Increased support on offer for Illawarra's blind and low vision community

08 March 2018

The Illawarra's blind and low vision community is set to be better supported, with Vision Australia increasing its presence in the region.
The leading blindness and low vision service provider has expanded its Illawarra team, with the addition of both a new Occupational Therapist and Orientation & Mobility Specialist recently. 

The new appointments means there are now five frontline support staff operating from Vision Australia's Wollongong centre, providing services to clients across a region that stretches from Helensburgh to Milton and also takes in the Southern Highlands. 

Jodie Cox, Vision Australia Illawarra Regional Manager, said the not-for-profit organisation is excited by the opportunity to increase its service offering in the region. 

"The combination of the National Disability Insurance Scheme being live in the area and the impacts of an ageing population mean we're experiencing increased demand for our services, so it's pleasing we can increase our staffing to meet that demand," Mrs Cox said.
"Our team in the region has been doing a great job in servicing clients in the region and I know they're all excited about having some new faces and ideas in the team," she said. 

While the new additions will bring their areas of expertise to the region and their clients, Mrs Cox said they will also help support Vision Australia's collaborative approach to supporting people who are blind or have low vision.
"Supporting our clients to be active and independent at home, work or in the community is a major part of what we do and Isaac and Georgia, with their OT and O&M knowledge respectively, will play a major part in that.

"We take a transdisciplinary approach to how we support our clients, so while our staff have a primary support service they offer, they are also able to asses if clients may benefit from further areas of support and then work collaboratively with our other team members to provide that."

Along with OT and O&M services, the Vision Australia Illawarra team also provides support to clients around the use of assistive technology and provides low vision assessments. 

Further support services in areas such as employment and specialised paediatric services are provided to clients in the region by staff operating remotely from Vision Australia's neighbouring Sydney South & South West region. 

"We support people of all ages and circumstances to live the life they choose, so it's important that we offer our clients the full suite of services they need to achieve the goals they set for themselves," Mrs Cox said. 

"We take an agile approach to how we work, meaning all of our staff are equipped with the skills, equipment and support needed to deliver services to clients wherever and whenever they require it."

Mrs Cox said Vision Australia can also provide support to businesses and other organisations on how they can make their workplaces and other environments more accessible and inclusive.