Sensory Disabilities

Week 5

Week 5 — Sensory Disabilities (or Sensory Impairments) — is diagnosed when one or two of the senses such as sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste and spatial awareness, etc. is not functioning at what is perceived to be a normal level. Communication is a significant challenge for individuals with some types of sensory impairments, in particular, those with a dual condition. Persons with sensory impairments face multiple challenges and need continues support to explore and interact with the environment and with people around them. Other impairments not directly related within the Sensory Disability spectrum are often included in this category of disabling conditions.

What are the Senses? — A sense, within sensory capacity, is a physiological capacity of organisms that provides data for perception. Humans have a multitude of sensors. Sight (vision), hearing (audition), taste (gustation), smell (olfaction), and touch (somatosensations) are the five traditionally recognized senses. The ability to detect other stimuli beyond those governed by these most broadly recognized senses also exists, and these sensory modalities include temperature (thermoception), kinesthetic sense (proprioception), pain ( nociception), balance (equilibrioception), vibration (mechanoreception), and various internal stimuli (e.g. the different chemoreceptors for detecting salt and carbon dioxide concentrations in the blood, or sense of hunger and sense of thirst. However, what constitutes a sense for a particular individual is a matter of some debate, leading to difficulties in defining what exactly a distinct sense is, and where the borders lie between responses to related stimuli.

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