Vision Australia Chief Executive Officer Gerard Menses
Victorian Coalition Making Sense of Disability Services
Victor P Taffa
Victoria’s Leading Provider of Services to People who are Blind says Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu and the Victorian Coalition are right in saying people involved in motor vehicle and workplace accidents get a greater level of support and certainty about their lives than people with disabilities.
Vision Australia Chief Executive Officer Gerard Menses says the Victorian Coalition is taking the right steps for people with disabilities, their families and carers by announcing its support for disability services and funding reform and a universal safety net for people with disabilities.
“We applaud the Victorian Coalition’s announcement to reform disability funding and service delivery by championing a new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to provide lifetime support.” Mr. Menses said.
“The Victorian Coalition’s support is a step closer to seizing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the way we provide services for people who, as a consequence of blindness or low vision, are paying more for housing, care, whitegoods, transport and equipment to live independently.” Mr. Menses said.
“Providing the proper administrative framework, services and equipment for Victorians who lose their sight will ultimately reduce an even bigger cost to the whole community in the longer term.” Mr. Menses said.
The announcement comes on the eve of the Victorian Election where disability issues are set to feature. Currently 1 in 5 Victorians have some form of disability including nearly 100,000 Victorians who are blind or low vision. The main conditions that lead to significant vision loss are macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract, and diabetic retinopathy.
Vision Australia is awaiting the outcome of the Productivity Commission review which is looking at key issues like the administration of funding and whether money is channelled directly to individuals, carers or service organisations, as well as age eligibility.
The cost of managing life with a vision loss is not age discriminatory. A person over the age of 65 faces a similar financial outlay to younger people. While organisations like Vision Australia offer their services for free, there are many other financial costs that cannot be covered by a Service Provider.