The eye health of Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) will be boosted following an AU$110,000 funding commitment from the Victorian Government. The money will fund two projects specifically developed to support ‘at-risk’ Victorians as part of the Vision Initiative Pilot Projects.
“The funding is great news for people from CALD communities who are often more at risk of vision loss due to lower rates of engagement with eye testing,” said Vision Initiative Manager Dee Tumino.
According to the 2008 Victorian Health Population Survey, nearly 30 per cent of Victorians who spoke a language other than English at home had never had an eye examination. In local government areas with high levels of cultural diversity, non-tested rates increased to over 45 per cent.
Ms. Tumino said $75,000 would be allocated to the development of an eye health multimedia resource for CALD groups which aimed to break down the barriers to eye examinations.
“The funding will be used to develop six short videos to explain the role of eye health professionals and the importance of regular eye examinations in six different languages,” she said.
“The work we have been doing has highlighted there is a lack of information on eye health and eye testing available in languages other than English. The multimedia resources aim to demystify eye health for those who speak Italian, Greek, Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, or Chinese.”
The remaining $35,000 will be allocated to conduct research in the local government area of Darebin. Targeting Greek and Arabic communities, this will enable the Vision Initiative team to gain further insights into how these groups are accessing eye health services and information to better adapt activities of the Vision Initiative Pilot Projects.
The Vision Initiative Program is running the pilot projects in four areas: Darebin, Greater Geelong, Greater Shepparton and Latrobe, in response to the higher proportion of people in these areas who are more at-risk
of blindness and vision loss.