What is Sensory Disability

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What is Sensory Disability?

A sensory disabilities affects one or more senses; sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste or spatial awareness. Sight and hearing loss are common sensory disabilities. Often sensory disabilities are referred to as sensory impairments or sensory sensitivity. A person does not have to have full loss of a sense to be sensory impaired.

Many people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have sensory sensitivity which can mean difficulty processing everyday sensory information such as sounds, lights, sights and smells. Any of the senses may be over- or under-sensitive, or both, at different times. These sensory differences can affect behavior, and can have a profound effect on a person’s life

A Dual Sensory Impairment (DSI) is the combination of both hearing and sight impairment, but this does not necessarily mean a total loss of both senses. Most people with a dual sensory impairment do have some level of vision and/or hearing. Sometimes dual sensory impairments are referred to as being deaf-blind, when the impairment causes difficulties with communication and hearing. The combination of the two sensory impairments intensifies the impact of each other. Meeting the needs of people who are deaf-blind often requires a specialized approach and individualized communication methods such as tactile sign language.

The Learning Resources for this week will provide you with information to enhance your understanding of this topic and you will able to answer the questions below.

2. Please respond to the following questions:

a) What are some of the major factors that affect the impact of a sensory disability on a person?

b) What type of assistance would a person with sensory disability need? Explain by

choosing one example of sensory disability: Visual or Deafness.

c)How would you interact with a person with a sensory disability? Example: Autism Spectrum Disorder or Dual Sensory


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