Black and White Committee

Children & Family Services

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Vision Australia provides support and resources that enable  children who are blind, or have low vision and their families, to  increase their choices and participate meaningfully in every aspect  of their life

 

We support families of children aged from birth right through to  school-leaving age, providing services that facilitate the young person’s development and access to education and independence.

Specialist staff work with children and their families to establish their priorities and concerns and then develop programs that are tailored to the individual’s needs and aspirations.

 

Vision Australia staff acknowledge that the family is the expert on their child, and the best people to ensure their strengths and capabilities are recognised and utilised. The approach is family-centered, where every child is recognised as part of their family unit and the importance of providing supports in the environment and context that is most relevant to that child and family is understood.

 

Support for every child

These services, which focus on learning, playing and daily living, are designed to support children and their families during the various early life stages.Children’s Services also works in partnership with other service providers in order to achieve the best outcome for each child.

 

A team, usually consisting of orthoptists, therapists, educators, adaptive technology consultants and counsellors, assess the degree to which blindness or low vision is affecting each child’s development. Their life stages approach enables the skills a child develops in their early years to be built upon as they grow. Children are always prepared for the next part of their journey.

 

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School and Beyond

In the years before a child starts school, Vision Australia assists them to obtain living skills such as dressing and feeding themselves using cutlery.

 

The Feelix Library, which posts out book kits containing tactile and audio elements, introduces young borrowers to braille and enables them to develop literacy skills.

 

Staff liaise with educators well before a child begins school and offer orientation and mobility training as well as equipment advice to ensure the child is prepared in every way.

 

The student is continually supported as they progress through school, with technology training and peer support programs being offered.  Staff also prepare students for tertiary study and the workplace.

 

Vision Australia supports children who are blind or have low vision and their families by offering:

 

  • Information on eye conditions
  • Developmental intervention to minimise the impact of blindness or low vision in early childhood.
  • Braille learning programs
  • Advice about toys, books and equipment to suite ach child’s needs.
  • Life skills programs in independence, leisure, socialisation and sexuality.
  • Assistance with inclusion in peer and leisure groups, childcare and schools.
  • Support with literacy through keyboarding and technology.
  • Counselling and facilitating meetings with other parents and role models
  • Information on preparing for further study and careers.

Indicative costs to the Childrens Fund offering these services

Cost Service
$7000 Support for comprehensive support for child & family per year
$12000 Cost for a blind child to get the technology that they need to go to school
$8000 Cost for a child with low vision to get the technology that they need to go to school
$5200 Cost per term to run vital school holiday programs to help prepare secondary students for school leaving and employment
$7200 Cost for Vision Australia’s Children’s Services professionals to provide a service to a child and family in a remote area

 

These services are provided at NO COST to the Children s Services client.

For this reason we need your continued support.