DES can assist businesses to install assistive technology.
Finding work can be difficult for people with a disability. A Disability Employment Service can help. They offer support to job seekers with a disability who are searching for work. They help people through all the stages of finding a job. Starting with looking and applying for work, they also support workers with a disability once they have found work A Disability Employment Service can also assist people with a disability to develop their skills. They provide access to training courses so a person can get qualifications to help them find employment.
A program for people with disabilities was recently run in Geelong. It was called LEAD Barwon. The program helped people become more confident. It also taught them communication skills. This enabled them to share their experience of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Nineteen people participated in the program. They told their stories in the media. They also gave feedback about the NDIS. This information will help improve the NDIS for others. The participants all got a lot from the program. But it has been good for their communities too.
The ABC is trialling audio description (AD) on its iview service. AD describes non-verbal action during a television program. AD can greatly enhance the television experience of people with a vision impairment. It can describe where a scene is set or what a character is wearing. The trial is currently limited to the iview website and the iview app. Vision Australia is disappointed the trial is limited to only iview. It also wants the government to make AD mandatory on Australian television.
3D printing is adding a new dimension to the understanding of objects by those with blindness and vision impairment.
Just think how a person with blindness might get a better understanding of an object such as a building or a wild animal, if they could feel the shape of it. Now computers can print things out in three dimensions, giving such people a chance to feel what objects are really like. Printers lay down plastic which builds up to form 3D shapes. Those with blindness could feel a certain type of car, the shape of their own house or the face of a friend. Not too many people know about this in Australia yet, but the future is exciting.
My friend Pete has just been told his vision has deteriorated to the stage where it is no longer safe for him to drive. For many people like Pete, having to give up driving is usually the first step into a world of disability. It can feel like a world of limitations and challenges. Taking this step causes all sorts of emotional reactions throwing even the most reasonable and responsible people into denial and despair. And as both John and Lindsay found out, stepping out of the driver's seat came with a fear of what the future might bring.