Vision Australia | The dynamic duo, Mitch and Yogi, still at work

MATES: The past 12 months have been a great learning experience for both Mitch Barri and his seeing-eye dog Yogi. Pic supplied.

MATES: The past 12 months have been a great learning experience for both Mitch Barri and his seeing-eye dog Yogi. Pic supplied.

Mitch Barri is just one of the many successful NDIS stories that Vision Australia is proud to have played a part. Mitch has Retinitis Pigmentosa and his vision has gradually deteriorated as a result of this but he doesn't let that stop him from living life to the full.

Mitch's main challenges were mobility and accessibility. "Getting around independently was always an issue for me," he says.

"Vision Australia's Orientation & Mobility instructors taught me to use a cane and to independently navigate catching trains and trams around Melbourne, something I'd do regularly for both work and my personal life."

Carlia Rix, his Occupational Therapist at Vision Australia, finds his determination inspiring.

"Mitch is extremely capable. He came to me having done 90 percent of the work and just needed that last 10 percent of help to get him there, like a new technology or tool he didn't already have."

Because of the NDIS, Mitch has been able to acquire several services and technologies that have enriched his life greatly.

"Through the NDIS I've been able to access orientation and mobility instruction, along with occupational therapists and assistive tech experts" Mitch says.

"Assistive technology has made a massive difference to my day-to-day. The ease of working with an expert from Vision Australia to understand functionality of software or an app has made a huge impact.

"I can now use Zoom Text magnification software on both my home and work PC and as my eyesight has deteriorated, I've been able to learn how to best utilise the software."

Another important change the NDIS has brought about is the introduction of Seeing Eye Dog, Yogi who was matched with Mitch around about 12 months ago.

They have had a successful training year. "Although we're only a sort of 'new' team I really appreciate the benefits with him guiding me," says Mitch.

"He's changed my life! He's a very impressive boy which is testament to the work that Seeing Eye Dogs do. I have a wife and young son and Yogi is going to be a part of our family for a long time to come."

The ease of working with an expert from Vision Australia to understand functionality of software or an app has made a huge impact.

Mitch Barri
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