Blog Post; November 2018

IWCD Celebrations – Senses Australia

Thank you to Paul Garwood from Senses Australia for sharing this excerpt from their Facebook page:

“In recognition of this year’s International White Cane Day October 15th 2018, Senses Australia client Deborah Kazich shared her journey as a white cane user with a group of students from Bramfield Park Primary School. Deborah, a white cane user for over 10 years, is passionate about helping others understand the issues that people face who are deafblind/blind. Debora believes that educating the younger generations will make a real difference in the future. She is very proud to have been given the opportunity to present to the students and was very impressed by the insightful questions that were asked following the presentation.”

Deborah shows her long cane to a group of school children
Deborah holds up a Senses Australia hat while standing beneath a sign that reads “International White Cane Day October 15”


Update from the OMAA Professional Development Committee; two upcoming PD opportunities

1)     Orientation and Mobility Symposium – Online Conference for Dedicated O&M Specialists

Logo for International O&M Online Symposium

Hi OMAA members, there is a great online professional development opportunity taking place at the end of January 2019. It is the It is an online, interactive webinar (or replay within the week). The conference is from 30 Jan – 1 Feb 2019. It gives 13.5 ACVREP points. Sydney time it starts at 5am and finishes each day at 10am. The cost averages to approx. $20 (AU) per hour for 13.5hrs of streaming in total. Speakers include Karen Wolffe & Daniel Kish. It also provides a chance to organise events around this PD opportunity such as breakfasts and online OMAA discussion.

2)      AER VRT Division – Virtual Session: Implications of Macular Degeneration and Eccentric Viewing for Vision Rehabilitation Therapists – Karen Cote

This another online learning opportunity taking place on 12 December (US Time).  The session will cover:

  • Basic considerations for working on skill development for those with macular degeneration
    To better understand the impact of macular degeneration for providing VRT services particularly teaching clients eccentric viewing.
    • Basic considerations for creating kits for teaching eccentric viewing.

Regards, the PD Committee


Cocky Guides

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Cocky Guides have experience with the some of the biggest travel brands on the planet. Choose a Cocky Guide to lead your next adventure.

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Able Australia Deafblind Camp March 2019 – Call Out for Volunteers

Do you have skills in sighted guide and room orientation? Would you like to be a part of an incredible experience? The Able Australia Deafblind Camp is scheduled for March 2019 and they are seeking enthusiastic volunteers.

Dates: March 22nd to 24th 2019

Location: Phillip Island  Adventures Resort in Victoria

Cost: Free for all volunteers

Would you like to know more? Please contact Marcus Rickards at Able Australia


17th Deafblind International World Conference

Enjoy the sun, fun and surf of Australia’s playground, the Gold Coast at the 17th Deafblind International World conference, August 12 – 16 2019. The conference offers a rich and engaging program featuring worldwide perspectives on accessibility, communication and technology to empower the deafblind community.

The theme for the conference is “Sharing the Knowledge to ACT: Accessibility. Communication. Technology. Now is your time to ACT!” Each day of the conference will feature one of these three themes (ACT).

Prepare to register at

(Early bird registration begins November 30, 2018 and closes February 28, 2019)


2019 Round Table Conference

The Changing Landscape for Accessible Information

Information access is important to all persons with print disabilities (including, but not limited to, people with vision impairment) and has many dimensions, including format (braille, large print, E-text, etc.), facilities (libraries, agencies, educational institutions, government bodies) and modes of access (mobile touch devices, laptop, refreshable braille). The 2019 Conference will explore the ever-expanding opportunities presented to people with print disabilities for information access and creation, communication and learning.

This conference provides three full days of technical research, presentations and practical workshops on issues related to accessibility. There are also many opportunities for networking and socialising with key speakers, presenters and attendees.

The Australian Braille Authority (ABA) Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday and the Round Table AGM on Sunday.

Date: Saturday, 4 May 2019 – Tuesday, 7 May 2019


Rydges South Bank
Cnr Grey & Glenelg Streets
South Brisbane QLD 4101

Tel: (07) 3364 0800 or from overseas +61 7 3364 0800

Information on registrations for both delegates and organisations can be found here, or find more information on the Round Table website.


International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment

Follow this link to read the latest newsletter: ICEVI E-News – October 2018


NDIS Provider E-News

‘Connecting you with information on the new disability marketplace’

Follow this link to read the latest newsletter: November newsletter


Australian Disability + Development Consortium – October 2018 Bulletin

Thank you to Metaxia Tsoukatos from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT for sharing this bulletin. There is an extensive list of topics covered. A list of contents is provided below; if you would like further information on any of these items, please download the full bulletin here.


  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities – Let’s get busy
  • CRPD Committee releases General Comment on the participation of persons with disabilities
  • The Bali Declaration, TCI Asia Plenary Meeting August 2018
  • Assistant Minister says no further aid budget cuts under her watch
  • What’s coming up at the High Level Political Forum 2019?


  • Images in online fundraising and marketing
  • Disability-inclusive election observation toolkit


  • Australian National Awards for Disability Leadership


  • Engineers Without Borders Australia. Field Volunteer Position, Professional and Technical Development Mentor, Cambodia
  • Australian Volunteers International
    • Disability Program Development Officer, Nepal
    • Special Education Mentor, Vietnam
    • Clinical Rehabilitation Specialist: Occupational Therapist, Myanmar
    • Physiotherapist, PNG
    • Orthotics/Prosthetics Program Officer, PNG
    • Certified Prosthetist and Orthotist (P&O), Nepal
    • Occupational Therapist Trainer, Philippines
    • Occupational Therapist, PNG


  • First Peoples Disability Network Australia skill building workshops, 16 Nov & 22 Nov 2018
  • 9thInternational Conference on Human Rights Education, 26-29 Nov, 2018
  • ‘Leadership in Mental Health’ Course, 3- 14 Dec, 2018
  • 6THPacific Regional Conference on Disability, 25 Feb – 1 Mar, 2019
  • 2019 Australasian Aid Conference at ANU, 19-20 Feb 2019
  • XVIII World Conference of the World Federation of the Deaf, 23-27 July, 2019


  • UN DESA Voice: Newsletter October 2018
  • Source E-Bulletin on Disability and Inclusion, Autumn (Northern) 2018


Blind Citizens Australia 2018 Elections

Nomination Update

Recently, we sent you notice of the forthcoming Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) Annual General Meeting, which included a call for nominations for the positions of President, four Directors and National Policy Council, (NPC) representatives for NSW, VIC, WA and the ACT.

At the close of nominations on 22 October, I have received the following nominations:

  • Nominee for the Position of President: John Simpson.
  • Nominations to fill the four Director vacancies: Stephen Belbin, Joanne Chua and Daniel Stubbs. There was no nomination for the fourth position.
  • Nominations for NPC Positions:

ACT: Andrew Webster;

NSW: Lynne Davis;

VIC: Martin Stewart;

WA: There was no nomination received.

Consequently, all of these candidates are elected unopposed.

It will not be necessary to conduct a ballot among BCA Full Members for any positions.  The vacant Board position and the unfilled WA NPC position will be filled as casual vacancies as provided for in the BCA Constitution. All appointments will be formalised at the BCA Annual Meeting on December 1 2018 and take effect at the conclusion of that meeting.

Call for Expressions of Interest: NPC Representatives, TAS/WA

During the nomination period, I received a resignation from Doug McGinn, Tasmanian representative on the National Policy Council. As such, the Board is seeking expressions of interest for representatives from Tasmania and WA to fill casual vacancies on the NPC. The casual vacancy for the WA representative will be for a two-year term which will commence following the upcoming AGM. The casual vacancy for the Tasmanian representative will commence following the AGM and be for a one year period, as the Tasmanian representative position would have ordinarily been due for election at the 2019 AGM.

Interested members residing in WA or Tasmania should review the Position Description for NPC members before deciding whether to express interest. The position description can be found at:

To apply, please provide a declaration that you have read the position description and a supporting statement of no more than 300 words outlining your suitability for the position. Expressions of interest should be e-mailed to me in Word or text format at by close of business on Monday, 26 November. If you are unable to submit your expression of interest electronically, please call BCA on 1800 033 660 for assistance.

Annual General Meeting

As advised in the formal Notice sent to you previously, BCA will hold its 43rd  Annual General Meeting in Melbourne, at the John Pierce Centre, 25-35 High Street, Prahran, on Saturday 1st  December 2018 at 11:00am. The AGM will be followed by lunch at a cost of $25 and a discussion forum in the afternoon for those who can attend in person.

Those members unable to attend in person will be able to listen in to the proceedings via a live stream on the BCA website. Those living in Sydney will be able to attend a parallel event which will include streaming of the AGM, followed by a Christmas function. It is necessary to register for both the Melbourne and Sydney functions.  The Registration form and further information about both events is available from the events page on our website,

The agenda for the AGM can be viewed on the BCA website and includes presentation and discussion of the Annual Report and Financial Statements, as well as confirmation of the appointment of the President, Directors and National Policy Council representatives for the ACT, NSW, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. There are no items of Special Business for consideration at this year’s AGM.

All Full Members are entitled to one vote each in relation to any resolution put to the AGM.  If Full Members are unable to attend this meeting in person, they may appoint the chairperson, or another Full Member as a proxy. Information about Proxy Voting is available by contacting BCA.

Remember: If you will be attending either the Melbourne or Sydney event in person, please register for catering purposes either by visiting the events page on our website,, or by calling 1800 033 660. We look forward to seeing you in December.

Yours sincerely,

Emma Bennison

Company Secretary, 7 November 2018


Access and Inclusion Through Technology

A round up of news from the world of accessible technology

Newsletter November 4th 2018

Newsletter November 25th 2018