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your monthly support will help more puppies get a head start on becoming Guide Dogs

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Have you seen our TV ad?

sponsor a puppy today

Learn more

What is Occupational Therapy?

Are you hoping to safely make dinner at home, or for friends or family? Can you choose your clothes from the wardrobe before you head out for the day? Perhaps you’d like to take up gardening and remove the weeds from your lawn? If low vision or blindness is preventing you from these types of activities, you can learn new skills in Occupational Therapy to help get them done.

Occupational Therapists are health professionals who can support you to achieve your goals in everyday life at home, work, or school; whatever your age and whatever your level of vision.

‘Everyday life’ can mean something different for every person with low vision or blindness. If you have a specific skill you’d like to learn as part of your routine, we can create a program so that you can master it. From following your favourite recipes or doing your makeup, to managing your banking or using the computer, Occupational Therapists ensure you can approach your day with confidence.

Who can receive Occupational Therapy support?

Our Occupational Therapists work with people with different levels of vision loss including:

  • People with recent vision loss
  • People with long standing vision loss
  • People who have a Neurological Vision Impairment
  • Children and young adults with vision loss
  • Adults and older adults with vision loss

Occupational Therapists can also work with your friends and family to develop new skills—like guiding or communication techniques—to ensure you enjoy full support from everyone that’s important to you.

Our Occupational Therapists can also connect you with other health professionals, and work alongside our Orthoptists, AT Specialists and Orientation and Mobility Specialists.

Liz and Poppi waiting at the train station.

What kind of skills can I learn through Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapists can enable you to perform all kinds of practical tasks. Whether you want to learn personal care skills or something you can apply around the home, Occupational Therapists can support you to do these tasks confidently and get the most out of every day.

In Occupational Therapy, you can learn new ways to approach:

  • Personal care skills, like showering and grooming, choosing an outfit and getting dressed, or managing any medications you take.
  • Domestic skills around the house, like cooking, cleaning, making a cup of tea or coffee, doing the laundry, or keeping your garden looking green and fresh.
  • Tasks you’ll encounter while out in the community, like withdrawing money from an ATM, signing documents, identifying and managing money in shops, and doing the grocery shopping.
  • Communicating with others, like using the phone, handwriting, presenting yourself confidently, or learning to use other adaptive technologies in your day-to-day.
  • Your home’s set up, like the best type of lights to use to maximise your vision, and strategies to make it easier to move around your house or apartment.

What does Occupational Therapy training involve?

Occupational Therapy is all about practical learning to support your daily lifestyle. Depending on what you hope to achieve, we believe it’s best to learn these skills in the scenarios where you’ll use them. That means your Occupational Therapy sessions could take place:

  • At your home
  • In your workplace, school, university, or TAFE
  • Out and about in the local community
  • At one of our local Guide Dogs community centres

Throughout the training, Occupational Therapists may:

  • Gather information about your vision loss
  • Listen to the impact your vision loss is having on your ability to complete daily activities
  • Assess how you are currently completing your daily activities
  • Find out what is most important to you, and what goals they will be able to support you to achieve
  • Discuss and demonstrate basic equipment like liquid level indicators or talking clocks
  • Assess your environment and suggest changes that may assist you to complete your activities
  • Teach skills and strategies that will assist you to complete tasks more easily
  • Connect you to suppliers so that you can get equipment that will be of benefit to you.

What funding can I use to receive Occupational Therapy supports?

Guide Dogs is a registered NDIS provider and Aged Care provider, which means many people can use Access to Information services through their NDIS plan or Home Care package. Find out more about funding programs and supports.

We understand that sometimes people who need services may not be eligible to receive government funding.

If you have low vision or blindness and you do not have access to external funding, we will support you. We will understand your goals and develop a plan to achieve them, using funding provided by generous donations from the community.

A young client with his instructor, learning how to use a cane

How do I find out further information?

If you would like further information about our Occupational Therapy service or would like to enquire about receiving support from one of our Occupational Therapists, please:

We welcome referrals and enquiries from individuals, families, health professionals and community organisations.

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