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£2m to help hearing and sight impaired

Almost £2 million of EU funding is being injected into a new cross-border project which aims to improve the lives of hundreds of hearing and sight impaired people.

The Sensory Engagement Programme is a three-year initiative which plans to provide training and confidence-building to more than 300 people with sight and hearing difficulties here and in the Republic.

The project also plans to develop a training programme for further education colleges, libraries and banks.

More than 600 customer service staff working within these sectors will receive sensory awareness training as part of the initiative to improve frontline services for people with sight and hearing impairment.

Project manager Alice Lewis said: “There are two strands to the programme. One is called Active Citizens and that’s about confidence building, IT training and benefits checks to project participants.

“The other strand is the Model of Excellence which is working with banks, colleges and libraries to ensure their staff are trained in visual and deaf awareness and that their facilities are accessible to people with sensory impairment.”

The project has received £1.86m from the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) through it’s INTERREG IVA Programme and is expected to create six full-time jobs.

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