With Vision Australia’s support Danijela started school with confidence.
Setting goals for children and their families
Vision Australia provides training and resources that enable children who are blind or have low vision to increase their choices and reach their full potential in life.
We support families of children aged from birth right through to school-leaving age, providing services that facilitate the young person's development and access to education and independence.
Referrals, which can come from the child's family or professionals, are appropriate when the vision impairment is impacting on the child's development or independence. Our specialist staff work with children and their families to develop programs that are tailored to the individual's needs.
Vision Australia begins its service provision by determining the priorities of a family of a child who is blind or has low vision. Our staff acknowledge that the family is the expert on their child, and the best people to ensure their strengths and capabilities are recognised and utilised. After discussions about what the family wants from our services, goals are set and documented in a service plan.
Support for every child
Our services, which focus on learning, playing and daily living, are designed to support children and their families during the various early life stages. We also work in partnership with other service providers to achieve the best outcome for each child.
A team, usually consisting of orthoptists, therapists, educators, adaptive technology consultants and counsellors, assess the degree to which blindness or low vision is affecting each child's development.
Our life-stages approach enables the skills a child develops in their early years to be built upon as they grow. We are always preparing children for the next part of their journey.
School and beyond
In the years before a child starts school, Vision Australia assists them to obtain living skills such as dressing and feeding themselves using cutlery.
Our Feelix Library, which posts out book kits containing tactile and audio elements, introduces young borrowers to braille and enables them to develop literacy skills. Vision Australia staff liaise with educators well before a child begins school and offer orientation and mobility training as well as equipment advice to ensure the child is prepared in every way.
We continue to support a student as they progress through school, offering technology training and peer support programs. Our staff also prepare students for tertiary study and the workplace.
Vision Australia supports children who are blind or have low vision and their families by offering:
- Information on eye conditions.
- Developmental intervention to minimise the impact of blindness or low vision in early childhood.
- Braille learning programs.
- Advice about toys, books and equipment to suit each child's needs.
- Life skills programs in independence, leisure, socialisation and sexuality.
- Assistance with inclusion in peer and leisure groups, childcare and schools.
- Support with literacy through keyboarding and technology.
- Counselling and facilitating meetings with other parents and role models.
- Information on preparing for further study and careers.