Vision Australia and COVID-19

Vision Australia continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, but we’re excited to give people more ways to access our services in a COVID-safe way.

August 2021 video update from Ron Hooton, Vision Australia CEO

Current restrictions

Current COVID-19 restrictions may impact how you access Vision Australia services and products.

Please note the below status of Vision Australia's locations:

NSW

The following NSW locations are CLOSED to the general public: 

  • Parramatta
  • Epping
  • Wollongong
  • Gosford
  • Caringbah
  • Ashfield
  • Newcastle

All other NSW locations are open, however we strongly encourage you to contact us before visiting. 

ACT

  • Our Canberra office is currently OPEN to the general public, however please contact us prior to visiting. 

QLD

  • All Vision Australia locations in Queensland are currently OPEN to the public, however we strongly encourage you to contact us before visiting.

Victoria

  • Our Shepparton location is CLOSED to the general public.
  • All other Vision Australia locations in Victoria are currently OPEN to the public, however we strongly encourage you to contact us before visiting. 

Western Australia

Our Perth office is open as usual. 

Restrictions may mean Vision Australia appointments or programs are cancelled, rescheduled or conducted via Telehealth. For more information, please contact your Vision Australia service provider or call 1300 84 74 66.

Purchases can still be made from the Vision Store online or over the phone on 1300 84 74 66.

What you need to know about Vision Australia services

Vision Australia services are available to people who are blind or have low vision across Australia. Depending on your location, COVID-19 restrictions may impact how you can access our services. 

Please note, at present you are required to wear a mask when visiting any Vision Australia location across Australia. Depending on your location, you may also be required by law to check in via a QR code.  

You can also continue to access Vision Australia services by telehealth.

We’ve put in place a number of practices to keep everyone who attends a Vision Australia location or appointment safe.

This includes:

  • Strict infection control practices for all staff and locations
  • Providing staff with PPE and encouraging its use during appointments
  • A COVID-19 screening process prior to face to face appointments
  • Requiring people to sign in when attending a Vision Australia location.

Vision Australia COVID-19 safety guidelines

We’ve also put together some simple guidelines we’d like people to follow before, during and after attending a Vision Australia location or appointment, which you can find online.  

We understand these measures will make your visits or appointments with us a little different to what you’re used to, but we’re committed to keeping you, our workforce and the wider community safe.

If you would like to discuss these further, enquire about visiting a Vision Australia location, or make a booking for face to face appointment, you can call us on 1300 84 74 66 or email info@visionaustralia.org.

You’re also free to contact your local Vision Australia centre or regular Vision Australia service provider.  

Vision Store

Depending on your location and current COVID-19 restrictions, you are welcome to visit your local Vision Store. Please note, you will be required to wear a mask and may be required to check in via a QR code, depending on your location. 

You can browse the Vision Store range and make purchases online at shop.visionaustralia.org or call our Vision Store team on 1300 84 74 66.

Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs

The Seeing Eye Dogs team is continuing to carry out the vital work of breeding, raising and training Seeing Eye Dogs.

Some changes have been put into place to keep the staff, clients and volunteers safe, while allowing this work to continue. For more information, please visit www.sed.visionaustralia.org/covid19

Other useful information

The COVID-19 pandemic does present some specific challenges for people who are blind or have low vision.

Vision Australia has put together the below information to support people who are blind or have low vision and the wider community during COVID-19:

COVID-19 vaccinations

Vision Australia encourages people to receive a COVID-19 vaccination when they are able to.

If you have any questions about how receiving a vaccine may affect you, you should discuss them with your GP. You can also find out more information about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine on the Australian Department of Health’s website or call their COVID-19 helpline on 1800 020 080.

COVID-19 vaccines are being made available in phased rollout. You can find out if or when you can receive a vaccine by using the Department of Health’s online eligibility checker. If you are eligible to receive a vaccine, you can use the online tool to find and book a vaccination appointment. Please note, we aware of some accessibility issues with the online tool, particularly in relation to how it interacts with screen readers, and we are working with the government to have these resolved.

Depending on your location, there may be other methods to book a vaccination appointment. Consult your state or territory health department for more information.

General COVID-19 information and advice

Vision Australia is encouraging everybody to follow the restrictions and advice from health authorities that apply to them. In particular it’s important people take notice of when and how they should self-isolate and undergo COVID-19 testing if needed.

It is important to get your information from accurate and trusted sources. Below is a list of all state and territory health authorities and their current guidance.

You can also find up to date information about the COVID-19 situation on the Australian Department of Health’s website or call their 24/7 hotline on 1800 020 080.

Support for older Australians

Assistance for older Australians receiving Commonwealth-funded supports, including through wellbeing checks, grief and trauma counselling, support for families, and advocacy services is available from the Australian government through the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN).

A dedicated, free call support line (1800 171 866) continues to operate, supporting the mental health of senior Australians and their families impacted by COVID-19.

The My Aged Care Contact Centre is also equipped to respond to the needs of senior Australians, including through emergency care packages and food parcel delivery if required.

Staying connected with Vision Australia

You can contact Vision Australia via phone on 1300 84 74 66 or via email at info@visionaustralia.org.

We have a number of ways we can help people stay connected with Vision Australia and the wider community, including:

We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and we will be in contact if we are required to take further steps.

Ron Hooton
CEO, Vision Australia