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About Us

North East Sensory Services’ (NESS) mission is “Achieving independence for blind and deaf people”.


NESS supports people with serious sight and/or hearing loss to overcome practical and emotional challenges caused by their sensory loss to have as fulfilling a life as possible and to achieve independence.


North East Sensory Services (NESS) works with over 6,500 people with a sensory loss, including Deaf British Sign Language users in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Dundee, Angus.  NESS is the first fully integrated joint sensory services, supporting people of all ages.

NESS provides statutory services on behalf of the local authorities in Aberdeen, Moray, Dundee and Angus.  These services include social work, rehabilitation for visual impairment, equipment to support daily living, British Sign Language interpreting and lipreading classes.


Added Value services, which make up about 40% of our services contribute significantly to enabling people we support to live independently, by building confidence, reducing social isolation and improving quality of life.  These Added Value Services depend on other funding including our own fundraising and include:


  • Hospital information service
  • Services for young people (YPSS) to build self-confidence and self esteem
  • Social support for older people who are socially isolated
  • Support for people of working age to take steps towards employment or retain their employment
  • Clubs and Groups to enable social interaction and the development of natural peer support networks
  • ICT service which trains people to use assistive technology
  • Basic hearing aid maintenance
  • Audio library and audio magazines
  • Transcription services which transcribe information into different formats including Braille, Audio and British Sign Language
  • Training and information.


In Aberdeen our Resource Centre also has a small accessible gym and a café where people can meet up.


NESS was founded in 1879 as the Aberdeen Town and County Association for Teaching the Blind at their homes and became Grampian Society for the Blind in 1980.  Grampian Society for the Blind changed its constitution in 2010 to allow them to also provide support to people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 


In 2009, Grampian Society for the Blind changed its name to North East Sensory Services to reflect the fact it was supporting people who were deaf or hard of hearing as well as people who were blind or visually impaired.