Blog Post; October 2018 PART TWO

The International O&M Online Symposium

The International O&M Online Symposium is here to support O&M Specialists all around the world. We can help people with visual impairments claim their seat at the societal table by sharing our knowledge about what works for our students. We can change the world. We intend to do just that, but we need your help. In order to change the world, we need people to present their ideas to our O&M Specialists who attend.

There aren’t many requirements to present with us. You just need a desire to help people and a good internet connection.

If you are interested, we would love to have you apply.
The due date is passed, BUT you can still apply as the selection hasn’t been finalized… Check out the application.

The symposium itself will be held January 30– February 1, 2019.

Or, register for the symposium online —  International Orientation and Mobility Symposium


BCA NSW ACT Convention Program

The NSW/ACT State Division will be hosting their convention from Friday, 26th – Sunday, 28th October 2018.

A copy of the Convention Program can be found at this link.

Registrations will remain open until 12:00 Noon on Friday, 12th October 2018.

To register, go to the BCA website or, call the office on 1800 033 660. To book accommodation contact Newcastle Travelodge directly on 4926 3777.

One of the activities at Convention this year will be a drum circle on the Saturday afternoon, hosted by Rhythm Connect. As this is an optional activity it is not included in the ‘full convention registration’ package. If you would like to come along to the drum circle you will need to purchase a ticket for this when you visit the Registration page. Tickets are $20 each. If you’ve already registered and want to join in but are not sure whether you have a ticket or not, please send me an email and I can have a look for you.

We have also made raffle tickets available for purchase when you register, simply select the quantity you would like to purchase. Prizes for the raffle are outlined in the attached program and proceeds will be divided between our NSW and ACT local branches.

Tickets will also be made available for purchase throughout the weekend via cash or EFTPOS.

You have the opportunity to submit questions for the ‘Banking – a new era?’, Guide Dogs and Vision Australia sessions. If you have a question, please send it to and it will be asked during the sessions. If time permits you will also be able to ask questions on the day.

Over the coming weeks we will be looking at options to enable groups to travel to convention together, these will include a meeting point at Central Station and possibly Newcastle airport. If you would like to travel to Convention with others but have not indicated that in your registration please send an email with your travel plans to

As always, if the cost of attending convention is stopping you from joining in please contact myself, the BCA Office, a member of the organising committee or your local branch president to discuss options available to you.

Kind Regards,


Sally Aurisch
NSW / ACT Coordinator

Blind Citizens Australia

Phone: 03 9654 1400

Mobile: 0439 216 913
Fax: 03 9650 3200
Toll free:1800 033 660



Twitter:  @au_BCA

You can also read the latest BCA newsletter here.


Dog Guide Handlers Australia

Who We Are

Dog Guide Handlers Australia (DGHA) is an independent association of dog guide handlers , and is not affiliated with any dog guide organisation.

Our Mission:

DGHA strives to foster, represent, promote, enhance and protect the interests of Australians who are dog guide handlers.

Key Objectives

DGHA draws on the experiences and varied knowledge of its members, to provide peer support, advocacy and information for dog guide handlers throughout Australia.

Background Information

Dog Guide Handlers Australia was formed in August 2009 by four passionate people who were inspired by similar groups which exist in other countries.

DGHA was registered as an incorporated association in January 2011.

DGHA does not have a physical office, and we have no paid staff.

The DGHA Committee is a group of dedicated volunteers who meet regularly via teleconference.

Some of the things we do and issues we are advocating for include:

  • DGHA hosts biennial national conferences around Australia, to enable people with disability to meet together for peer support, networking, sharing information and participating in various workshop sessions and discussion forums.
  • DGHA HOSTS regular members teleconference meetings, with invited guest speakers, and focus topic discussions.
  • Advocating for equal access to client services. This includes assisting dog guide organisations to establish client advisory committees, throughout Australia.
  • Developing a national photo identity card.
  • Establishing availability of toileting areas for dog guide and service/assistance dogs within Australian airports.
  • Advocating for the establishment of national standards for assistance dog training, public access testing and accreditation.
  • Representation on external consultations on issues that affect people with disability.

How to Join DGHA

Membership of DGHA is in two categories:

  1. Full Membership:

Any Australian who is blind or vision impaired, and who is a dog guide Handler.

  1. Associate Membership:

Any other person who supports the work and purpose of DGHA.

We encourage employees of dog guide organisations to join, trainers, instructors and puppy raisers are welcome.

For further information or to become a member, please visit

or email:


17th Deafblind International World Conference

Keynote Speakers just announced!

As the countdown begins for the 17th Deafblind International World Conference in Australia, August 12 – 16, 2019, prepare to join your friends and colleagues at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

The conference will showcase research, experiences and best practices that are shaping the world for those with deafblindness.

Based on the theme, “Sharing the Knowledge to ACT: Accessibility. Communication. Technology. Now is your time to ACT!” we are proud to announce the exciting line up of keynote speakers!

Each day of the conference will feature a different theme:

  • Accessibility will be the focus on Tuesday, August 13th
  • Communication will be the focus on Wednesday, August 14th
  • Technology will be the focus on Thursday, August 15th 


OMAA WA Dinner

Pictured left to right: Bronwen Scott, Jane Hutchinson, Monique White, Ella Peaty, Jodie Bruce, Amy Barrett-Lennard

On Wednesday 10th October members of the WA branch of the OMAA met for a long overdue meal and catch up. It was a great night and good to see that O&M is still alive and kicking in WA.