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Increased support for Toowoomba's blind and low vision community

22 August 2017

Residents in the Toowoomba region living with vision loss are set to be better informed about the support available to them thanks to an upcoming visit by Vision Australia.

The leading blindness and low vision service provider’s Vision Van will be in Toowoomba from September 7-9 and will bring with it a range of advice on and practical examples of the support services available to people.

Karen Knight, Vision Australia General Manager of Queensland Client Services, said the not-for-profit organisation is looking forward to better connecting with the Toowoomba region and its blind and low vision community.

“It’s important people who are blind or have low vision understand the wide range of support services available to help them live the life they choose,” Ms Knight said.

“Living with vision loss can be challenging, but it’s not something that has to be a barrier to people living a full, independent and active life,” she said.

Image shows three headshots of smiling Vision Australia clients
Vision Australia staff will be on hand during the visit to provide information on how frontline service providers such as Occupational Therapists, Orientation & Mobility Specialists and Assistive Technology Specialists can support people who are blind or have low vision. A range of assistive technology devices available from Vision Australia will also be on display during the visit.  

Information will also be available on what ongoing changes to funding arrangements mean for people who may need to access support services.

“The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and My Aged Care have been developed with the aim of giving individuals more choice and control over the support they receive and how they receive it,” Ms Knight said.

“Across the organisation, Vision Australia has been heavily involved in supporting clients as they navigate the NDIS and My Aged Care and we are able to provide guidance around the application and planning processes to ensure people are receiving the appropriate support.”

The visit is also an opportunity for the wider community to get a better understanding of what it’s like to live with blindness or low vision, with an augmented reality system developed by Vision Australia to be on display. The system mimics the impacts of common eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

“It can be hard to explain to a sighted person what it’s like to experience vision loss and the augmented reality system is an easy way to explain it to people, be it somebody’s family or carer or other healthcare professionals.

“It means people can get a better idea of the challenges somebody who is blind or has low vision may face and how our services can help people overcome them."

The Vision Van will be located in Civic Square, Toowoomba from 9:00am – 5:00pm on September 7-9. For more information about the visit, call (07) 3727 2345.

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