Vision Australia, in partnership with the Audiological Society of Australia and researchers from the University of Sydney (Centre for Vision Research and Menzies Centre for Health Policy) have been successful in securing funding in the first nationwide National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership for Better Health Grants.
These grants were designed to help researchers work directly with health organisations so that research results can be better tailored to real world situations. Partners bring both financial support and clinical expertise to the research.
The project, entitled 'Developing service policies for Australians with dual sensory impairment: An integrated collaborative pilot project', is led by Professor Stephen Leeder along with Associate Professor Jie Jin Wang, Professor Paul Mitchell, Dr Catherine MacMahon and Jane Ellis.
This is one of only six University of Sydney projects and 27 nationwide projects to receive funding under the new scheme. The project has been awarded $318,651 over 3 years to pilot an integrated, collaborative service model for assessment and rehabilitation of dual sensory impairment (DSI) in older people.
Separate vision and hearing rehabilitation systems currently operate in Australia, and these often fail to service and support older people with DSI in a coherent and collaborative manner.
In the project, clients who attend selected NSW Vision Australia clinics will be screened for hearing loss to facilitate timely referral to hearing service providers and ensure clients receive the rehabilitation they require to optimise their sensory function and independence.