2017 | Volume 49

Disparity between the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme Access Requirements and the Needs of People with Vision Impairment

Susan Silveira DipAppSc(Orth) MHlthScEd

Renwick Centre, Royal institute for Deaf and Blind Children, Sydney, Australia
Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

When a person of any age has vision impairment the impact of this on their everyday life may be lessened with appropriate support. To ensure this support meets the person’s needs it is essential that the criteria used to assess the person’s vision impairment are valid and align with the nature of the support being offered. Australia’s new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) relies on eligibility criteria known as access requirements that include two clinical vision measurements – visual acuity and visual fields. However, to align with the stated NDIS goals, these access requirements should also reveal the functional impact of the person’s vision impairment. The disparity between the current access requirements for vision impairment and the intended NDIS goals, particularly those for children with vision impairment will be explored in this paper, including a comparison to existing global approaches and suggestions for future development.

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