The Association for the Blind of WA, one of the State’s most established and respected charities, has officially changed its name to VisAbility.
The change comes after extensive independent research and consumer consultation, and will allow VisAbility to better welcome and represent people with low vision who want to access its services.
With a little as five per cent of people with vision impairment experiencing total blindness, many Western Australians living with low vision – who may not identify themselves as ‘blind’ – are missing out on vital services.
It’s estimated that in recent years, as few as one in five people with vision impairment have sought help from the Association.
“We spoke with our consumers and discovered that the word blind in our name was limiting our ability to reach people who need our help,” said Dr Clare Allen, Chief Executive Officer of VisAbility, formerly the Association for the Blind of WA.
“I’m thrilled to announce our new name VisAbility,” said Dr Allen. “This is a landmark development in our history, as we embark on a new chapter to provide greater impact on more people throughout Western Australia”.
The launch follows a 2012 organisation-wide strategic review supported by Lotterywest, which recommended the Association broaden its reach and impact, and refine services in order to be more sustainable and relevant to the community in years to come.
“As part of the rebrand we’re also changing the way we provide services to enable us to support more people, more quickly and in a more flexible way,” said Dr Allen.
“This is consistent with the government’s disability reform under the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the WA NDIS My Way programs, which will commence this July .”
Coinciding with the Association’s name change to VisAbility, its iconic Guide Dog program, Guide Dogs WA, will take on a new look as part of the Guide Dogs Australia national rebrand.
The Guide Dog Program will continue to be owned and operated by VisAbility, but will have a distinct logo, brand identity and website.
VisAbility has launched a new website with information and services for people who are blind or vision impaired. Information on the Guide Dogs WA program is available at www.guidedogswa.com.au.