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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT launch Indigenous education campaign ad during NAIDOC Week

Date posted: 9 July 2013

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's latest TV ad, which is part of its first Aboriginal-specific education campaign, will be launched during NAIDOC Week this week July 7 -14, 2013.

The 30-second ad features Aunty Mary, an Aboriginal women from Mudgee, who lost her sight due to diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes which can lead to blindness if left untreated). In the ad Aunty Mark talks about the independence she has gained since contacting Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and getting help to learn how to use a long cane. The ad aims to educate Aboriginal people who are blind or vision impaired about Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's free, local services.

The broader campaign from which the ad is part of will be launched in the Central West NSW town of Wellington (where the ad was filmed) when Central West NSW celebrates NAIDOC Week. The campaign launch will also include the release of an educational DVD targeting Aboriginal Health Workers and a services brochure and poster.

The campaign is the initiative of Aunty Mary who wants to ensure other Aboriginal people don't wait like she did to seek assistance from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT. Aunty Mary said the campaign's focus was to present information about the organisation's services in a simplified manner that was language and culturally accessible for Aboriginal communities. 'Until I discovered Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, I felt isolated and couldn't identify with any services that were culturally appropriate and sensitive to Aboriginal people,' says Aunty Mary.

'In fact I didn't approach Guide Dogs NSW/ACT at first because I thought they would give me a guide dog. But I heard an ad on TV saying that they also train people in how to use canes. So I rang them; they came out to me and gave me cane training. I was able to get my cane in Aboriginal colours so people can identify me as Aboriginal. I want Aboriginals and all cultures to know about Guide Dogs NSW/ACT - if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be able to be where I am at the moment at college continuing my studies. They helped me to develop the skills I needed to get out of the house, catch a bus and get around independently in the community. Not only was it help for me, it was also help for my family.'

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT hopes its new campaign will see more Aboriginals with vision loss seeking its training programs in how to move around safely and independently. 'Our services are not widely known in Aboriginal communities, so we're hoping that this new information kit will be very useful for both Aboriginal Health Workers, people with vision impairment and families and carers supporting people with vision impairment,' says Jennifer Moon, Community Education Coordinator for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is the leading provider of training for people with impaired vision on how to safely move through different environments. Training may include teaching people how to use aids such as long canes, guide dogs and electronic devices, like talking GPS, as well as skills such as safe road-crossing techniques and use of public transport. To find out more information visit the links below.

Source: Guide Dogs NSW/ACT


Guide Dogs NSW/ACT
Media contact
Sally Edgar
Mobile: 0413 753 241


Last updated: 19 July 2013
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