Seashell Trust Conference Brings Together MSI Experts

More than 120 delegates from across the UK attended Seashell Trust’s 'Listen To Me' multi-sensory impairment (MSI) conference, at Manchester Conference Centre last week. The event brought together nationally and internally renowned experts to deliver practical strategies for supporting the increasing numbers of children and young people with MSI. There are approximately 4000 children and young people aged 0‐19 years with MSI in the UK (Emerson & Robertson 2010), a figure expected to rise to 5000 by 2030.

‘Listen to Me’ featured two keynote speakers, Dr Paul Hart, Head of Research and Practice at Sense Scotland, and deafblind educational specialist David Brown, who also led workshops for delegates.

Dr Hart explored the importance of touch and how tactile communication could be used to support individuals with MSI.  His keynote speech was followed by David Brown who discussed the nature of multisensory impairment with respect to the other sensory systems such as smell, taste, touch, balance, proprioception and the perception of pain, and the particular role of posture as a means of helping individuals with MSI orient themselves and their bodies in space.

A further 7 experts delivered workshops, including Seashell Trust’s MSI specialists Michelle Jones and Vimla Ramrakhiani, deafblind consultant Dr Gail Deuce and Dr Heather Murdoch, Head of MSI Unit at Victoria School. These interactive sessions covered a range of subject areas including optimising listening and communication skills, self-regulation and managing behaviour.

Multi-sensory impairment is a specialism of Seashell Trust’s Outreach Services team. Outreach Services deliver training, continuing professional development and specialist outreach and peripatetic support to organisations, enabling them to be more inclusive and supportive of children and young people with SEND.

Presentations from the ‘Listen to Me’ Conference are available to view and download.