In 2014, Vision 2020 Australia, the Australian Blindness Forum (ABF), and National Disability Services (NDS) undertook an online survey of their collective members to gain a national snapshot of the blindness, low vision and rehabilitation services sector.
It is estimated there are over 575,000 people who are blind or vision impaired currently living in Australia, with more than 70 per cent over the age of 65 and over 66,000 people who are blind.
However, despite the fact that blindness and vision impairment affects a significant proportion of Australia’s population, no comprehensive data exists on the provision of blindness and low vision services at a national level.
Given the significant reforms in disability and aged care in both policy and service delivery now underway across the country, reliable data on the provision of blindness and low vision services is paramount, to ensure people who are blind or who have low vision are supported to remain independent and empowered to participate in their community.
Being the first survey of its kind, the research aimed to benchmark the capacity of the sector and provide a measure for future planning and monitoring to ensure the sector meets the needs of Australians who are blind or vision impaired.