3 December 2022
Today marks International Day of People with Disability, a day that aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities.
The ACO’s Visiting Disability Service, which began in 1997, was the starting point for our community Outreach Services which continue to serve vulnerable groups with eye care across Victoria. In addition to the visiting service, we have several dedicated services that support people living with disability, including a dedicated Disability Clinic at our Carlton location. Here, experienced optometrists provide appropriate eye care for those impacted by a number of conditions; including acquired brain injury, intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities.
Working with patients with intellectual disabilities poses unique challenges that require optometrists to be extremely flexible and to acquire a specific skillset.
“Most of the patients in VDS have moderate to severe intellectual disabilities, are non-verbal, and are unable to get out of the house to do health checks. Our services are essential to these populations who often miss out on essential eye care because they are unable to be supported elsewhere,” says Dr Josephine Li, Acting Head, Rural VES and Community Eyecare Services at the ACO (pictured).
Programs such as the VDS provide lasting help to communities who often have difficulties accessing quality care. By delivering this program, and all of our outreach services, we are playing a small part in helping individuals to look after their health and enhance their quality of life.
A big thank you to all of our staff for their dedication and valuable service which keeps these programs running.