GUIDE Dogs Victoria's Orientation and Mobility Service hosted a three-day program in Bendigo this week.
The program was designed to boost self-esteem and broaden horizons for vision impaired adults.
Guide Dogs Victoria chief executive Karen Hayes said people with vision impairments were at high risk of isolation, had a greater risk of injury and depression and were four times more likely to be unemployed than the general population.
“Being afraid for their own safety often stops them from leaving their home or travelling independently, which can create a barrier to participating in study, work, leisure activities, and socialising with family and friends," she said.
“Guide Dogs Victoria’s Adult Orientation and Mobility Service offers programs in regional areas to help equip people with vision impairment - who typically may not have access to the necessary services - to move safely and independently so they can actively participate in their community.
“Currently Guide Dogs Victoria is experiencing high demand for these services in the Lodden Mallee region, where vision impairment is on the rise.
"This is a result of problems such as macular degeneration, as a result of our ageing population, in combination with disease related blindness due to the growing incidence of diabetes and obesity."
For more information about Guide Dogs Victoria and its programs visit www.guidedogsvictoria.com.au or call 9854 4444.