Blog Post; February 2021

Job Vacancies

Have you looked at the Job Vacancies page on the OMAA website recently? You’ll find position vacancies listed for various agencies and locations across Australasia so remember to check it regularly.


Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

If you’re looking for CPD opportunities, remember to check the website for suggestions. Click here for upcoming conferences. There is also a range of options listed on the CPD Opportunities page, some of which are eligible for ACVREP recertification credits.

Are you hosting or attending an upcoming CPD event? Would you like to be able to earn points towards ACVREP recertification at the same time? Click here to find out how you can register your event.

The SPEVI Virtual Conference 2021 was held online from 18-19 January 2021 and was a great success. The good news is that even if you didn’t register to attend the conference, the conference presentation recordings are available online once you register as a SPEVI member.



  • OMAA’s very own Lil Deverell featured on a recent episode of Kassy Maloney’s fabulous O&M podcast A Step Forward. The episode is titled ‘The Correlation Between Mental Mapping Skills and Orientation’. Lil speaks about her research into mental mapping skills and how O&M Specialists can help people who have difficulty with mental mapping. You can click here to listen to the podcast or type A Step Forward into your podcast app.
  • A reminder also to check out Lil’s own podcast RO&Ming with Lil if you haven’t yet done so. You can listen to the podcast here or type RO&Ming with Lil into your podcast app.


From the Insight ophthalmic newsletter:

  • Australia has failed to meet its commitment to eliminate trachoma by 2020, and has set a new deadline of 2022. Read more here.
  • A Chinese study finds myopia in 6-year-old children was three times more prevalent during COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Did you know that 60% of all eye injuries in Australia occur in the workplace? Or that eye injuries in the workplace are most likely to happen on a Friday? And at home, most preventable eye injuries happen during DIY projects, car repairs or gardening? An interesting article about trends in eye injury and the role of eye care professionals and employers in minimising risk.
  • A pre-print study accepted into the Lancet predicts that blindness and vision loss will double by 2050. Researchers reviewed data from over 500 studies to make forecast estimates over the next three decades. Read more here.


Technology news:

  • In massive news for London-based start-up WeWalk, Microsoft has backed the development of the WeWalk smartcane.
  • Click here to read about how ‘smart cities’ aim to improve the quality of life of residents with vision impairment.
  • Humanware reports the end of support for BrailleNote Apex due to the unavailability of key parts as well as the lack of support for the Microsoft CE 6 platform it uses. Humanware will try their best to offer limited support for BrailleNote Apex until 28 February 2021, but support will come to an end from 1 March 2021. Users can contact Humanware to find out about more advanced, smarter, connected solutions for Braille users.
  • Art on Instagram has become more accessible! Visit @thealtmuseum on Instagram where users can use the Talkback or Voiceover feature on their smartphone to tour the world’s first digital art museum accessible to the vision impaired community. The alt-text will describe the visuals in the museum through an audio narrative. You can read more about this initiative by clicking here.
  • TikTok adds text to speech feature for users with vision impairment. Read more here
  • Israeli company RightHear has created a new wayfinding app for users who are blind or vision impaired, available in iOS and Android. Read more here.
  • Facebook AI (Artificial Intelligence) improves descriptions of photos for visually impaired. Read more here.