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Leader in blindness and vision impairment recognised at Disability Awards

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Vision 2020 Australia congratulates Director of Policy and Advocacy Brandon Ah Tong for his win at the 2014 Victorian Disability Sector Awards.

Video about Brandon Ah Tong's work which has been recognised by the Victorian Disability Sector Awards 2014

Mr Ah Tong received the ‘Emerging Leader’ award for the work he has been doing to improve the lives of people who are blind or vision impaired.

Jennifer Gersbeck, CEO of Vision 2020 Australia, said she was delighted that Brandon’s advocacy work had been recognised.

Mr Ah Tong’s achievements span successful inclusion of people who are blind or vision impaired in the National Disability Insurance Scheme; enabling people with a vision impairment to travel more confidently in Victorian taxis, and matters relating to immigration for people with a disability.

“Brandon has been instrumental over the past eight years in ensuring that the voices of those with a disability are heard,” Ms Gersbeck said.

"At the heart of his work is a belief that people with a disability have a right to equal opportunity in all aspects of life," she said.

“This belief has inspired many changes to policy that ensure that blindness and vision impairment are no longer barriers to participation in the community." 

As someone who is blind, Mr Ah Tong understands first-hand the challenges faced by people who are blind or vision impaired.

“Living with disability myself, gives me a personal perspective that I think is very important in being able to effectively advocate on behalf of others with disability,” he said.

Mr Ah Tong believes people with disability have come a long way from living in institutions but there is still some work to do now on integrating disability into other sectors of the community.

“Initiatives championed in Victoria, such as the Vision Initiative, are programs that seek to reach across health, disability and aged care to focus on getting the right interventions and supports for people at risk of vision loss and people who are blind or vision impaired,” Mr Ah Tong said.

“These programs that realise that a continuum of care and support helps keep people independent and participating in the community are vital and must be continued,” he said.

ENDS

About Vision 2020 Australia

Established in October 2000, Vision 2020 Australia is part of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, a global initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). As the national peak body for the eye health and vision care sector, Vision 2020 Australia represents around 50 member organisations involved in: local and global eye care; health promotion; low vision support; vision rehabilitation; eye research; professional assistance; and community support. For more information visit: www.vision2020australia.org.au

About the Vision Initiative

For more information about the Vision Initiative Pilot Projects see (external link).

About the Victorian Disability Sector Awards

For more information on the awards visit the Department of Human Services website (external link).

Media Contact

Louise Rudzki, Vision 2020 Australia, (03) 9656 2020, +61 0414 784 359, lrudzki@vision2020australia.org.au

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