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Diabetes sufferers encouraged to have their eyes checked regularly PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 11 March 2010

In Australia, approximately 1 million people have diabetes. After long duration of diabetes, most will develop the eye disease, diabetic retinopathy, which without treatment can cause vision loss and blindness. The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and Orthoptics Australia have joined together to raise awareness of the importance of regular eye checks for people with diabetes as part of Orthoptic Awareness week from March 8 – 11. As part of this week Orthoptics Australia has been hosting a free Diabetic Retinopathy Seminar on Wednesday 10th March at the Eye and Ear Hospital.

Australian studies have found that the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy among diabetics ranges from 35% to 49% and as there are many undiagnosed diabetics, it is possible that 200,000 people in Australia could be affected by diabetic retinopathy and not be aware of it. Therefore, the Eye and Ear and Orthoptics Australia encourages all people with diabetes to have a full eye examination at least every 2 years in order to prevent diabetic retinopathy, and to reduce the incidence of vision loss.

The Centre of Eye Research Australia, research partner of the Eye and Ear, is currently recruiting for a major Australian study investigating the barriers to achieving optimal diabetes care. If you are over 18 and have Type 1 or 2 diabetes and would be willing to participate in this ground-breaking study, register your interest now by calling 03 9929 8363. Participants will benefit from an eye test at the Eye and Ear Hospital.

 
Landmark decision for voters who are blind or have low vision PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 11 March 2010

Australians take pride in being the first country in the world to introduce the secret ballot. Unfortunately, this democratic right has not been secret for all. An announcement made by the Federal Government on 9 March is an initial step towards ensuring that people who are blind or have low vision will eventually have the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to vote privately.

The changes to the Electoral Act were tabled in Parliament today in the Senate on behalf of the Special Minister of State, Senator Joe Ludwig. If the changes are passed for the next election, voters who are blind or have low vision will have the option to attend an AEC divisional office where they can be connected to trained call centre operators to complete the ballot papers.

 
Dealing with Government Online to Become Easier for Australians with Disabilities PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 04 March 2010

Australians with disabilities will soon find it easier to access government information online. Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities Bill Shorten said the Rudd Government had endorsed new website accessibility standards, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

Lindsay Tanner said the standards contained in WCAG 2.0 were in line with internationally recognised best-practice and stipulated that all government websites adhere to these new standards by 2015. Mr Shorten said that unequal access to information would reinforce the 2nd class status of people with disability within Australia. Ensuring that websites and web-based services are accessible to people who are blind or have low vision is essential for people to actively participate in their community.

The Rudd Government is developing a National Transition Strategy for the move to WCAG 2.0 which will form part of the National Disability Strategy to be released later this year. The National Disability Strategy will outline how the Rudd Government intends to improve the inclusion of people with disability in the social, economic and cultural life of Australia and deliver better outcomes for them. Information about the guidelines and upcoming National Transition Strategy will be made available on the Web Publishing Guide: webpublishing.agimo.gov.au

 
Institute for Eye Research renamed the Brien Holden Vision Institute PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 04 March 2010

For  more than 20 years, the team at the Institute for Eye Research, together with a global network of partners, has made remarkable advances in eye research, translated those innovations into breakthrough products, nurtured other organisations and advocated for access to vision care and eye health worldwide.

On March 1 2010, the Institute for Eye Research was renamed the Brien Holden Vision Institute. The change was initiated to honour the contributions of Professor Brien Holden OAM – a co-founder of the Institute for Eye Research – who over 30 years has had a major impact on research, education, product development and global public health in the field of optometry.

The change represents a major commitment to the future for the Institute. We are still the same people, with the same services, and the Brien Holden Vision Institute, more than ever, is committed to discovering new ways to improve vision. As part of this change a new website has been launched at: www.brienholdenvision.org

 
Launch of FireReady Kit for people with vision impairment PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 25 February 2010

The FireReady Kit, a vital tool to prepare for bushfires, has been launched in audio format by CFA and Vision Australia with the aim of extending bushfire safety information to people who are blind, have low vision or are print disabled.

The audio kit has been mailed to over 1300 people living in high risk bushfire areas and registered on Vision Australia's library database, is available for download on the CFA website and through the Victorian Bushfire Information Line.

Copies are now available from the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on 1800 240 667 (TTY 1800 122 969) and can also be accessed at the CFA website.

 
New name, dates, and initiatives for ODMAFAIR in 2011 PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association have confirmed that changes to their biennial optical showcase ODMAFAIR are currently under development, leading with the announcement that the forthcoming event will be known simply as ODMA.2011.

This move recognises the industry's preferred nomenclature for the event, set for its 18th staging in 2011. The structure of the event has also been reviewed with a number of new initiatives afoot and these will be announced in the following months as finalised.

While the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre Darling Harbour will remain host venue for ODMA.2011, which will occupy Halls 1 and 2, staging dates have also undergone a review.

ODMA.2011 will be staged Friday 5th to Sunday 7th August following feedback received from past Fairs indicating that this period is considered a favourable window in which to run the event.

Exhibition Management Pty Ltd will again organise ODMA.2011 on behalf of the Association and information on the process of exhibition space allocation to past exhibitors will be released in March 2010.

Those companies who have not participated in recent stagings but wish to participate in 2011 are encouraged to put their name on the 'Expression of Interest' listing now - simply log on to www.odmafair.com.au and complete the 'Interested in Exhibiting' form.

 
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