Leading blindness and low vision service provider Vision Australia has urged Bundaberg residents living with vision loss to take every step possible to maximise government funding available to them.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been live in Bundaberg and the surrounding areas since November 2017. The scheme provides participants with packages to fund support services and Vision Australia wants to ensure people from the blind and low vision community are receiving adequate funding.
"NDIS packages are tailored to individual needs identified in the planning process that occurs with National Disability Insurance Agency," Sonia Herbert, Vision Australia Brisbane South & North Coast Regional Business Manager
"It's vital that people are prepared for this process and have an idea of what services they would like their package to cover," Mrs Herbert said.
Individuals are required to identify goals they want their NDIS package to support them to achieve, whether it be finding employment, living independently in their own home or remaining active in the community.
Vision Australia can offer support both prior and during the planning process, which Mrs Herbert said can play an important role in assisting people who are blind or have low vision in successfully navigating the scheme.
"We provide a range of specialised services to our clients including occupational therapy, orientation and mobility support and advice around assistive technology.
"By working with our team before and during the planning stages, we can help people both identify the services that will best support their individual needs and give them the best chance of receiving an NDIS package that will allow those to be delivered."
Mrs Herbert said the NDIS' funding model compliments Vision Australia's approach to delivering services, which is focussed on a collaborative approach between the client and frontline support staff.
"Our aim is to help our clients live the life they choose. Our frontline staff do that by taking into account our client's goals and then working with them to develop the skills and strategies needed to achieve them.
"As a national provider, Vision Australia has been working with clients under the NDIS for a number of years now and we've seen countless examples of how we've been able to successfully support people who are blind or have low vision and we would like to expand that throughout Bundaberg and its surrounding areas."
More information on how Vision Australia can support people around the NDIS is available online at www.visionaustralia.org/referral/ndis or by calling Vision Australia's NDIS helpline on 1300 88 70 58.