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Aboriginal Vision Loss

New awareness campaign to assist Aboriginal people with vision loss

Aunty Mary in her red, black , yellow poncho

Aunty Mary is photographed for the new awareness campaign

In September, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT launched a package of resources to raise awareness of the organisation’s free, local services for Aboriginal people who are blind or vision impaired.

Featuring a video and brochure, the initiative is the result of a collaboration with Aboriginal Elder, Aunty Mary Hooker, a Bundjalung woman, whose vision is impaired due to diabetic retinopathy. She wanted to ensure that other Aboriginal people didn’t wait like she did to seek assistance from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

“Until I discovered Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, I felt isolated and couldn’t identify with any services that were culturally appropriate and sensitive to Aboriginal people,” says Aunty Mary.

The campaign aims to showcase Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s services in a simplified manner that is language and culturally accessible for people in Aboriginal communities.

With blindness rates in Aboriginal adults over six times the rate in mainstream Australia1 and vision loss on the rise due to the ageing population, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT hopes its new campaign will encourage Aboriginal people with vision loss to seek assistance early, enabling them to maintain their independence.

To download the brochure, please click here.
To watch the video of ‘Aunty Mary’s Story’ click here

1 National Indigenous Eye Health Survey, 2009, published by the Indigenous Eye Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne in collaboration with the Centre for Eye Research Australia and the Vision CRC.

2 Clear Focus Report: The Economic Impact of Vision Loss in Australia in 2009. The report was prepared by Access Economics and published in June 2010 by Vision2020.

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