Vision Australia expands its library services to people living with low vision or blindness

By Julia Eyles on December 18, 2015

Vision Australia cheque presentation (Annie)
More people who have low vision or blindness in the Fairfield area of New South Wales are today enjoying the gift of reading thanks to Vision Australia Library service.

With over 45,000 titles available in a choice of large print, braille, audio or digital DAISY format, Vision Australia library members can access information for a range of education and recreation purposes including newspapers, magazines, fiction and non-fiction.

The service helps to reduce the risk of isolation, dependence on family and friends but most of all gives people control over their own reading experiences just as they would have had with full vision.

Vision Australia supports over 27,000 people nationally, providing a wide variety of assistance and services to those who are challenged with low vision or blindness.

Through a $5000 grant from The Harcourts Foundation, together with Federal and State Government funding, Vision Australia have extended their library service in the Fairfield zone. The service now supports 16 clients over 65 years of age within the region.

Borrowers are able to acquire a CD, braille, large print or new technology such as the 3G DAISY players.

DAISY, which stands for Digital Accessible Information System, is a digital talking book format that offers many advantages over traditional audio books on a traditional audio CD.

Jodie Cox, Regional Manager Sydney South and South West Sydney, Vision Australasia, said that the real-time access to reading materials, through new technologies delivered by Vision Australia brought outstanding ongoing benefits to individuals and their families.

“With the development of our 3G DAISY players for example, clients have the ability to download major newspapers, keeping them abreast of local news and current affairs,” says Jodie.

“This in turn helps to reduce the negative feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression that are synonymous with vision loss. Often, just the act of reading brings joy and happiness.”

“Access to information also ensures positive outcomes for overall health and well-being, reduced reliance on family and friends to provide information on a regular basis as well as independence in being able to select titles that are suitable to the client and not having to rely on family or friends to choose for them.”

“We are thrilled to expand our services in Fairfield, thanks to Harcourts Foundation, and give more people the gift of reading,” says Jodie.