Vision 2020 Australia considers that by working in partnership across government, non-government, private and community sectors, avoidable blindness and vision loss in Australia and our region can be prevented and treated and ensure that people who are blind or vision impaired of all ages, have equal access to services to support their independence and community participation.
There have been significant gains made across a range of areas in eye health and vision, however some key challenges remain:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience vision loss at three times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians
- Rates of diabetes are rising along with the risk of diabetic eye disease, which can result in permanent vision loss, however this is almost entirely preventable or treatable if identified early
- People who are blind or vision impaired continue to experience barriers when accessing the services and supports they need, including timely access to appropriate assistive technology
- Rates of vision impairment and blindness in the Indo-Pacific are rising, with forecasts suggesting that by 2050 approximately 440 million people could have moderate to severe vision impairment
The Vision 2020 Australia membership and their many partners bring together the right knowledge, the right expertise and the right models of collaboration to continue to leverage success. To maximise eye health and vision outcomes for Australians and citizens in our region, the Australian Government and the eye health and vision care sector need to invest in well founded, evidence-based prevention, early detection, early intervention and support measures that achieve great outcomes, keeping people engaged in the social and economic life of our communities.
This submission reflects the combined expertise of the eye health and vision care sector and outlines investments over the coming four years that will achieve tangible results in targeted high priority areas.