Vision Australia’s mobility and training centre project
Vision Australia has been busy developing their state-of-the-art Leigh Garwood Mobility Training Centre (MTC) – an innovative facility to be used by seeing-eye dogs, the blind and those with low vision. Strong Ox, in collaboration with Plan Group, was thrilled be a part of the project.
Late last year, as one of the final projects for the redevelopment of Seeing Eye Dogs Australia (SEDA), the Indoor Mobility and Safety Training Centre was officially opened. Located at SEDA’s National Kennel and Puppy Centre in Kensington, the world-first facility will assist Victorians with vision loss to gain confidence and remain active in society. “By helping people with their fear during orientation and mobility training, people will progress much more quickly and increase their chances of reaching their individual goals,” explains Martin Foley, Minister for Disability and Ageing. The centre will also play a crucial role in training the dogs before they are matched with clients, providing a safe environment for learning pups and vision impaired persons to develop and learn new orientation skills.
“Simply being able to cross a road safely changes lives – and potentially saves lives,” says Foley. The state-funded facility will help to arm children and adults with the necessary tools to safely navigate roads and public spaces, access transportation, avoid potential hazards and build mobility confidence that will take them to school, jobs, appointments and social activities.
Focused on innovation, the facility boasts a mock pedestrian train crossing, a bus stop with shelter and roadside kerb, traffic lights, open and closed stairs and a mock café. The Strong Ox team installed a series of custom-made fences and balustrades, including perforated aluminium, semi-frameless glass and slat balustrades, pool fencing, and, of course, vibrant yellow handrails for the mock train platform.
It was a pleasure working with Vision Australia and Plan Group on this exciting project that will help change the lives of so many vision-impaired Victorians.