Blind citizens news

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December 2015

Published by

Blind Citizens Australia

ABN 90-006-985-226

Blind Citizens Australia is the united voice of Australians who are blind or vision impaired. Our mission is to achieve equity and equality by our empowerment, by promoting positive community attitudes and by striving for high quality and accessible services which meet our needs.

COPYRIGHT: Reproduction of articles appearing in Blind Citizens News is permitted, provided Blind Citizens News and the author(s) are acknowledged.
Large Print ISSN 1441-449X Braille ISSN 1441-5658

Blind Citizens Australia

Contact Details

Ross House

Level 3

247-251 Flinders Lane

Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone (03) 9654 1400

Toll Free 1800 033 660

Facsimile (03) 9650 3200


Twitter @au_BCA
Blind Citizens News is distributed in Large Print, Braille and Audio. Electronic copies in text format are available from our webpage, on CD or by email. To change your format, please contact Blind Citizens Australia on 03 9654 1400.


Other Publications

SoundAbout Audio Magazine

BC Update

Blind Citizens Australia Annual Report


Blind Citizens Australia National Office Staff

Chief Executive Officer Leah Van Poppel

Advocacy and Policy Officers Hanna Mazzeo
Rikki Chaplin

Information and Administration Officer Samantha Marsh

Bookkeeper Junxia Xu

Table of Contents

Blind Citizens Australia 2

Contact Details 2

Other Publications 3

Blind Citizens Australia National Office Staff 3

Table of Contents 4

Presidents Update 6

CEO’s Update 7

Board Member Biography: Lynne Davis 9

Board Member Biography: Daniel Stubbs 10

Pre Authorised Credit Card (PACC) Donations 11


Have you considered updating your mailing preferences?


BCA’s Annual Report is now available 12

Western Australian and Tasmanian Toolkits Now Available 12

New Horizons and SoundAbout now available as a podcast 13

Concession Card Consultation: The Results are in

Audio Description 15

Audio described content is now available through the iTunes Store 16

Access to Information through Braille: A Tool for Any Age 17

BCA Responds to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties - Marrakesh Treaty 19

WBU Asia Pacific Massage Seminar 19

Focus on Pedestrian Safety: South Australia 20

Attacks against Dog Guides Punishable Under SA Law 21

Cyclists Now Allowed to Ride on Footpaths in SA 22

Tell Us Your Stories: Plane Flights with Dog Guides 23

Travelling Overseas? Your DSP (Blind) Might Be Affected 25

Support to Speak to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses for Child Sex Abuse 26

Australia has a new Prime Minister. What has changed for people who are blind or vision impaired? 27

Changes to Aged Care: What do they mean for you? 28

NDIS Roll Out Update 29

NDIS Roll Out in Victoria 30

NDIS Roll Out in NSW 30

Queensland NDIS Early Transition Sites 31

Convention Recap: NDIS Session 31

Convention: Winners of the David Blyth Award and the BCA Certificate of Appreciation 33

Musings from a Convention Newbie 34

Convention: News from the Women’s Branch 36

Parent News now a Yahoo Group 38

VIP Grandparents List 38

New email list for South Australians: InsightSA 38

Feedback for BCA 39

Funding and Donations for BCA 40

Directory of Contact Details 41

New Horizons Radio Broadcast Schedule 44

Presidents Update

Dear Members,

It’s my pleasure to welcome you to this edition of BC News as your newly appointed President. In beginning this update, I’d like to particularly acknowledge and thank our Immediate Past President, Greg Madson, for his tireless work to make sure that BCA has travelled well through a time of instability over the past year. We’re pleased that Greg will be staying on the Board to provide valuable insights and support as we move forward.
This year there was no need for a Board election, but we still have some changes. We farewell Erika Webb who has been an active contributor to the BCA board. I would like to sincerely thank Erika for her commitment to the Board in general, (particularly her work in establishing and maintaining BCA’s social media presence), and her excellent work in Chairing the Convention Planning Committee for what was a very successful Convention.
We also welcome two new Board members in Lynne Davis and Daniel Stubbs, though I’m sure both of their names will be well known to many readers. Lynne has a long history in the blindness sector and has been a member of BCA for over twenty years. Dan is a leader in community legal work as well as international development and disability. He also has a long association with BCA. You can find out more about both Dan and Lynne later in BC News.
In addition to these changes, we welcome back Chelsea Bartlett, John Simpson and Stephen Belbin to the Board.
We’re all aware that this has been a time of change for BCA, and the Board will need to look carefully at the work we do and the opportunities we seek out going forward. We already have a framework of recommendations from the Leader’s Summit held in June, which provide a road map for the future. These need to be translated into a plan of action that we can put in place using our current resources and keeping in mind our core goals. The Board will have more to say about this in due course. Please be patient with us. We will be taking an enthusiastic but measured approach to bring BCA back to prominence as the united voice of people who are blind or vision-impaired.
I come into this role with a great deal of hope and excitement for the future of BCA. As I said at Convention, my challenge for all of us as members is to recognize and celebrate the important work that BCA as a whole does, and stop talking our organization down. We all need to start working towards a brighter future for BCA, and the best way to begin is to speak about creating that future collectively. If you have ideas, questions or a zest to be involved in our work going forward, please contact me through the office to discuss. I have been heartened by the many messages of congratulation, support and suggestions I have received over recent weeks. Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to get in touch. I look forward to keeping you updated on our progress through BCA’s various communication channels.
Emma Bennison


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