Vision 2020 Australia would like to thank Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert for drawing attention to the fact that many people who are blind or vision impaired have been unable to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Senator Siewert, with the support of Senator Carol Brown, Shadow Minister for Disability and Carers, initiated a motion during House business yesterday that calls on Government to address barriers for people with vision impairment to access the NDIS.
In moving the motion, Senator Siewert said:
“Recently we saw reports that blind and vision impaired Australians have not been able to access the NDIS because the materials and pamphlets are not in braille or large print.
“A National Disability Scheme that is not accessible to people with disability is disastrous and flies in the face of the whole purpose of NDIS.
“Facing barriers to a disability scheme because you are blind or vision impaired should not be an issue we are having to raise in the Senate.
“I urge the Minister (for Social Services) to commit to urgently addressing these barriers.”
The motion was supported Senator Katy Gallagher, Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate and Senator the Hon James McGrath, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister.
Vision 2020 Australia will continue to work with the Australian Government, the Australian Labor Party, the Australian Greens and its members to ensure that the NDIS is fully accessible to people who are vision impaired or blind.
Carla Northam, CEO of Vision 2020 Australia, acknowledged Senator Siewert’s longstanding support of the eye health and vision care sector.
“From her efforts to ensure audio description on free-to-air television services to ensuring that people who are visually impaired or blind can fully access the NDIS, Senator Siewert has long been a champion of our sector.
“We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that people who are visually impaired or blind have access to the most appropriate supports and services to remain independent and live the life of their choosing.”