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New Report on Economic Impact of Vision Loss in Australia Available PDF
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Australian News
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Vision 2020 Australia, on behalf of its members, has commissioned a report from the independent economic analysts, Access Economics, to update Clear Insight (2004), a report outlining the economic impact and cost of vision loss in Australia. Clear Focus (2009) provides current data and updated projections to 2020 of the economic impact and cost to government, industry and the community of vision loss in Australia.

The report is now available online at Vision 2020 Australia
 
University of Montreal heralds professor Brien Holden PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 25 June 2010

Leading Australian researcher, educator and blindness prevention advocate, Professor Brien Holden, CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Montreal under the recommendation of the School of Optometry (École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, EOUM).

The honorary doctorate was presented to Professor Holden during the EOUM centenary year celebrations by Dr Guy Breton, Rector of the University of Montreal.

Dr Langis Michaud, Associate Professor and Chair of the Contact Lens Department at EOUM nominated Professor Holden for the award in recognition of his visionary influence in blindness prevention, his scientific and research contributions and for raising the standard of vision care in developing communities around the world.

Dr Michaud spoke at the presentation ceremony heralding Prof. Holden’s contributions over the past 50 years, “Professor Holden has been a visionary in proposing a program that not only provides glasses, primary and surgical care to the populations in need, but also to educate the local people and to give them the appropriate equipment to provide eye care on a sustained basis,” Dr Michaud said.

 
Similar risks with guide dogs in Australia as in UK PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 24 June 2010

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has renewed its call for the public to keep their pet dogs on leads, following a Veterinary Record study reporting that in the UK more than three guide dogs on average are being attacked per month. The study found that nearly two thirds of the attacking dogs were off their lead at the time. This data supports similar research conducted in Australia, with a recent Guide Dogs NSW/ACT client survey finding that nine out of 10 guide dog users have said their guide dog had been harassed or distracted by “off-lead” pet dogs over the past year.

Dr Graeme White, Chief Executive of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, says people need to be made aware of the consequences of disturbing a working guide dog. “The UK report is very alarming and we hope it highlights to the Australian public the danger that off lead pet dogs pose to guide dogs and their owners who are vision impaired,” said Dr White. “It costs approximately $30,000 to raise and train a guide dog. All it takes is one unfortunate encounter, especially with domestic dogs, and this may cut short the working life of a guide dog, putting at risk the life of their handler.”

Sydney guide dog user, Barbara Bonfield, has had first hand experience with the issue, when one of her previous guide dogs fell victim to a domestic dog attack. She says it’s an ongoing issue that needs to improve. “Unfortunately I know too well what can happen if a guide dog is distracted. The best thing a person can do if they are near a working guide dog is to make sure their own pet is on a lead and under control, and just let the guide dog do its job,” said Mrs Bonfield.

Another major distraction issue for guide dog users is members of the public attempting to talk to or pat their dogs, with the Guide Dogs survey confirming that 89% of working guide dogs have been distracted in this way in the last 12 months. “We understand that it is very tempting to want to talk to and pat a guide dog, but when their harness is on, they have to concentrate as they are working to help people who are vision impaired be more mobile and independent,” said Dr White. “All we ask is that people remember not to feed or pat a working guide dog, and always keep pet dogs on a lead.”

For more information about guide dog etiquette, visit www.guidedogs.com.au

 

 
The Fred Hollows Foundation reports record results for 2009 PDF
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Australian News
Tuesday, 22 June 2010

In 2009 The Fred Hollows Foundation carried out 195,406 operations and treatments, up from 70,000 in 2006. That is close to triple the number of people treated in just three years.

Results also show The Foundation screened over 1.7 million people, trained 5,878 eye health workers, including surgeons and provided over $2.5 million of vital medical equipment.

 
Vision Australia contributes to the accessibility of ePUB books PDF
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Australian News
Monday, 21 June 2010
ePUB is the most widely adopted, fastest growing electronic book standard across the globe today. It has the same structural and navigational capabilities as DAISY (digital accessible reading and publishing for all). Users can quickly jump from chapter to chapter and page to page in an ePUB book, similar to DAISY books.

The revision of this standard is currently being undertaken by the International Digital Publishers Forum. Vision Australia staff member, Kenny Johar, was invited to participate as an international expert on accessibility and technical standards. Kenny will ensure that the next version of ePUB fully satisfies the requirements of people who are blind or have low vision. 
 
Revolutionary new treatment for AMD from CERA PDF
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Australian News
Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) Professor Robyn Guymer has been interviewed recently on ABC News about a revolutionary new treatment for AMD.

View the report on lasers to combat Macular Degeneration on ABC News report here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/06/11/2925228.htm

 
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