schools. If you need more information, contact Camden Sensory Advisory Service.

British Sign Language classes

City Lit

Frank Barnes School


Further Education

City Lit College
There is communication support provided for deaf and hard of hearing students who attend courses. Some courses are specifically for deaf students.

Westminster Adult Education Service
Offers communication support work, specialist notetaking, BSL/English interpreting.

Higher Education

UCL Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre

National organisations

Action on Hearing loss

British Deaf Association

British Tinnitus Association


Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

National Cochlear Implant Users Association

National Deaf Children Society

Royal Association for Deaf people

UK Council on Deafness

Arts and Entertainment

Attitude is everything

British Sign Language Broadcast Trust

Deafinitely Theatre

Graeae Theatre


Signed Culture


Your Local Cinema

Carer agencies

Deafplus carer service

Helping Hand Care and Nursing at Home

RAD deaf carers

Sam2Sam Deaf Care service



Mental Health 

National Deaf Service

Counselling Service


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Queer



Deaf Parenting UK

Deaf Parents Deaf Children

Religious organisations

Al isharah

Catholic Deaf Association

Deaf Church

Deaf Bible Ministries

Jewish Deaf Association

Muslim Deaf UK

Radha Krishna Deaf Association


UK Deaf Sport




Women’s Groups

Deaf Ethnic Women Association

DeafHope is the UK's only sign-language based service to help deaf women and children who suffer from domestic abuse.

Young people

British Deaf Association Deafroots and Pride

British Deaf Association Youth

Deafinitely Youth Theatre

National Deaf Children Society Young People Advisory Board


European Union of the Deaf


Children of Deaf Adults

International Federation of Hard of Hearing people

Sound Seekers

World Federation for the Deaf