Clients, Our Focus

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Cover Page

Title: 2012/2013 Annual Report, “Clients, Our Focus”

Image: Close up of 6 year old RSB Child & Youth client Darcey Bekrick wearing glasses and smiling

Logo: RSB Official Logo

Inside Front Cover

Image: The Bekrick family standing together on the children’s school basketball court

Caption: The Bekrick family from left to right: Dragan, Tracy, Josh, Liam, Riley and Darcey. Dragan and three of his sons are vision impaired, but say the future looks bright with thanks to the RSB and its supporters.
Page 1


To be the primary responsive quality service provider to South Australians who are blind or vision impaired.


The RSB is the primary source of assistance giving people with a vision impairment the opportunity to improve the quality and independence of their lives.

History 2

Corporate Governance 2

Patrons 3

Board of Directors 4

Management 5

President’s Report 6

Executive Director’s Report 8

Community Services 12

Low Vision Services 14

RSB Guide Dog Service 18

RSB Industrial Services 22

RSB Volunteer Services 24

Print Alternative & Digital Library Services 26

Marketing and Fundraising 28

My Eye Health Program 34

Special Thanks 36

Bequests 40

In Memory 41

Treasurer’s Report 42
Page 2

It began with a blind man’s vision.
It took the vision of a blind man to truly appreciate the needs of people who were blind in South Australia and understand the plight they faced in the late 19th century.
Andrew Whyte Hendry, who was blinded after a childhood accident, had the conviction and determination to start an industrial training school for the blind in 1884, which has steadily grown and flourished into the multi-faceted Royal Society for the Blind of the 21st Century.
With the help of Sir Charles Goode, a philanthropist, Andrew’s dream was realised on 21 November 1884 when the Institute for the Blind was formed –the genesis of what would become the Royal Society for the Blind of South Australia (RSB).
Through 129 years of supporting South Australia’s blind and vision impaired community, the RSB has grown from an ambitious employment and training centre, to be the primary provider of services to more than 12,000 people who are blind or vision impaired.
The RSB holds true today to the vision Andrew Whyte Hendry held in 1884: The Vision to make a Difference.
++Corporate Governance
Corporate Governance is the process by which the RSB is directed and controlled. The aim is to ensure that the management of the RSB is ethical and acts in accordance with its vision and values.
The RSB is regulated by The Royal Institution for the Blind Act (1934) as amended, and its constitution. These define the rules and processes through which the RSB is managed.
The Board of Directors has responsibility for the governance of the RSB. It sets strategic direction, monitors the affairs of and reviews the RSB’s performance against targets and objectives.
To assist in this process, the Board has created the following RSB sub-committees to provide specialist advice:

  • Client Advisory Committee

  • Finance and Audit

  • Nominations and Governance

All Directors are required to acknowledge and subscribe to the following responsibilities:

  • To act honestly and in good faith

  • To use due care and diligence

  • To act in the best interest of the RSB

  • To ensure that management is competent

  • Not to engage in conduct likely to discredit or bring the RSB into disrepute

Page 3

His Excellency, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AO CSC RANR, Governor of South Australia

14/8/2007 – present

Her Excellency, Mrs. Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, AC, CVO, MBE

3/11/2001 – 31/7/2007

Sir Eric J. Neal, AC, CVO

22/7/1996 – 3/11/2001

The Honorable Dame Roma Mitchell, AC, DBE, CVO

6/2/1991 – 21/7/1996

Lieutenant General Sir Donald B. Dunstan, AC, KBE, CB

23/4/1982 – 5/2/1991

Sir Keith Seaman, KCVO, OBE

1/9/1977 – 28/3/1982

Sir Douglas R. Nicholls, KCVO, OBE

1/12/1976 – 30/4/1977

Sir Mark Oliphant, AC, KBE

1/12/1971 – 30/11/1976

Major General Sir James W. Harrison, KCMG, CB, CBE

4/12/1968 – 16/9/1971

Lieutenant General Sir Edric M. Bastyan, KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB

4/4/1961 – 1/6/1968

Air Vice Marshall Sir Robert George, KCMG, KCVO, KBE, CB, MC

23/2/1953 – 7/3/1960

Lieutenant General Sir C. Willoughby Norrie, KCMG, CB, DSO, MC

19/12/1944 – 19/6/1952

Sir C. Malcolm Barclay-Harvey, KCMG

28/7/1934 – 23/2/1939

Major General Sir Winston Dugan KCMG, CB, DSO

28/7/1934 – 23/2/1939

Brigadier General The Honorable Sir Alexander G.A. Hore-Ruthven VC, KCMB, CB, DSO

14/5/1928 – 26/4/1934

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Tom M. Bridges KCB, KCMG, DSO

4/12/1922 – 4/12/1927

Lieutenant Colonel Sir W.E.G. Archibald Weigall KCMG

9/6/1920 – 30/5/1922

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Henry L. Galway, KCMG, DSO

18/4/1914 – 30/4/1920

Admiral Sir Day Hort Bosanquet, GCVO, KCB

18/2/1909 – 22/3/1914

Sir George R. Le Hunte, KCMG

1/7/1903 – 18/2/1909

Right Honorable Hallam, Lord Tennyson, KCMG

10/4/1899 – 17/7/1902

Sir Thomas F. Buxton Bt, GCMG

29/10/1895 – 29/3/1899

Right Honorable The Earl of Kintore PC, GCMG

11/4/1889 – 10/4/1895

Page 4

++Board of Directors
Ray Clark



Board Member since August 1996

Image: Corporate photo of Ray Clark
Rob Richards

Vice President


Board Member since November 2010

Image: Corporate photo of Rob Richards
Dr Jim Runciman



Board Member since July 1996

Image: Corporate photo of Jim Runciman
Barry Clarke



Board Member since February 1992

Image: Corporate photo of Barry Clarke
David Coppock

Employee Representative

Board Member since November 1989

Image: Corporate photo of David Coppock

Trevor Basso


Board Member since June 1994

Image: Corporate photo of Trevor Basso

Margaret Moxon

BA Grad.Dip.Lib.Stud.

Board Member since June 2003 – November 2012 (Retired)

Image: Corporate photo of Margaret Moxon

Roz Sommariva


Board Member since November 2010

Image: Corporate photo of Roz Sommariva

Dr Celia Chen


Board Member since December 2011

Image: Corporate photo of Dr Celia Chen

George Karzis

LLB, BA (Juris), GCLP

Board Member May 2012 – May 2013 (Retired)

Image: Corporate photo of George Karzis

Pieter Haverhoek


Board Member since 2012

Image: Corporate photo of Pieter Haverhoek

Bradley Gay


Board Member since June 2013

Image: Corporate photo of Bradley Gay

Andrew Creaser


Board Member since June 2013

Image: Corporate photo of Andrew Creaser

Andrew Daly


RSB Executive Director

Board Member since July 1996

Image: Corporate photo of Andrew Daly

Page 5

Andrew Daly

Executive Director

Image: Corporate photo of Andrew Daly
James Bardsley

Manager, Community Services

Manager, Volunteer Services

Image: Corporate photo of James Bardsley

Mark Burleigh

Manager, Industrial Services

Image: Corporate photo of Mark Burleigh
Loucia Calder

Manager, Low Vision Services

Image: Corporate photo of Loucia Calder
Chris Muldoon

Manager, RSB Guide Dog Service

Image: Corporate photo of Chris Muldoon
Keith Smith

Manager, Business Services

Manager, Human Resources

Image: Corporate photo of Keith Smith

Diana Swanson

Manager, Marketing and Fundraising,

Manager, Information Technology

Manager, Print Alternative & Digital Library Services

Image: Corporate photo of Diana Swanson
Page 6

++President’s Report

Image: Corporate photo of Ray Clark

I am delighted to present the 2012/13 Royal Society for the Blind (RSB) Annual Report “Clients, Our Focus”.
Despite troubled financial and political times in 2012/13, the RSB has remained focused on its clients – more than 12,000 South Australians who are blind or vision impaired.
To ensure client demand is met, there are now more than 50 RSB Guide Dog pups in training at the RSB Guide Dog Service in Gilles Plains.
With so many dogs and pups in training, in 2013 fundraising and planning commenced for a purpose-built outdoor training facility. Using world-leading theories on dog development, the proposed training facility consists of two areas – a task training area and an environment enrichment area.
The training facility will provide an environment for pups and training dogs to optimise their learning potential, giving them a greater opportunity for success as RSB Guide Dogs.
Special thanks go to the Lin Huddleston Charitable Foundation for their generous donation towards this project, as well as everyone who has made a donation to date to make this project possible.
In 2012/13, special thanks must also go to My Eye Health Program (MEHP) partners the Freemasons Foundation, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (South Australia Branch) and the Sight for All Foundation for their ongoing support of the MEHP.
The MEHP commenced in South Australia in 2010 with the aim to raise community awareness about eye health, focusing on the early detection and prevention of eye disease. Today, having delivered more than 450 presentations in both metropolitan andrural areas, the MEHP has reached close to 11,000 people in South Australia.
Working closely with the Aboriginal Health Council of SA (AHCSA) in 2012/13, MEHP Community Educators continued to look at ways to improve eye health for Indigenous communities. This included the opportunity to present at the Aboriginal Health Worker’s Forum in December 2012.
Recognition must also be given to RSB Industrial Services which in 2012/13 remained competitive in a tough business climate, with a turnover of approximately $1.3 million.

Since 1884, RSB Industrial Services has provided valuable and meaningful employment to many South Australians, and today more than 70 people who are blind or vision impaired work at the Gilles Plains factory.

The fact that RSB Industrial Services continues to thrive in a difficult economic environment, is a credit to both its loyal customers and the quality and value of what it has to offer.
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The RSB also remains at the national and global forefront of both advocacy and blindness sector developments with representatives in the World Blind Union (WBU), Australian Blindness Forum (ABF), National Disability Services SA (NDS-SA) and Optometrists Association of Australia - SA division (OAA-SA).

As we focus on our clients in this report, thanks go to RSB staff and management for their continued hard work, energy, commitment and dedication. Every day almost 200 staff ensure that the RSB’s services are delivered at the highest standard, helping to improve the lives of so many South Australians living with vision loss.
RSB Volunteers also deserve our gratitude – without the support and generous time given by almost 800 RSB Volunteers, the provision of many RSB services would simply not be possible. The volunteers’ invaluable efforts across all areas of the RSB are the equivalent of almost 80 full-time employees, which in monetary terms would equate to more than $3 million in salaries.
Special thanks must also be bestowed upon our benefactors, donors and sponsors. Vital funds were also provided by the Department of Health, the Department of Social Services, the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI), the Department for Education and the Department for Employment – thank you for helping us make a difference.
I would also like to personally thank and acknowledge the RSB’s Patron, His Excellency, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, Governor of South Australia, for his ongoing support.
Finally, next year the RSB will celebrate 130 years of service and support for South Australians who are blind or vision impaired. We hope that you will join us in our celebrations and assist us to continue “The Vision to make a Difference”.
Ray Clark

Image: Blonde RSB Guide Dog pup sitting next to ‘Thank you for your support’ RSB sign.

Page 8

Executive Director’s Report

Image: Corporate photo of Andrew Daly

In 2012/13 the Royal Society for the Blind (RSB) remained at the forefront of providing free, vital services to South Australians who are blind or vision impaired, despite tough and unpredictable financial and political environments.
Notably, many of the RSB’s services increased in 2012/13 and the RSB now assists more than 12,000 people living with vision loss or blindness across our state.
In 2012/13, RSB Orientation and Mobility Specialists received approximately 400 referrals – an 18 per cent increase on the previous financial year. RSB Occupational Therapy staff received a similar increase in workload, with an increase of 13 per cent.
The RSB Adaptive Technology Centre (ATC) received 248 client referrals and provided more than 5,300 information and advisory services. While the ever-increasing popularity and accessibility of mobile devices and tablets such as the Android, Apple iPhone and iPad saw 87 training sessions on mobile devices, compared to 39 the previous year.
To assist RSB clients to access and purchase this adaptive technology, in 2012/13, the RSB Braille and Equipment Subsidy Scheme provided funding of more than $15,000 to assist 13 RSB clients to purchase much needed adaptive technology equipment.
Working alongside the ATC, RSB Child & Youth Services hosted its first ever iPad Bootcamp in 2013, which was attended by five RSB clients under the age of 17. The new program is part of the RSB’s holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to support children and youths who are blind or vision impaired, as well as their families.
Special thanks must go to our important Recreation and Leisure Program partners - the Blind Welfare Association (BWA) and Blind Sports SA. Their support has enabled people who are blind or vision impaired to participate in any one of 100 recreation and leisure groups - making the RSB the largest provider of recreation and leisure services in Australia in 2012/13.
All of these services, and more not mentioned here, assist RSB clients to live, travel, work and play in their local communities – helping them to maintain independence.
The RSB’s singular focus on its clients is reflected in our 17th independent Annual Client Survey, which highlights an average of 94.4 per cent client satisfaction with services, and 95 per cent client satisfaction with staff and volunteers over this period.
Page 9

Given that the RSB will celebrate its 130th Anniversary next year, it is gratifying to know we continue to positively contribute to the lives of South Australians who are blind or vision impaired – as we have since 1884.

To achieve this significant milestone, the RSB has remained true to its founder, Andrew Whyte Hendry’s vision – The Vision to make a Difference. Part of this commitment is ensuring that the RSB is active in advocating for the consideration of issues faced by our clients. In 2012/13 the RSB commenced ongoing campaigning to ensure that people who are blind or vision impaired are not lost in the “one size fits all” approach of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Aged Care Reform.
The RSB together with a number of blindness organisations have provided continual dialogue, feedback and submissions to both State and Federal politicians with regards to the negative impact on people who are blind or vision impaired arising from both the NDIS and Aged Care Reform.
The reality is that in the absence of change, people who are blind or vision impaired will be left with little or no services under these new regimes.
Initially some hope was provided by Senators McLucas and Macklin that people who are blind or vision impaired would receive the same level of services under these new reforms, irrespective of the age at acquisition of their disability. However, there appears to be no intention by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) or in the Aged Care Reform process to include the specialist needs of people who are blind or vision impaired in either system.
The RSB was founded at a time when people who were blind or vision impaired had few options or supports. Today, it is the RSB’s mission to assist people who are blind or vision impaired to live as independently as possible, but under both new systems – NDIS and the Aged Care Reform – neither our clients, nor organisations such as the RSB will have access to funds that will enable existing successful rehabilitation programs to continue into the future.
Image: Blonde RSB Guide Dog pup with purple RSB balloons

Page 10

The RSB has spent much of 2012/13 contacting local members of parliament and the community, encouraging them to take action to ensure people who are blind or vision impaired continue to have access to the specialist assessments and services they require to be able to live independently as valued members of the community.

At the RSB we believe no Australian who is blind or vision impaired should be subjected to government reforms that see them worse off than before their introduction, and today we ask you to help us ensure that “no one is left behind”.
Importantly, the continued provision of services to our clients is only possible through the dedication of almost 200 RSB staff, which includes 70 people with vision impairment and/or other disabilities employed at RSB Industrial Services.
Also crucial is the input of almost 800 volunteers, stretching from the volunteer Board of Management, to people that generously give their time to help deliver essential services to RSB clients, and through to the wider community of generous supporters and donors. To all of these people, I extend my heartfelt thanks.
I would also like to formally acknowledge the ongoing support of many State and Federal Government funding bodies, including:

  • Department of Health

  • Department of Social Services

  • Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI)

  • Department for Education

  • Department for Employment

On behalf of the RSB our sincere thanks must also go to our RSB Ambassador team and our Patron His Excellency, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, Governor of South Australia.
The RSB has gone from strength to strength in 2012/13 and with your support, we look forward to celebrating the RSB’s 130th Anniversary in 2014 and continuing “The Vision to make a Difference”.
Andrew Daly

Executive Director
Image: Black RSB Guide Dog pup sitting next to ‘Thank you for your support’ RSB sign
Page 11

Image: Purple RSB Cupcake with white paw print chocolate

Page 12

++Community Services

Image: Corporate photo of James Bardsley

RSB Community Services provides vision rehabilitation services to people who are blind or vision impaired living in South Australia. The RSB delivers this vital outreach service into the homes, workplaces and local communities of our clients. Our continuing goal is to provide training and support, which allows our clients to remain at home, maintain independence and participate fully in their communities.
In 2012/13, more than 41,800 outreach service hours were delivered by RSB Community Services staff, including counselling, independent living training, orientation and mobility services and recreation and leisure services.
These outreach services cover all of South Australia, ensuring clients receive the same level of assistance as clients living in metropolitan Adelaide.
In addition to this, the RSB has eight office locations across South Australia, including Christies Beach, Smithfield, Victor Harbor, Mount Gambier and Port Augusta, as well as three metropolitan offices.
In 2013, the RSB office at Noarlunga was relocated to 69 Beach Road, Christies Beach. The new, larger office addresses the need for client accessibility and provides greater opportunities for improved RSB service delivery in the South.
As a result of South Australia’s ageing population, many of RSB’s Community Services increased in 2012/13, including:
Mobility Services
RSB Orientation and Mobility Specialists continue to provide assistance to people who are having difficulties navigating their homes and workplaces, allowing them to travel independently with safety and confidence. In 2012/13, these services increased by 18 per cent, receiving approximately 400 referrals.


Paid Staff Hours Delivered

Accommodation Support


Community Support Groups




Independent Living Training


Information and Education


Neurological Vision Loss


Orientation and Mobility


Recreation and Leisure




Page 13

Independent Living Training
Skilled Occupational Therapy staff have continued the use of adaptive tools and techniques to teach South Australians who are blind or vision impaired to manage everyday activities, assisting them to maintain independence and a good quality of life. These services increased by 13 per cent in 2012/13.
Recreation and Leisure
The RSB Recreation and Leisure Program has continued to deliver significant results with a 12 per cent increase in recreation and leisure groups and a 4.4 per cent increase in participants in 2012/13.
Links with mainstream recreation and leisure providers, including Rowing South Australia, the Heart Foundation, South Australian Museum and Boccia South Australia has put the RSB Recreation and Leisure Program at the forefront of innovative activities for people who are blind or vision impaired in South Australia.

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