Funding Boost For Vision Australia Training Facility

04 March 2016

Treasurer Tim Pallas today announced a $500,000 funding boost for Vision Australia to develop a state-of-the-art training centre for vision impaired Victorians.

The Indoor Mobility and Safety Training Centre, at the Seeing Eye Dogs Australia’s National Kennel and Puppy Centre in Kensington, will assist Victorians with vision loss to gain confidence and remain active in society.

It will provide a controlled and safe environment for clients of all ages to use various aids, mobility devices and Seeing Eye Dogs to develop and learn new orientation and mobility skills.

The Centre is one of the final parts of the redevelopment of Seeing Eye Dogs Australia.

The redevelopment will lead to an increased capacity for dog training and production and approximately twenty new jobs over the next three years.

It will also create many more indirect jobs, as vision impaired people become job-ready and their ability to participate in the economy increases.

It will feature a mock pedestrian and train crossing, a bus stop with a shelter and roadside kerbing, functional traffic lights with aural signals, open and closed stairs, and a mock café.

Focused on innovation, this state of the art facility will help train vision-impaired Victorians to better navigate their way through an increasingly complex urban environment and assist in body-protection techniques.

The economic impact of vision loss is also significant due to early retirement and re-hiring costs, the productivity losses of carers who may take time off work, and the greater difficulty the blind or those with low vision face in finding employment.

The centre will operate seven days a week and provide a service for all Victorians. There are three residential houses nearby to enable people from rural and regional Victoria to attend intensive training.

The project is expected to be completed in 2017.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“This funding will help break down barriers and give the vision-impaired the best chance to obtain employment and participate in society.”

“This facility will create local jobs, as well as help vision impaired Victorians become job-ready and make a valuable contribution to the economy.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability and Ageing Martin Foley

“By helping people with their fear during orientation and mobility training, people will progress much more quickly and increase their chances of reaching their individual goals.”

“Simply being able to cross a road safely changes lives – and potentially saves lives.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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