There is a range of equipment available to make life easier for people with visual or hearing impairments. More information can be found at National Deaf Children’s Society http://www.ndcs.org.uk and National Blind Children’s Society http://www.nbcs.org.uk.
Other types of sensory equipment are for stimulating sensory development, or providing sensory feedback. Sensory equipment bought with a ‘special needs’ label is expensive, however sometimes there may be a high street equivalent that does the same job for a lot less.
Some local toy libraries stock a selection of sensory toys, it’s always worth asking. Ask at your local children’s centre whether there is a toy library near you. Ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk can be a good source of pre-owned items. Cerebra have a lending library for sensory toys: http://www.cerebra.org.uk/english/gethelp/library/Pages/default.aspx
When buying items these sites have a good range of products:
It is also possible to adapt toys to include an easily accessible button to operate them. These are known as switch adapted toys. For switch adapted toys and other products see http://independent-life-technologies.co.uk/
There are charities that will provide grants towards sensory equipment when it will improve the quality of life for a child with a disability.