New Online Training Toolkit to Raise Awareness of Sensory Loss Launched

New Online Training Toolkit to Raise Awareness of Sensory Loss Launched

23 October, 2013

A new online training toolkit has been launched by the Sensory Engagement Programme (SEP) to raise awareness among service providers of what it is like to be blind, partially sighted, deaf or hard of hearing and using every day services.

The cross-border toolkit in sensory awareness, was developed in partnership with online learning specialists Aurion Learning and four of the largest organisations who provide support and advocacy services for people with sight and hearing loss across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; the Royal National Institute of Blind People Northern Ireland (RNIB NI), Action on Hearing Loss, National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) and DeafHear.  

The programme has been funded by the EU's INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Accessible across multiple devices and platforms, the online resource comprises a series of short films demonstrating the personal experience of those with sensory loss using everyday services like banks, libraries and colleges; exemplifying best practice to improve service provision.

Staff and in particular frontline employees in service organisations will also be able to access free training materials and practical sensory awareness tips from the online toolkit, which will help make their services more inclusive.


“The SEP has made a significant impact on the lives of blind, partially sighted, deaf or hard of hearing on an all-Ireland basis.  The unique partnership forged between the four partner organisations has ensured service providers become more responsive to the needs of customers who have sight and hearing difficulties. Ultimately this will ensure that their unique needs are met and make a vital contribution to improving their overall quality of life,” said Pat Colgan, Chief Executive at the SEUPB.


Barry Macaulay, Senior Manager, Independent Living at RNIB NI commented:

“The SEP has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of hundreds of people living with sensory loss.  The digital training toolkit will represent a lasting legacy to the programme, the creation of this online resource epitomises what SEP has been about from day one; empowering people with sensory loss to be more confident, active citizens and educate service providers to be more accessible for all their service users.”


Dr. Maureen Murphy, Managing Director at Aurion Learning added:

“To meet the learning objectives of this project, we knew that the online resource had to make genuine and relevant connections with service providers. We applied the strategy of authentic learning or ‘real-world scenarios’ as our main approach as it is a very effective tool for learning. Using people from the sensory engagement project who have sensory loss in the creation of this toolkit, enabled their personal stories and experience of using every day services like libraries more authentic and ultimately more pertinent as it connects service providers with the real issues that people with sensory loss face.

We have thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with the partners on this online resource to develop a creative and localised learning solution and we are privileged to have played a part in making a real difference to the lives of people throughout Ireland with hearing and sight difficulties.”

The sensory awareness online toolkit for service providers is now available online at 

Pictured at the launch of SEP online toolkit: Stephanie O'Kane, Project Manager at RNIB NI and Gavin Woods, Business Development Manager at Aurion Learning.



Media Contact

Ciara Cunningham

Tel: (028) 9064 3211 Email:


Editor’s notes

The Sensory Engagement Programme is an innovative crossborder project, which has helped to improve the lives of hundreds of people with a sensory impairment.  The programme received £1.86 million worth of assistance through the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme.



The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IV designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland.

The INTERREG IVA 2007-2013 Programme is worth €256 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders. It has two distinct priority measures to create co-operation for a more prosperous and sustainable cross-border region.

For more information on the SEUPB please visit


About Aurion Learning: 

Founded in 2000, Aurion Learning is a full service learning and development company specialising in the design of online learning programmes and innovative learning and CPD management tools to client partners throughout the UK and Ireland in the public, private and third sector.

Aurion Learning also provides strategy and capability building services to help organisations develop focussed online learning strategies and to develop their own online learning in-house.

For more information, visit or follow @aurionlearning on Twitter

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