Guide Dogs Queensland is a non-profit organization established in 1960 to provide freedom, mobility and independence to the visually impaired persons across Australia. It offers support and training to hundreds of people every year with little or no vision to equip them with appropriate education, training and mobility services so that they can also lead independent and unconstrained lives.
The statistics note that there are almost 90,000 Australians who are blind and more than 300,000 have a vision condition that cannot be corrected by lenses, glasses or surgery. The mission of Guide Dogs Queensland is therefore to equip, empower and educate the blind and visually impaired Australians to help them lead independent lives without them causing any inconvenience to family or friends. Its aim is to make them self-sufficient so that they also lead normal lives without their vision becoming a hurdle in their progress and social routine.
Guide Dogs Queensland is a trusted and respected charity that that helps people of all ages who are blind or vision impaired and are referred to the organization by health care professionals, family and friends, community agencies or by themselves. It provides free statewide services to the concerned people. It starts by working closely with each client to determine the kind of services they need according to their ability and way of living. The services are extended for as long as it takes for the client to get satisfied. The sole purpose of the charity is to teach living skills to the people and make them independent and self-sufficient. It also offers advice and support for the use of new technology and electronic devices.
The services offered include orientation and mobility, guide dogs facility, support and child care services for the affected people.
Orientation and Mobility
It offers guide dog mobility, school holiday camps, white cane training, counseling, low vision support programs, professional workshops and electronic travel aid training for the clients in Queensland. This is the process where the client uses his senses to enhance his knowledge and skills to safely assess his environments such as streets, shops, traffic and other objects in the surroundings. It involves use of specific aids such as Support Cane or electronic travel aids that support GPS trekker and Miniguide.
Guide Dogs are provided to the clients who can manage well the responsibility of working with a dig and who have learned to place their trust in the ability of a dog to guide them. Dogs are selected carefully to match the lifestyle of the client and are only offered to those who feel comfortable working with the guide dog.
The organization provides a full-time psychologist to the new clients and their families to help them adjust to the life with vision impairment. It offers counseling for social and physical wellbeing to overcome the feeling of loneliness and isolation that comes with a physical disability. It has specially trained instructors to work with children to provide them with early support and resources.