Blog Post; May 2021

RIDBC rebrand

Did you know that the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) has changed their name? RIDBC is now known as NextSense and the Renwick Centre at RIDBC is now known as NextSense Institute. You can find out more about the rebrand on the NextSense website.


Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Upcoming Conferences and CPD opportunities:

  • Round Table’s first ever virtual conference is happening on 17-18 May 2021. The conference theme is ‘Information Access – Innovation and Collaboration’. Presenters will explore the increasing opportunities presented to people with print disabilities for information access and creation, communication and learning. The conference program will include updates on accessible and inclusive practices, braille education, and innovative audio and artificial intelligence applications. The full program is available here: 2021 Round Table Conference
  • VISCON 2021 conference will be held from 19-20 August 2021 at NextSense, Sydney NSW. Always a great opportunity to learn and network! While the conference is going ahead in Sydney, there is also a registration option to access their live stream online.
  • NextSense Institute face-to-face short courses: These sessions offer research and practical skills as well as wonderful networking opportunities.
  • NextSense Institute webinars are presented by NextSense staff and other experts in the field, and the webinars can be accessed at any time. A very convenient way to expand your knowledge and clinical skills.

SPEVI is offering member discounts for NextSense Institute’s Continuing Professional Education (CPE) events in 2021. Each current member is entitled to two discount event registrations. Please visit the NextSense Professional Development page to register for a course. Book early as there is a limited number of discount event registrations available. If you’re not already a SPEVI member, and you would like to take advantage of the member discounts, sign up here

If you’re looking for other CPD opportunities, remember to check the OMAA website for suggestions.

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.


OMAA Professional Development Committee Survey

The Professional Development Committee (PDC) Annual Survey provided some insights from the OMAA membership on how the PDC is perceived, areas for improvement and the membership’s priorities for professional development in 2021. The PDC thank those who gave feedback via the survey. Survey results showed that members want to explore the following topics during professional development in 2021:

  • Applying and teaching new technologies in O&M practice
  • Staying current with the latest methods of practice, especially in children’s O&M;
  • Working with clients with additional complexities;
  • Applying telepractice into O&M;
  • Working in CVI/Neuro area of practice;
  • Presentation Skills.

Further information about the PDC Survey report can be found here.


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. There are some new listings so it’s worth a look!



  • A new podcast called ‘Sydney Eye Podcast’ has been created by a researcher from Save Sight Institute at Sydney Uni to explore topics related to eye health and answer some common questions about eye conditions. Type Sydney Eye Podcast into your podcast app or listen here.
  • ‘Sounds Ambitious’ is a podcast consisting of an interview with previous winners of the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition who share tales of their aspirations and achievements while highlighting the importance of blind and vision impaired role models. You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript here.
  • ‘Challenge Solutions’ is an excellent podcast about the lives of three young blind adults with an irreverent take on issues that affect them in their daily lives, including O&M. In a recent episode titled ‘Socialising with the Sightlings’ they discuss socialising at school and in the community, as well as their strategies for dealing with unsolicited help. A great podcast to share with your teenage and young adult clients and students! Available on Spotify or at this website. 


From the Insight ophthalmic newsletter:


 Access and Technology news

  • An article about smart frames, smart glasses and how developers need to consider the distinct needs of people who are blind compared to people with low vision. Read on here.
  • Sam, from the popular YouTube Channel ‘The Blind Life’, recently reviewed the latest updates to the WeWALK app, the stand-alone app for the WeWalk cane. You can watch his video review here.
  • An interesting article on Super Lidar, one of the first apps that use LiDAR technology to analyse distance and detect obstacles that might pose a danger to blind and low vision users.
  • A feel-good story about how the latest technology gave an avid runner who is blind the freedom to run solo.
  • Ramble Tag is a new guiding device for those who wish to avoid touching their guide, especially useful in these COVID times! Read about it here.
  • And finally, click here for a great story on how Microsoft’s Accessibility team is making an impact that will be felt for generations.


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