Vision Australia CEO Ron Hooton has spoken to Vision Australia Radio about the organisation’s response to COVID-19.
Ron said while these were challenging times for all Australians, Vision Australia is committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of staff, volunteers and clients and is committed to doing its bit to slow the spread of the virus.
Vision Australia is requiring staff and clients to practice stronger hygiene habits and social distancing.
All Vision Australia offices are currently open and the organisation is continuing to provide specialist blindness and low vision services across Australia. However, there has been a temporary suspension of some groups, including day programs.
“We didn’t make this decision lightly. Predominately the day program’s participants are over the age of 70 which has a high mortality rate with COVID-19. We could not risk our clients’ safety,” Ron said.
Ron said Vision Australia is also looking at ways in which technology may help allow services to continue and has also introduced heightened risk assessments for staff and clients.
“We may do some of our sessions by video conferencing. We have asked our staff and will be asking Vision Australia clients if they are at risk of contracting the virus,” said Ron.
We have a number of ways we can help people stay connected with Vision Australia and the wider community, including:
Specialist blindness and low vision technology is available via our Vision Store, both online and over the phone on 1300 84 74 66.