What it is?
Bioptic Drivers Australia (BDA) is a place where potential and current bioptic drivers can share experiences about driver assisted technology for the visually impaired. For 40 years, those with central vision loss in countries such as American and the UK have been driving with the use of a Bioptic Telescope and have subsequently developed formalised programs. We share the dream that Australians are given the same opportunity to have a formalised program.
What are we doing?
The bioptic telescope technology has been used by those with central vision loss for 40 year throughout 19 countries. People in Australia have too been using biopic telescopes to drive since at least the 1980. Evidence of this can be seen in the archive chat posts of the International website 'Bioptic Driving Network' at: www.biopticdriving.org. This webpage contains information up until around 2012 and for the Australian context only up until 2001 so is out of date in talking to the Australian scene for bioptic driving. Our website provides more current information. In addition, the bioptic drivers chat forum was moved to Facebook and can now be found at: BIOptic Driving Network [unofficial] We have ongoing plans to build this webpage and welcome your feedback. Soon we will add a private forum dedicated to bioptic drivers to talk in private about matters they may not be comfortable sharing publicly. In the meantime, please continue to use the above international Facebook group.
Presently, for bioptic driving, Australia is completely behind the times. Most Australians, including the visually impaired, are unaware of bioptic telescopes and the effects it can have on people and driving. We’re making it our mission to inform the public to prove legitimacy and combat safety concerns. We want to show through our experience and by referring to research, that the technology works, is safe, and benefits not only the wearers, but their families, medical professionals along with the Australian community through the ability of bioptic drivers to continue to engage longer economically and socially.
Who is Bioptic driving for?
Who is it for?
Our primary target is Australians with central vision loss. Many adults who have central vision loss want to continue driving a car as it represents independence, convenience, and freedom. The bioptic telescope gives them the opportunity to do just this. Further, there are those with congenital (born with) central vision loss who are not aware they can be assessed by an expert in these devices to determine if they are a suitable candidate to use a bioptic for driving. A bioptic telescope can also be used for everyday activities like catching a bus, reading menu boards, in lecture theatres or tutorial rooms for the white board.
There are currently 19 countries that allow the ability to drive with the aid of the bioptic telescope. It is now time that Australians be given the same chance.
This technology depends on medical professionals in order for Australians to be able to use the bioptic telescope. As bioptics are generally used in conjunction with regular carrier lens, they can and should be installed by eye specialists or medical professionals. In order for Australians to use a bioptic telescope, their functional vision must be evaluated and determined by a professional. A suitable telescope and bioptic system will then be chosen and installed if the person is found to be a suitable candidate.