Sensory Support Services

South Eastern Trust video link in B.S.L., introducing the Sensory Support Team

The Team provides services to both adults and children who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, partially sighted, visually impaired or have a Dual Sensory Loss.

We provide advice and assistance about your hearing or sight loss; specialist equipment on the basis of assessed need and access to communication support.

Sensory Support Team Poster 

The team consists of rehabilitation workers, social workers and equipment officers. We work with the Low Vision Clinic who assess and provide service users with equipment to aid vision on a daily basis. We also work with the Audiology department, who supply and fit the most appropriate digital hearing aid.

The team offices operate a duty system each day, where a duty officer can help with your query or take a referral for the team. We accept referrals from service users, carers or family members, G.P’s and other healthcare professionals and voluntary organisations. Children under the age of 18 must be referred to the team via the Trust Gateway service, on 0300 1000 300.

Individuals referred to the Sensory Support Service must be resident within the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust and meet one of the following criteria:

•Have a significant sight loss that cannot be corrected by spectacles or
•Be profoundly deaf or have been assessed as having a diagnosed hearing condition by an Audiology Department


Further Information

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Team
Deaf Children Leaflet
Sight Support Team
Leaflet for professionals

Team News

2010 Macular Disease Society, Awards for Excellence to Laura Cromie, Rehab Worker, joint winner.

2010 Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers (N.I.A.S.W.) Team/Service Award for Outstanding Achievement

In Sept 2013 The Team was runner up in the “Partnership Category” of the Regional Social Work awards .

In Nov 2013 The Team represented the Trust in the Patient Client Council Awards held in the Guildhall L/Derry .

2013 Patient and Client Council, Making a Difference Award Finalist. Project: ‘Sensory Support team – planning and delivering services in a partnership approach’

 Chairman’s Recognition Award 2014, Finalist in Category, ‘Access - Social Signing Goes from Strength to Strength’

Pictured above: Service users and Sensory Support staff, along with North Down Borough Council representative, Linda McAllister.

Gail McClintock, a social worker of the Sensory Support team, was the finalist in the Chairman’s Recognition Awards of 2014 in the category of Access, ‘Social signing goes from Strength to Strength’. This was in relation to partnership working, demonstrated in develop the local deaf users social club. This involved working with statutory and voluntary agencies to come to the group to update and support the deaf community on how to access services; develop the club programme with service user involvement and to enable the children to join in activities they could enjoy.

Click here to view our video.

2015 National Deaf Children’s Society (N.D.C.S.) Commercial Connections Cup Winner


Pictured above: Petra Fulton on right, with Janet, joint winners of cup.

In March 2015 Petra Fulton, social worker in the team, was nominated by a parent for the N.D.C.S Young Authors and Artists 2015 Commercial Connections Cup. This was under the category ‘For dedication and support to deaf children and young people’. Petra was joint winner with Janet, a peripatetic teacher from the Belfast area. The parent said in her nomination of Petra, ‘She is an amazing person both in the work she has done for the deaf children in our area and also for the fact she is there to support families through other difficulties that they may come across in life.’ 

 Chairman's Awards 2015

In October 2015, the team were successful in becoming finalists in the Chairman’s Award for 2015. This was under the category of ‘Health and Wellbeing.’ Pictured at the award ceremony are service users and members of the sensory support team.

Click here to view our video.

Congratulations to Frances Martin, social worker in Downpatrick and Karen Uprichard, rehab assistant in Newtownards (both pictured above). They have successfully passed the Northern Ireland Lip Reading Teacher Training Course. This means that they will be to offer classes in their local area to service users. Please contact the Downpatrick or Newtownards office if you wish to find out more details.

Your Views wanted on Taxi Services in Northern Ireland

Department for Infrastructure (DFI) is seeking the views of older people and disabled people on their experiences of getting and using taxi services in Northern Ireland and the results of this survey will inform a wider review of taxi services.
Imtac has assisted the Department and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) to develop the survey. There are some questions in the survey that do not reflect IMTAC’s philosophy. However the Committee realises that in order for the results of this research to be comparable with other Government research and to inform the Department, they need to be asked, and we would encourage you to complete this questionnaire. It should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey online by clicking the following link:

If you require alternative formats such as soft copies by e-mail, hard copies by post or a large print version of the survey, please contact David Gibson at 028 9054 0326 or by emailing
We appreciate, however, that filling in the survey may be difficult for some people.  To assist you, IMTAC can help you complete the survey over the telephone.  If you would like to complete the survey this way please contact Michael Lorimer on 028 9072 6020 (please leave a message on the answerphone if no-one is in the office and IMTAC will get back to you as soon as possible).  Alternatively email  If you are part of a larger group or organisation IMTAC would be happy to arrange a meeting to help your members complete the survey.  Please contact Michael Lorimer if you would like to arrange this.
The closing date for the survey is Friday 24 August 2018 although this date may be flexible if there is a need to extend to take into account the summer period.
As an organisation of disabled people and older people Imtac is very much aware of the ongoing difficulties people experience accessing taxis. This survey is important to help make the case for changes to the way services are regulated here. We would ask individuals and organisations to complete the survey and to encourage others to do the same.

Health and Wellbeing Activities  – Programme of Events


Sensory Support Newsletter

Sensory support team newsletter 2014

Sensory support team newsletter 2015

Sensory support team newsletter 2016 

Sensory support team newsletter 2017

South Eastern Trust video links including audio and B.S.L.

SET "how to make a complaint" Video including Audio and Sign Language

SET  “Bereavement” Video including Audio and Sign Language

SET "Sleep Problems" Video including Audio and Sign Language

SET "Depression & Low Mood" including Audio and Sign Language

SET "Stress" including Audio and Sign Language

"Supporting Carers" Video with Sign Language

The following resource provides information for people experiencing sensory loss, for their carers and for any professionals who may encounter those affected. It is available in three formats: Subtitled, British Sign Language and Irish Sign Language as follows:-

Sensory Support Services in Northern Ireland - Subtitled Version

Sensory Support Services in Northern Ireland - British Sign Language Version

Sensory Support Services in Northern Ireland - Irish Sign Language Version


Local Events run by Charity Organisations


P.A.N.D.A. (Parents at North Down and Ards), is a charity based in Ards and North Down which offers support to families with all levels of hearing loss.  It is run by a Committee of parents, supported by a social worker from the Sensory Support team.  The group organises peer support for parents, through, for example, coffee mornings and activities are organised for the children, for example an outing to the Pantomime. P.A.N.D.A have a website and a Facebook page.  The facebook page provides up to date information to parents and the group welcome new members.

PANDA Newsletter 2017

Listen hEAR

Listen hEAR began in 2015. This parent support group for children with hearing loss meets on a monthly basis in Saintfield First Presbyterian Church on a Saturday afternoon.  The children play together and the adults have a chat and a tea or coffee.  Every year two activities are chosen for the children, for example Auditory Verbal Therapy and swimming lessons.  Please contact the Facebook page or Jo Doody on 07726419724 if you would like to become a member.





The Need to Talk project offers free counselling and confience building for people affected by sight loss.

Need to Talk information

 British Deaf Association




BDA PIP Information sessions






Below is dates of our free drop in Hearing Aid User Support Service (HAUSS) sessions in 2018:

SEHSCT Support Sessions

Tinnitus Support Service Leaflet

Hearing Aid User Support Service


Action Deaf Youth

Action Deaf Youth workshops for 12 - 17 year olds


Useful Information/Links

Other News in General

  • In June 2015 the Coalition on Deafness was launched in Stormont by Simon Hamilton, M.L.A., the Minister for Health, along with Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, the First and Deputy Ministers. The newly formed Coalition aims to work with the Northern Ireland Executive to help meet its obligations to uphold the rights of people who are deaf, deafblind, have a hearing loss or tinnitus under the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
  • Coalition full manifesto
  • Coalition Executive Summary of Manifesto
  • Emergency SMS Leaflet
  • Driving Theory Test - A new NI sign language version of the Driving Theory Test practice questions has been developed by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. The Trust supports around 300 profoundly Deaf people who use sign language as their main form of communication. For more information click here




Emergency Out of Hours Social Work Details


Please contact your local office:

North Down and Ards Area
: (028) 9151 0136
Minicom: (028) 9151 0137
Mobile: 07734 282 646
Fax: (028) 9151 0145

Down Area
: (028) 4461 6915
Minicom: (028) 4461 4744
Mobile: 07739 879 556
Fax: (028) 9041 1897

Lisburn Area
: (028) 9260 7746
Minicom: (028) 9260 3120
Mobile: 07739 879 554
Fax: (028) 9041 1369

Please click here for emergency out of hours social work details.

Please click here for Emergency SMS Contact Details


* Our apologies that at present we are unable to change the colour font of the webpage to black and yellow due to the limitations of the software.