Works in partnership with people who are blind or have low vision to ensure that individuals can access and participate in all aspects of life that they chose.
Vision Australia was formed in 2004 following the merger of the Royal Blind Society, the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind, Vision Australia Foundation, the National Information Library Services, Royal Blind Foundation Queensland and Seeing Eye Dogs Australia.
Combining the skills and resources of these leading organisations they created a national voice, Vision Australia is committed to delivering exceptional and efficient services that open up exciting possibilities for their community.
They are a not-for-profit organisation with more than 33,000 clients; Vision Australia is also a major participant and partner in the international blindness community.
The founding organisations were all established by volunteers, but now they have just over 670 full time equivalent staff working alongside thousands of volunteers.
Vision Australia has 3,830 volunteers to deliver programs and activities and together these volunteers contributed a total of 618,000 hours in 2013.
“Volunteers are a valuable resource for Vision Australia- bringing a wealth of skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to the organisation,” says Ron Hooton, CEO, Vision Australia.
Their volunteers work across a very broad range of services, and some of the areas in which their volunteers support include:
- Puppy carers -who care for Seeing Eye Dog puppies for 12 – 18 months until they are ready for training. Seeing Eye Dogs make an incredible difference to the lives of people who are blind or have low vision.
- Drivers -Vision Australia provides transport to attend many of their recreational programs, attendance at their low vision services and many personal leisure pursuits.
- Recreation Support volunteers – they have knitting, pottery, tai chi, bowling, tandem bike riding, walking, basketry, bingo, children’s school programs, sailing, dinner and social groups, theatre companions and the list goes on. Their volunteers support a broad range of recreational activities that ensure clients who are blind or have low vision enjoy the many activities that others in the community participate in.
- Audio Description- delivered by highly trained Vision Australia audio describers volunteers, this service brings transitions, movements, gestures, props, settings, costumes and scenery vividly and succinctly to life during pauses in stage dialogue during theatre productions.
- Telelink volunteers- facilitate a weekly, fortnightly or monthly social chat over the phone with clients with similar interest. Topics include history, gardening, books, travel and the good old footy!
They are in current need for puppy carers, and invite anyone interested in a wide variety of volunteering roles to contact them. Being a part of Imagine the possibilities is one of the ways Vision Australia aims to promote volunteering – and the work of the organisation which relies on them.