The boards of the Australian Blindness Forum (ABF) and Vision 2020 Australia have agreed in principle to combine their efforts to advocate for improved services, systems, and opportunities for people who are blind or have low vision.
This will result in Vision 2020 Australia becoming the single peak body for service providers working in the blindness and low vision sector, with its efforts complementing those of Blind Citizens Australia.
According to the organisations, the changes will also help build stronger connections between the sector and other Vision 2020 Australia member organisations.
Vision 2020 Australia CEO Judith Abbott described the agreement as “an exciting opportunity to strengthen advocacy for people who are blind or have low vision, and ensure resources in the sector are focused in the most effective way.”
“The combined experience and expertise of the two organisations will help us achieve the best possible outcome for people who are blind or have low vision, and ensure their voices are clearly heard on a range of important issues.”
Australian Blindness Forum Chair Dale Cleaver said, “The coming together of the Australian Blindness Forum and Vision 2020 Australia will provide a single strong voice for services providers and for those they seek to serve.”
“As a unified peak body we will maintain and build on the existing momentum and expertise across the two organisations.”
Work Underway Continues
The breadth of work currently underway across the two organisations will continue along with a strong focus on ensuring the voices and lived experience of people who are blind or have low vision are central to these efforts.
It may take some time to give full effect to this change, and the ABF and Vision 2020 Australia will continue work to align their efforts as seamlessly as possible.
To support a smooth transition period, Mr Cleaver will join the Vision 2020 Australia Board, filling a casual vacancy until the next Vision 2020 Australia Annual General Meeting in November 2019.