Access to specialist blindness and low vision support services is set to be made easier for Toowoomba residents, with Vision Australia set to expand its presence in the region.
Beginning this month, Vision Australia frontline staff will conduct regular outreach visits to Toowoomba to support the region's blind and low vision community to remain active and independent.
Julie Newton, Vision Australia Brisbane North Regional Business Manager, said the not-for-profit organisation is keen to make a mark in the region.
"Living with blindness or low vision can present some challenges, however with the right support it doesn't have to be a barrier to people living full and active lives," Ms Newton said.
"For people in regional areas, accessing support services can be difficult at times and we're excited we can make life easier people in around Toowoomba who are blind or have low vision and their families and carers," she said.
With more than 26,000 clients, Vision Australia supports people across Australia who are blind or have low vision from every stage of life to live the life they choose, an approach Ms Newton said would be replicated in Toowoomba.
"At Vision Australia we take a person centred approach to supporting our clients. They identify goals they want to achieve and then our frontline staff support them to develop the skills and strategies needed to achieve them.
"Dealing with vision loss is different for each individual, but one common thing is the earlier our frontline staff, be it an Occupational Therapist, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Adaptive Technology Specialist or any of other service providers, start working with somebody, the more effective their support will be."
Along with practical supports, Ms Newton said Vision Australia will also be able to provide the region's blind and low vision community with advice around navigating changes to how support services are funded.
"Both the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and My Aged Care represent significant changes designed to give people more choice and control over the support services they receive.
"Navigating the NDIS and My Aged Care can be challenging, but as a national service provider Vision Australia is experienced in operating under the new arrangements and our staff can support clients to ensure they make the most of the funding stream that applies to them."
To find out more about Vision Australia's services or to make an appointment today, call (07) 3727 2345 or head to www.visionaustralia.org.