Research participant opportunities

14 August 2020

Vision Australia is often contacted by universities and PhD students looking to connect to people who are blind or have low vision to participate in research.

Please note:

  • Research listed below is not conducted by, or on behalf of Vision Australia, nor endorsed by Vision Australia, however clients, friends, family and volunteers may be interested in participating in them.
  • Please get in touch with the listed contact directly for further information.

If you would like your research project considered for listing on this page email

Current opportunities

Exploring the liveability of urban spaces for people who are blind or have low vision

University of Melbourne

Shirin Pourafkari
PhD Student

University of Melbourne is doing research regarding interactions between people with vision impairment and public spaces in central Melbourne.

They are seeking participants who would fit within the following categories:

  • 14-18 years old who are familiar with central Melbourne; and/or

  • People who live in central Melbourne regardless of their age

In this research, you will be invited for provision of your responses to a series of questions regarding your feelings, perceptions and experiences concerning public spaces in central Melbourne. The interview would take up to one hour and a possible follow up session up to half an hour. The interview will be held through an online platform or a phone call and will be audio recorded.

There would potentially be further stages of this research following the above mentioned initial interview, if the participants are interested.

If you are interested in participating in the initial interview, please contact Shirin Pourafkari via email at, who can provide you with further details and information.

Identifying barriers and facilitators to physical activity for children with a vision impairment in school and in the community

Old Dominion University

The aim of this research is to hear from children with a vision impairment about the types of barriers to being involved in physical activity and sports. The researchers are also interested in what things assist children with a vision impairment to participate in physical activity. 
Participants will answer a survey which will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. 
If this is something you'd like to participate in, parents must first fill out a consent form found here. 
The participating children can then answer the survey found here.

Tertiary STEM students who are blind or have low vision 

Curtin University

Ramona Chauhan
PhD Student

Curtin University are looking to hear from students who are blind or have low vision who are currently enrolled in tertiary level STEM (science technology engineering and mathematics) subjects or transitioning from secondary to post-secondary education.

The study aims to collect the real challenges faced by students with the view to reach out to different people from various sectors related to low vision and try to get a solution for the students.

The study also welcomes lecturers, teachers, researchers and people from the industry to partake in discussions and help try solve problems in order to support the blindness and low vision student community in the best way.

Online testing the 'Measure of Early Vision Use' (MEVU) with parents of children aged 0-6 years with vision impairment

Australian Catholic University

Belinda Deramore Denver
PhD Student

The Measure of Early Vision Use (MEVU) is a newly developed 14-item questionnaire that asks parents/caregivers about children's visual behaviours.

It provides a new way to measure how vision is used that is likely to compliment existing approaches used by vision specialists.

Your participation in this research will help us know whether MEVU is a good measure for this purpose.

If you participate you will be asked to complete the online survey.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Roll out in Australia: A Vision-impaired End User’s Perspective

University of the Sunshine Coast

Nicole Damarra
PhD Student
University of the Sunshine Coast

I am currently investigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as experienced by vision-impaired end users as part of my PhD research at the University of the Sunshine Coast. I am looking to interview 10-15 participants within Australia, specifically as to the barriers and enablers of the NDIS planning process.

Participation is voluntary.

Further information on my research project is contained in the Research Project Information Sheet (RPIS).

Stepped Care Research Program
Macquarie University

The Stepped Care Research Program targets anxiety and/or low mood in adults aged 65 years or older. The program uses the gold standard treatment available for anxiety and depression, based off Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. 


An assessment is first conducted to determine whether the program will be suitable for you. This assessment is approximately 90 minutes and consists of a detailed interviews and questionnaires.

After this assessment, you will be allocated to one of two different treatment streams. In one, treatment is delivered via a 10-week work-at-home manual OR via an internet treatment program, with weekly 15 minute telephone calls with a psychologist. In the other, treatment is delivered via 10 weekly video-conference or telephone sessions with a psychologist, with each one-on-one session lasting approximately 50 minutes.  

After you have finished the treatment program, there is another 90-minute assessment to determine whether further treatment is needed. Depending upon this second assessment, you may then participate in additional treatment sessions.

As part of the research being conducted on this program, we will also ask you to complete two further assessments, spaced a few months apart, to conclude the program. 


This program is free of charge. No referrals or Mental Health Care Plans are needed to participate.


If you would like to sign up for the Stepped Care Program, please contact the research assistant for a short phone intake (approximately 15 minutes) on 02 9850 8715. Further information can also be found through the study's webpage:

Older Adults Research Team
Centre for Emotional Health
Phone: +61 2 9850 8715