Press Release:

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) is urging Senators to use this week’s senate estimates to call for a fair go for people who are blind or vision impaired no matter whether they access the ageing or disability support systems for their blindness related needs.

BCA implores the Government to look closely at the unintentional, but real anxiety these inequities are causing people who are blind or vision-impaired seeking to lead full and independent lives as they age.

“Although there are many things that remain unclear while the NDIS and My Aged Care are in a state of transition, there is no doubt that the NDIS has been designed to meet the specific needs of people with disability. On the other hand, people who are blind or vision-impaired (particularly those who lose their vision later in life) are at a great disadvantage if they are trying to get disability related supports through the aged care system, the only option for those seeking access to services when they are over the age of 65” said BCA President Emma Bennison. “There are caps on packages in the aged care system, and there is an entrenched history of co-payments. Neither of these impediments exist in the NDIS”.

Statistics show that the vast majority of people who lose their vision are over the age of 65, making them ineligible for the NDIS.

“We know that the government is committed to rolling out the NDIS in full and making it the best it can be”, said BCA CEO, Leah van Poppel. “Now we are calling on politicians to make sure that people who are blind or vision impaired can get the supports they need no matter what their age is. We would hate to see people missing out on learning to get around independently, or using technology to read, just because of their age. We’re keen to work with government and service providers to make sure this happens”.

Feeling lonely or just want to make new friends? Come join the MDM Club for free. The Club is our disability and NDIS community where you can chat in a safe, tolerant and respectful environment. Our Club members include people with autism, depression, anxiety, mental illness, blindness, deafness and many other disabilities.

Senate Estimates will take place in Federal Parliament this week. They will focus on aging and health issues. BCA looks forward to working with Government to ensure equity of service for some of its most vulnerable members.

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