What we do
Guide Dogs Queensland 's mission is to provide Queenslanders with low or no vision with supports and services to asist them with freedom, mobility and independence.
Orientation and Mobility training is all about helping people with low or no vision build and enhance their mobility skills. From being able to get on a train to travel to work each day to just being able to walk to the end of your driveway, there is nothing we do that doesn’t involve some element of Orientation and Mobility.
Our Orientation and Mobility programs are about knowing where you are, where you want to go and how to get there. Often a starting point for people with vision loss, this service is available to Queenslanders throughout their whole lives and can be easily adapted as someone’s lifestyle or needs change.
All our Orientation and Mobility programs are built specifically around individual needs, with each program tailored to every client. Depending on the level of assistance a person requires, they might take part in a week long group training class held onsite at our Training Centre in Bald Hills, receive lessons within their own home environment, their community or undertake training with their family or co-workers.
Occupational Therapy can help Queenslanders with low or no vision to develop practical skills that will maximise their independence, whether they’re at home or out and about.
Living with blindness or low vision can have a big impact on everyday life, at times making it incredibly difficult to do routine things like getting dressed in the morning, making meals or cleaning the house.
Our Occupational Therapy service can help people learn or maintain the daily living skills they need to live each day fully, with safety and confidence. Our specialised Occupational Therapists work with people who are blind or have low vision to assist in developing and maintaining skills that increase their independence and safety.
Occupational Therapy can extend what a person has already learnt about mobility by increasing their skills and abilities in other areas of life, such as:
• Showering, getting dressed and doing hair or makeup
• Planning meals and cooking
• Cleaning the house and doing laundry
• Handling money, going shopping and catching public transport
• Using phones, computers and Assistive Technology
• Accessing recreational activities at home or in the community
• Presenting confidently and communicating with others
As part of an initial assessment, our Occupational Therapists will assess a person’s home to determine if some minor changes to their environment will help to improve their independence. They might suggest adding or optimising lighting, using tactile markers, installing grab rails, using technology or arranging things to make it easier for them to do the things they want to do. They will also provide support for tools or modifications to life outside of the home, such as going shopping, to work or on social outings.
Guide Dogs Queensland Counselling Services are available not only to the individuals who have low or ni vision, but also to their carers, family, and friends. Losing your vision and adjusting to life without sight can be a scary and confronting experience, but we’re here to provide support and guidance. From a person’s first diagnosis, our dedicated team are on hand to listen and help wherever we can. We strive to ensure all Queenslanders experiencing vision loss have the support they need to understand and accept their vision condition, address any barriers they’re facing and look after their overall health and wellbeing.
Counsellor provides a safe environment for a person to discuss and explore any challenges they might be facing, as well as their thoughts, feelings and concerns about vision loss.
Some of the things we can help with include:
• Understanding and accepting vision loss
• Making plans for the future
• Maintaining independence and control
• Developing strategies to cope with changes in life
• Accessing additional information, resources and support
We offer an interactive three day program at our Training Centre called The Better Living Program, focused on helping Queenslanders adjust to life with low vision and improve their overall health and wellbeing. This program runs like a workshop, allowing participants to share their experiences with others in a similar situation and learn effective strategies to cope with vision loss.
We also run a Peer Support Program, which gives people the chance to speak to someone that’s walked a similar path before them. If a person expresses they would like to be part of this
program, we match them with a peer to listen non-judgementally and provide advice if needed to help them move forward.
A Guide Dog can provide independence, safety, confidence and a sense of companionship unlike any other. Guide Dogs ensure their handlers can walk freely and feel confident. They are trained to navigate all kinds of environments and help their handler continue doing the things they choose to, like going to the shops, getting to work and moving through crowds safely and independently.
Guide Dogs are trained to help their handlers navigate their daily environment and beyond. They recognise objects to guide their handlers around them, stop at curbs, recognise potential hazards at human head height, help locate where to cross the road and help their handlers move safely through busy areas. With the assistance of a Guide Dog, people with low or no vision often become more confident and active members of their community.
School Holiday Camps are held during every school holiday break at our Training Centre in Brisbane to kids and teens with low or no vision for a fun-filled week!
Students from all over Queensland are invited to join us to develop skills relevant to their age, grow their social opportunities and increase their confidence and independence. Each camp is held for a specific age group and incorporates a range of exciting activities designed to meet their developmental and social needs. As a child grows towards adulthood, the new experiences they have on camp with Guide Dogs can help to broaden their horizons and prepare them for educational, vocational and social opportunities in the future.
Outcomes for children:
• Learning practical skills to support what they’re doing at school
• Building confidence and independence
• Growing social skills and relationships with peers
• Creating new friendships
• Building essential Orientation and Mobility skills to help them navigate their school and community with more safety and confidence
• Experiencing new environments and activities
Programs for kids and teens - Every child deserves to be able to explore the world freely, confidently and safely. They also need access to the right support to be able to achieve big milestones in their development. That’s where we can help. Our dedicated instructors help babies, children and teens explore the world with confidence. We provide a variety of training and support programs tailored to each child’s needs, age and skill level.
Kids and teens can receive almost all of our training programs adapted into a format that is suitable for their age. Every program is created around a fun learning environment, designed to help each child build independence and encourage them to make friends, be creative and explore their opportunities. Support is typically provided one-on-one with a specialist instructor within the home, community, or at the child’s school. We also offer school holiday camps and after school programs to enable students to connect with others for support, encouragement and friendship.
Our programs for children are all about promoting their independence, growing their confidence and helping to prepare them for adulthood. This can involve teaching them skills to help them get around their community and school safely, interact with others, build their communication skills and increase their participation at school. It’s normal for a child’s needs to change as they grow, but we’re here every step of the way to support them to achieve what they choose to.
We work collaboratively with schools across Queensland to help ensure students with low vision have the support, skills and strategies they need to participate in all kinds of school activities. Our experienced instructors work closely with teachers to ensure the training provided complements established school programs, while also helping to meet the child’s needs and giving them the skills to reach their goals.
NDIS - Guide Dogs Queensland is a registered NDIS provider. Our Pathways Team can assist you in a pre-planning process to assist you in recognising and choosing supports that will further assist you to maintain your independence, lifestyle, and lifeskills. We work alongside you to develop a plan that meets your needs, and support you through the planning process from registering with the NDIS, through to service delivery.
Cooking, Life Skills, Self-defence, and Art programs (pilot project) are commencing for people with low or no vision 18+ years in the Brisbane region. People with NDIS packages are encouraged to register, however, people not eligible for funding are also more than welcome to register their interest!
TRACSS - Technology; Recreation; Art; Cooking; Science and Sport- for 12-17 year old students - is our latest ecxiting venture - check out the Guide Dogs Queensland website over the coming weeks for further information and to register your interest!
Want more information? Talk to us today!
Freecall 1800 810 122
Ph. 07 3500 9060