Susie Barrington and her dog guide Haly.
Susie Barrington, from Caringbah, is totally blind due to a benign meningioma that is wrapped around her optic nerve.
Recently, while on her way to work, Susie and her dog guide Haly were hit by a taxi pulling out into the road.
"I was thrown into the air and ended up lying on the road. It was really frightening. At first I didn't know where Haly was and that made me panic. It was a relief when I realised that she was alright," says Susie.
Susie made contact with Vision Australia and, through the support of a Quality Living Group she regained her confidence and effervescent personality.
"At first I thought it wasn't really for me but, once I started with the group I found that I got a lot out of it. In addition to rebuilding my confidence I was able to offer other members of the group advice and support."
Vision Australia's Quality Living Groups provide a forum in which people who are blind or have low vision are able to share experiences, strategies and information in a friendly and confidential environment.
The groups are run via teleconference and led by trained facilitators who encourage the participants to discuss a range of issues such as living independently, adaptive technology and relationships. They generally run over an eight week period.
"Vision Australia's Quality Living Group has had a dramatic impact on my life. It is important that people are aware that this service is available for them to access. I hope that by sharing my story it will encourage others to get involved, because it really does make a difference," said Susie.
To find out more about Quality Living Groups call Vision Australia on 1300 84 74 66.