It began with a question…what is it like to acquire life skills when you are blind or vision impaired?
Instead of finding a simple answer, this question raised even more questions: How do people make sense of Orientation and Mobility (O&M)? Why do some people living with blindness or low vision understand and value learning O&M skills and others do not? How do people understand the connection between O&M, independence, dependence, and interdependence? What can parents do to ensure their child with impaired vision acquires age/stage relevant life skills?
Errol’s interest and determination to find answers to these and other questions led him to complete doctoral research into what it like to acquire life skills such as O&M with impaired vision. As part of that research, Errol conducted in-depth interviews with people who are blind or vision impaired about their lived experience of acquiring O&M skills.
The key findings of the research fundamentally challenge the traditional way that O&M and other services have been, and continue to be, provided to people living with blindness and vision impairment. In response, we decided to set up a company based on Errol’s key findings, to provide more meaningful and effective O&M services to people who are blind or have low vision.
And so, the time was right for Blind Focus to be established
There are moments in life when the stars seem to align. 2019 was such a time. As Errol completed his doctoral research, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) had reached the final stages of being rolled out nationally. It was exciting to note how closely the research findings aligned with NDIS’ purpose, values and investment in Australians with disabilities, especially in relation to improved ‘choice and control’.
We believe NDIS has been a game-changer in Australia because it has meant that people with disabilities now have more choice and control AND independent service providers such as Blind Focus, now have the opportunity to offer people living with disabilities more choice, more control, and more meaningful and effective services.
What does this mean for you?
- The name Blind Focus says it all. We are squarely focused on how blindness and vision impairment impacts on the everyday life of people living with blindness and low vision. No distractions, no fluff – our focus is to empower and equip you with the O&M skills to meet the challenges and opportunities of living with blindness and low vision.
- We tailor our services to your personal situation and lifestyle. That means, you are not just another client number to us – so, no red-tape, no long waiting times, and no jumping through admin hoops. We will listen and respond by providing meaningful, effective and flexible services that meet your needs – not our needs.
- Our expertise and experience will save you time, effort and money. Our services are based on the latest research. We combine this evidence base with 30+ years of experience in the field of blindness and vision impairment to provide the most efficient, effective and meaningful services.
- We will continue to challenge and change out-dated ways of thinking about blindness and vision impairment. We will do this through a range of publications, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, online resources and workshops, about the lived experience of blindness and low vision.
Why did we use the colour pink in our logo?
People have asked us why we have used the colour pink in our logo. A person who became blind when he was only three years of age, once told Errol that as an adult, he could still remember seeing colours such as red, blue, yellow, and green from when he was a child. However, he could not remember or visualise the colour pink. That is, he had no visual memory of pink from his childhood.
So, the pink in our logo is a constant reminder to stay focused on how blindness and vision impairment impacts on a person’s everyday life. To that end, we listen to our clients and work closely with them to understand how blindness/low vision is affecting their everyday lives.