North East Sensory Services (NESS) which has offices in Dundee, Elgin and Aberdeen, has been awarded a contract by Dundee City Council to provide social work services to blind and deaf people across the region.
NESS has been supporting those with hearing loss in Dundee since April 2013, but the charity has now been contracted to also support blind and partially sighted people, from 1st October 2016.
The three-year contract includes providing a full social work service for people with significant sight and/or hearing loss as well as delivering specialist equipment and support from its resource centre at 10 Constitution Road.
To facilitate both blind and deaf people, the charity has expanded its premises, to include a resource centre, and encourage service users to refer themselves to NESS for help. Social workers and specially trained staff will help service users improve confidence and gain increased independence, thanks to rehabilitation services as well as practical and emotional support.
NESS chief executive officer Graham Findlay said: “We are delighted to be able to share our joint sensory expertise in Dundee. NESS has been supporting both blind and deaf people in Aberdeen and Moray for a number of years, so it makes sense to bring both services under one roof in Dundee.
“Many people, particularly older service users, need support with their sight and hearing loss, and previously in Dundee this involved two different organisations. Now, those with visual and hearing impairment can come to NESS and specially trained joint sensory staff will assist them to perform everyday tasks.
“Our newly expanded resource centre will be open every week day for people to come in and access our services. There is no need for a doctor or hospital referral, though we work closely with medical services who direct patients to NESS.
“From help with learning how to use a cane to accessing a wide range of aids and adaptations including information technology, NESS can make everyday life a little easier for those in our community who have poor or no sight or hearing. We are a ‘one stop shop’ and look forward to welcoming visitors to our new offices.”