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Welcome to the 27th edition of Perceptions!

At popular request we are trialing sending out Perceptions as a 'news and events bulletin' monthly for the rest of this year. We will still always include one article or case study, as well as news, so please do let us know if there is anything of interest you would like us to cover.
There is a lot happening in the world of vision support over the coming months. We are welcoming the release of the National Eye Health Survey by our strategic partner Vision2020 on World Sight Day – 13th October, and we will celebrate the achievements of people with low vision and blindness on International White Cane Day over the 14th and 15th October.
Two major Australian medical meetings are being hosted in Melbourne – the ACO Congress for Optometrists in October and the RANZO Congress for Opthalmology in November. Guide Dogs Victoria will be at both events with information about our services, and updates on how we are helping to develop the science behind best practice Orientation & Mobility outcomes for people with low vision and blindness.
We have also launched a new website that is far more accessible for our clients with low vision or blindness – uncluttered, with higher contrast, and conforming to AA access requirements. Much as we love our amazing dogs, two thirds of our clients use us for other ‘non-dog’ services and you will notice that our website is far more ‘human’ focused – highlighting our multiple services and how these can be tailored to best support an individual’s needs and goals. You can still easily refer patients to Guide Dogs Victoria through the new website – see below for more information.

For our regular readers, and for those receiving Perceptions for the first time, we always welcome your feedback, comments and contributions. You can contact us at

Finally, you are welcome to forward this email on to your colleagues and members of your networks who can subscribe to our newsletter directly here.

the Guide Dogs Victoria Client Service Team
To learn more about our Adult Mobility Services, click here.

Dates for the Diary

World Sight Day (13th October) and International White Cane Day (15th October)

Look out for the release of the results of the much anticipated National Eye Health Survey on World Sight Day, and Guide Dogs Victoria will be encouraging people not to delay if they need help with vision loss. We will be celebrating the achievements of people with low vision and blindness with International White Cane Day events:
  • A client and staff walk in Melbourne CBD on Friday 14th October.
  • A team of staff, volunteers and clients will then be taking part in the Beechworth to Mount Buffalo Barrowthon on Saturday and Sunday 15th and 16th October.
Please do come along and cheer us on at either of these events if you are in the vicinity!

 Living with ABI and Vision Impairment - Client Workshops for 2016:
  • Wednesday 9 November, 10am – 2pm

Click here for more information about the Client workshop.

ABI Professional Presentations for 2016:

  • Wednesday 2 November, 1pm – 3pm

Click here to find more information about the Professional workshop. 

Contact our Admin team for more information or to book a workshop. 


Ballarat Information Breakfast - 20th October 2016

Guide Dogs Victoria will be hosting a breakfast for health professionals, clinicians and referrers on the 20th October from 8am-9am, at The Adelphi Room, Golden City Hotel, 427 Sturt Street, Ballarat. This breakfast session will provide you with an update on the services that Guide Dogs Victoria currently make available to the community and highlight how we can assist your patients and clients. Bookings are advised - please contact to register your interest.

Guide Dogs Victoria will also be running a client information workshop in Ballarat on the 19th October, covering Guide Dogs Victoria’s services, Occupational Therapy, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Please encourage any clients or patients you feel would benefit from attending this workshop to call 9854 4467 to book a place. 

Upon request, we also provide:

  • Workshops for allied health professionals on vision loss associated with brain injury and the services Guide Dogs Victoria provides.
  • In-house workshops on all our services.
  • Interactive 3-hour weekend workshops to healthcare professionals and other referral organisations at a fee.
  • Staff induction workshops for organisations who frequently come into contact with people with vision loss or blindness.
Contact our Admin team for more information or to book a workshop. E: Ph: 9854 4467


We also offer various group and other specialised programs to our clients.



Travel and Personal Safety Group Programs

  • Try before you ride: Clients can learn about travelling more safely using our public transport system – Wednesday 12th October, 10:00am-2:00pm at Box Hill interchange.
  • Guide Dog Handler’s Traffic Refresher workshops – Friday 25th November, 9.30am-3pm. Cost $10. Numbers are limited so please enquire direct with Jenny Black – 9854 4473 or


Young Adults Group Program

  • Wednesday 6 October
  • Thursday 8 December

Cane to canine:

  • Wednesday 30 November, 9:30am – 3:30pm

Visit our website or contact our admin team for more information about any of the above programs.

Upcoming Medical Congresses


Australian College of Optometry (ACO) National Conference 2016 - MCG - 22 & 23 October
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Opthalmologists 48th Annual Congress 2016 – Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre – 19th-23rd November

Guide Dogs Victoria will be hosting an information table at both of the above events – come along and meet our Allied Health and Orientation & Mobility Practitioners, learn more about our specialised rehabilitation and outcome driven therapy programs, or take time out to pat our Ambassador Dog!  We hope to see you there.
You can find out more about these conference’s programs at
Why refer a patient to Guide Dogs Victoria?

We welcome referrals from all health professionals and directly from families/carers or patients themselves. The intensive one-to-one empathy and experience that our Practitioners can offer over days, weeks or months provides support during the challenging point many of our clients are at when they arrive at Guide Dogs Victoria.

Mark is one of those clients. He suffered a stroke on the way to work one morning. On regaining consciousness Mark found his entire world had changed.  In the initial stages of his recovery, Mark was unable to continue working, he lost his home, and so his children had to go and live with relatives. It was a long road to physical recovery.  He didn’t know how he would cope when he left rehab, when his Physiotherapist made the referral that changed his life – suggesting that he be in contact with Guide Dogs Victoria for Orientation & Mobility services.  Through this he learnt to navigate the environment safely, to use his residual vision as effectively as he could and to use a long cane.  Mark was able to work with a Guide Dogs Victoria Occupational Therapist to manage basic life skills like shaving and cooking. That was in 2008 and now Mark has built his life back up and has moved from a long cane onto Guide Dog Lester as his primary mobility aid. He is employed and wants to share his experience with others.

All our services are free at the point of delivery to clients – we can claim TAC/Workcover or NDIS if the client has access to funding, but we will support unfunded clients equally. You can still easily refer using the new website - - as follows:
  • On a normal sized tablet or computer you will see a menu across the top. Click on ‘Request a service’ and this will take you directly to an ‘e-form’ that you can complete and submit on line.
  • On a mobile – you will see ‘3 lines’ in a block on the top menu, touch here and the full drop down menu reveals. Click on Request a service to open the fillable form.

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