More than 350,000 Australians are blind or have low vision – 94% of whom are of voting age. As the population continues to grow older and live longer, this number will keep rising.
Significant progress has been made for our community in recent years, including tactile features being added to the next generation of banknotes. But there is much more to be done!
Vision Australia is asking all parties in the 2016 Federal Election for a commitment to act on these five priority areas:
- Create meaningful employment for people with disability
- Ensure quality education for improved learning outcomes
- Support Senior’s access to blindness and low vision services
- Mandate Audio Description on Australian free-to-air television
- Introduce accessible voting through iVote
You can learn more about our priorities for this Election by watching our video and reading the key targets for each area. Download the ‘Vision Australia 2016 Federal Election Priorities’ document’:
Parties respond to your priorities
Vision Australia has asked all the major and minor parties in this Federal Election campaign to respond in writing to the five priorities: employment, education, access to services for seniors, audio description and accessible voting.
These responses will be available below in the order that they are received, and we will continue to encourage all parties to share their views at their earliest opportunity, and prior to 2 July.
You can read these responses by clicking on the links below.
Read the Party responses
Mature Australia Party
The Christian Democratic Party (CDP)
The CDP has emailed the following response.
The CDP totally supports the efforts of Vision Australia and supports:
- A commitment to the blindness and low vision community
- Creating meaningful employment for people with disability
- Ensuring quality education for improved learning outcomes
- Supporting Senior’s access to blindness and low vision services
- Mandating Audio Description on Australian free-to-air television
- And supports the Introduction of accessible voting through iVote
Nick Xenophon Team
The Australian Labor Party
The Socialist Alliance
The Socialist Alliance have registered in principle support for our five election priorities, and to working with Vision Australia to advocate for their implementation, if elected.
Jacqui Lambie Network
Liberal and National Coalition
Politicians speak out on Talking Vision
If you're still undecided about who you want to vote for in this election, listen to the disability spokespeople from the Coalition Government, the Australian Labor Party, the Australian Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team.
We want to thank the members of the blindness and low vision community who contributed to our survey on the issues that were most important to them - this feedback helped shape our priorities.
We’re also asking you to take action and promote the rights of people with blindness or low vision during this Election campaign. Vision Australia has created a short ‘how to’ guide for raising the issue of audio description with your local member of parliament. There are tips on how to find their details, how to contact them, and the key talking points for audio description.
You can download this guide below - by discussing audio description and sharing your story with your MP, you’ll help to put it on the election agenda!
How to vote
Voters who are blind or have low vision will have two voting options at the upcoming federal election:
- casting a vote over the telephone from any location; or
- casting a vote with assistance at any polling place or by applying for a postal vote.
To cast your vote over the telephone please register first by calling 1800 913 993 before 12pm on 2 July. You can then cast your vote by calling the same telephone number until 6pm on 2 July. For more information visit our How to vote page or the Australian Electoral Commission website.