For many years, the Foundation has campaigned strongly for people who develop vision loss after the age of 65 to have access to affordable low vision aids, technology and support. This issue became particularly critical when access for this age group was denied through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
In July 2014 the Federal Government released the draft Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), which recommended reforms to aged care to assist older people to live in their own homes for as long as possible. The CHSP provides basic maintenance, care, support and respite services for older people living in the community.
In response to this draft, the Foundation provided a strong submission recommending the appropriate inclusion of support for low vision aids and technology in as well as a holistic approach to assessment and support by an occupational therapist, for mobility aids, home modifications, and personal assistance.
The Foundation succeeded in securing a capped amount of $500 per financial year per older Australian to be used to purchase aids and equipment. Where a low vision provider deems it necessary, it has the discretion to increase the cap to $1,000 per client per financial year.
The CHSP was introduced on 1 July 2015. The Foundation continues to work with the government to support the implementation and delivery of the funding for clients to purchase low vision aids and technology under this scheme.