Lack of government funding could end radio service for vision-impaired Aussies
Changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) could see vision-impaired Australians lose a key connection with the outside world.
ABC reports that Vision Australia may have to shut down its radio service, which reaches over 700,000 people every month.
Vision Australia provides local and national news updates to vision-impaired Aussies across 10 radio stations in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
The service also reaches regional Victorian towns Shepparton, Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Geelong, Mildura, Warragul and Warrnambool.
Volunteers read news from local and national newspapers on the air, but Vision Australia’s manager for government relations and advocacy Chris Edwards said changes to the NDIS could see the service disappear altogether.
The organisation previously received “block funding” to subsidise the costs of remaining on air, but changes to the NDIS mean that Vision Australia is now $700,000 short of remaining on the air.
“Without the government being able to offer that support, there’s a good chance that at the end of the year the board will have to make a very difficult decision to reduce services in the radio,” said Edwards.
As the ABC reports, the service not only helps the blind, but also those who suffer from dyslexia and older Australians unable to use or access the internet in remote areas.