Recreation and Leisure In 2011/12, more than 1,350 Recreation and Leisure participants had access to 125 groups, a 13 per cent increase on the last financial year.
To assist with the continued growth of the Recreation and Leisure Program, the RSB continued its partnership with the Blind Welfare Association (BWA) in 2011/12 and welcomed Blind Sports SA on board to further develop recreation and leisure groups and activities for South Australians who are blind or vision impaired.
The relationship with Blind Sports SA saw the employment of an RSB Sports Development Officer, who in 2011/12 worked with Charles Campbell Secondary School and Seaview High School to provide the opportunity for 62 students who are blind or vision impaired to participate in various sporting activities.
The RSB VIP Theatre Program continued with thanks to a new partnership with the Disability and Arts Transition Team (DATT). From January 2012, DATT commenced coordination of all Audio Description for the theatre program, providing patrons of the State Theatre Company who are blind or vision impaired with live descriptions of all productions.
This partnership also resulted in the participation of a two day blind photography workshop, Shots in the Dark, for six clients. The workshop concluded with an exhibition titled Rarely Seen at the State Library of South Australia as part of the South Australia Living Artists (SALA) festival.
To keep clients informed, a new Recreation and Leisure online calendar was implemented on the RSB website, listing all groups and events across South Australia.
As per previous years, client participation also continues to grow in two major community events the Bupa Community Challenge Tour as part of the Tour Down Under and the City-Bay Fun Run, as well as RSB’s annual Dark to Light Walk.
Manager, Community Services Image: Person standing in front of a blonde RSB Guide Dog pup holding a white cane with the pup looking at the cane.
++“See the world through my eyes”
++Shirley Haynes Hello, my name is Shirley Haynes and I was diagnosed with Age-Related Macular Degeneration in 2000 and was legally blind by 2005. As a fit 73 year old, I am always searching for ways to keep active, despite my vision impairment. With the help of RSB Recreation and Leisure Services and the RSB-Active Program, I can still play golf with RSB Volunteer Golf Caddie, Lorraine and I still go to yoga and for daily walks with my RSB Guide Dog, Dax.
Without Lorraine and the help of the RSB, I simply couldn’t play golf anymore. I used to play golf before my vision loss and I just love it. Lorraine is like a coach to me, she tells me where to stand, what to do and what club to use and I usually get a pretty high score!
Thanks to the RSB and the Recreation and Leisure Program, the world through my eyes has remained fun, fast paced and active, despite my vision loss.
Image: Shirley and Lorraine standing with golf set in a park with RSB Guide Dog Dax by her side.
Caption: RSB client Shirley Haynes keeps active thanks to the help of RSB volunteers like Lorraine Olson, left, who assists her with golf.
Image: RSB Child & Youth Services Coordinator Jarnine walking along the footpath with RSB Child & Youth Services client Nikita who is walking with her white cane.
Caption: RSB client Nikita Grosser navigates the streets of Adelaide with her white cane and RSB Child & Youth Services Coordinator, Jarnine Beltsos.
++Low Vision Services
Image: Corporate photo of Loucia Calder
The RSB’s Low Vision Services at Knapman House deliver vital support to RSB clients across many critical areas including Low Vision Products and Adaptive Technology, Employment Services, Family Support Sessions, Child and Youth Services and more. Low Vision Centre (LVC) Receiving more than 1,000 new referrals annually from eye care professionals across South Australia, the Low Vision Centre (LVC) is often the first point of contact with the RSB for people who have recently been diagnosed with an eye condition and/or who have recently experienced vision loss.
The primary service offered at the LVC is the clinic, which is run three days a week. A counsellor, optometrist and ophthalmologist are all involved in clinic sessions, to provide a vision assessment and general information about a client’s eye condition.
In 2011/12, the LVC continued the provision of support groups to RSB clients, including Low Vision Awareness Sessions and Peer Support Programs, as well as follow up support provided by RSB volunteers.
Low Vision Awareness Sessions were held regularly, providing the opportunity for people who have recently experienced vision loss and their friends and family to speak with Peer Support Volunteers and an RSB Low Vision Centre optometrist.
The LVC continues to stock the largest range of magnifiers and talking products in Australia and we encourage the public to visit during business hours at 230 Pirie Street, Adelaide, to examine and purchase products and speak with trained LVC staff. These products are also available for purchase on the RSB’s online shop at www.rsb.org.au
The RSB is grateful to the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing for on-going funding support of the Low Vision Centre.
Image: An electronic magnifier in use magnifying a document
Adaptive Technology Centre The RSB Adaptive Technology Centre (ATC) is the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and has the largest display of adaptive technology in Australia. The main role of the ATC is to provide people who are blind or vision impaired the opportunity to access, trial and train with the latest adaptive technology equipment.
In 2011/12, the ATC received 268 client referrals and provided almost 4,800 information and advisory services.
In May 2012, the ATC’s annual technology expo, Tech Fest, was held with more than 400 people attending during the two day showcase. Two new products were launched in Australia via the expo, the Braille Sense U2 with a Qwerty keyboard and the DaVinci Electronic Magnifier with built in Optical Character Recognition software.
Hosting the major suppliers of adaptive technology including Humanware, Pacific Vision, Quantum RLV, VisiTech Magnifiers, Eschenbach and Australian Independence Products, Tech Fest will be back on 10 & 11 May 2013 with a range of new technology, talks and presentations.
At the ATC, research into new products is continually undertaken and where possible added to the extensive range of adaptive technology already available. In 2011/12, the Braille Sense U2, Twin-View computer monitor, DaVinci Electronic Magnifier and upgraded high definition models of existing electronic magnifiers were added to the RSB’s collection for client use, hire and purchase.
Child & Youth Services RSB Child and Youth Services was expanded and strengthened in 2011/12, with the implementation of a dedicated Child & Youth Services Coordinator, providing specialised and dedicated support to clients from birth to 18 years old and their families.
Offering a variety of support services to children, youth and their families in regards to the functional, developmental, emotional and social aspects of blindness or vision loss, in 2011/12 the RSB provided services to almost 100 children and youth, as well as additional support services to their families.
This included Occupational Therapy, Orientation and Mobility, Adaptive Technology assistance, Employment Services via the Leaving School Program, assistance from the RSB Guide Dog Service, counselling and Early Intervention services.
To assist with funding, in 2011 the RSB became a Better Start Funding service provider. The Better Start Funding through FaHCSIA is available to children with a vision impairment for early intervention services and each eligible child is allocated up to $12,000 (to a maximum of $6,000 per financial year) to spend on early intervention services. The RSB would like to thank FaCHSIA for its support of children and families through the Better Start Funding for Disability Early Intervention Service Providers.
Image: Small boy aged 5 wearing glasses standing and smiling holding a folder under his arm.
Employment Services With almost 170 work and education placements in 2011/12, RSB Employment Services remains one of the most successful employment agencies in Australia for people who are blind or vision impaired.
Continued success through the Jobs in Jeopardy program has seen 66 people who are vision impaired retain their employment in 2011/12. This includes nine clients from interstate and accounts for almost 40 per cent of the people assisted by RSB Employment Services in 2011/12.
In 2011/12, the RSB provided more than $365,000 worth of Adaptive Technology and workplace modifications assistance to support 109 Employment Services’ clients through the Australian Government’s Job Access and Employment Assistance Fund.
RSB Employment Services has also been able to offer training and qualification courses to 29 clients, thanks to the successful tender of two Productivity Places Program (PPP) contracts with Excel Training and Cream of the Crop. The PPP contracts have provided the opportunity for RSB clients to achieve qualifications in Certificate II and Certificate III in retail, office and administration and communications.
The RSB School Leavers Program also grew in 2011/12, with 18 new students joining the service. The RSB is pleased to announce the on-going support of the Student Work Experience Program thanks to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and the Australian Blindness Forum (ABF).
The RSB acknowledges the invaluable assistance and funding provided by the Australian Government Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) for the Disability Employment Service Program to enable RSB to assist those who are blind or vision impaired to find or retain employment in SA. We would also like to thank Job Access, our PPP contractors and FaHCSIA for their continued support.
Manager, Low Vision Services Image: Two RSB clients using adaptive technology computers with the assistance of an RSB staff member
Caption: RSB clients use computers in the RSB Employment Kiosk
Image: RSB client using adaptive technology with help from the Adaptive Technology Centre Coordinator, Iris.
Caption: Adaptive Technology Centre Coordinator, Iris assist a client with an electronic magnifier.
++“See the world through my eyes”
++Sheelagh Daniels-Mayes Hi, my name is Sheelagh Daniels-Mayes and I am a Kamilaroi woman. I have Congenital Glaucoma, leaving me with between five and three per cent vision in each eye. This hasn’t stopped me from achieving my career goals, and I am currently a PhD student and tutor at the University of South Australia. When I moved to Adelaide in 2011, I needed assistance with employment, a guide dog and adaptive technology—the RSB provided all these things for me and more.
The computer training I undertook with RSB Employment Services was fundamental to me. It has enabled me to do everyday things that many people take for granted, like check an email or prepare a PowerPoint presentation.
As my vision continues to deteriorate, the world through my eyes is changing, but with the RSB’s help, I feel assured I will be able to continue my career.
Image: Sheelagh sits with her RSB Guide Dog chatting to an RSB Employment Services staff member.
Caption: Sheelagh Daniels-Mayes received assistance from RSB Employment Services when she relocated to Adelaide in 2011. She describes the computer training she received as fundamental to her career.
++RSB Guide Dog Service
Image: Corporate photo of Chris Muldoon
The RSB Guide Dog Service is the RSB’s most recent service development. Established in 2006 by the RSB Guide Dog Service Manager, Chris Muldoon, the service is proud to have trained 43 RSB Guide Dog and client working teams as of June 2012. This vital service enables a full complement of mobility services for RSB clients, providing a significant improvement in mobility and independence for people living with blindness or vision loss in SA.
Breeding Program To ensure client demand will always be met, a successful breeding program has been established at the RSB Guide Dog Service.
Brood Bitches Kira, Millie, Yolanda, Yuma and Zoe and Studs Rory and Fonz are fundamental to the RSB Guide Dog Service and in 2011/12 we welcomed the
E, F, G, H, I and J pups to the Puppy Education program.
To meet best practice breeding, the RSB Guide Dog Service is currently in negotiation with Guide Dogs UK, Guide Dogs for the Blind San Rafael and the Kansai Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in Japan for three more brood bitches. If successful, the international brood bitches will create more opportunity to better meet client need and demand and create new breeding lines at the RSB Guide Dog Service.
A breeding advisory group made up of specialist veterinarians continues to provide valuable assistance to produce the finest quality dogs—an achievement underlined by the 12 RSB Guide Dogs that were matched with RSB clients in 2011/12.
Puppy Education With more than 40 pups in the RSB Guide Dog Service’s Puppy Education Program, the RSB Guide Dog Service welcomed Guide Dog Mobility Instructor, Lindy Hennekam in April 2012 to assist with the increasing workload.
Lindy has worked with people who are blind or vision impaired across Australia since 1983 and will work predominantly within the Puppy Education Department during her time with the RSB Guide Dog Service.
The RSB Guide Dog Service also welcomed Kasey in 2012, the first South Australian German Shepherd RSB Guide Dog in training.
Historically, the guide dog breed of choice, Kasey’s introduction comes after 15 years of researching the German Shepherd breed and speaking to other guide dog schools around the world about the benefits of training German Shepherd pups as guide dogs.
For the first time, the RSB Guide Dog Service also introduced regular dog obedience classes to the Puppy Education Program. The classes are based on dog distraction using local neighbourhood pups and dogs and have been labelled an innovative form of training.
Importantly, Puppy Education at the RSB Guide Dog Service would not exist without the vital on-going support of RSB volunteer Puppy Educators, Bed and Breakfast Boarders, Emergency Boarders and Brood Bitch Holders and we thank them for their continued efforts and dedication in raising our pups to become RSB Guide Dogs.
Formal Training The RSB Guide Dog Service is proud to announce the following RSB Guide Dog graduates for 2011/12. Congratulations to RSB Guide Dogs Doc, Quill, Quinn, Johnny, Kai, Nancy, Nina, Noah, Paddy, Ruby, Utah and Vince.
The 12 RSB Guide Dog and client teams graduated at ceremonies in August 2011 and May 2012 and are a testament to the hard work of staff, volunteers, veterinarians, sponsors and donors across South Australia and the world.
Each RSB Guide Dog costs in excess of $25,000 to breed, raise and train. They spend approximately 300 hours in formal training, over a period of five months, with a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor to ensure the highest quality trained RSB Guide Dogs for our clients.
The fifth K94U2C camp was a success, with a further four teens enjoying the experience of working with an RSB Guide Dog in training.
Held annually at Adelaide Shores, West Beach, the camp has seen a total of 18 teens aged 14 to 18 years old attend the camp since its inception, with the aim to provide information that will help them decide whether to consider an RSB Guide Dog as their preferred mobility aid in the future.
Thank you As an accredited member of the International Federation of Guide Dogs, the RSB would like to acknowledge the on-going support of other guide dog schools worldwide, including Guide Dogs UK, Seeing Eye USA, Guide Dogs for the Blind US, Guiding Eyes USA, Guide Dogs for the Blind San Rafael, Guide Dogs Norge AS (Norway), Kansai Guide Dogs for the Blind Association Japan and Guide Dogs Queensland.
The RSB Guide Dog Service would not be the world class service it is today without the dedication and commitment of volunteers, veterinarians and valued sponsors, including Royal Canin, PETstock, Novartis, IDEXX Pathology Services, Channel 9 Adelaide and Fab Cleaning Services.
Image: Channel 9 logo
Image: IDEXX logo
Image: FAB Cleaning logo
Image: Royal Canin logo
Image: PETstock logo
Image: Sentinel logo
The RSB would also like to extend a special thank you to our passionate and dedicated vets, including Dr Mark Reeve (Tea Tree Gully Veterinary Hospital), Dr Chris Girling (Noah’s Crossing Veterinary Clinic), Dr Andrew Carter (Magill Veterinary Clinic), Dr Angus Brown (Stephen Terrace Veterinary Clinic), Dr Tony Read (Veterinary Ophthalmic Services, Plympton) and Dr Roger Lavelle (Lavelle Diagnostic, Lancefield Victoria).
Manager, RSB Guide Dog Service Image: Dr Mark Reeve with a blonde RSB Guide Dog pup
++“See the world through my eyes”
++Barry Jarrett Hi, Barry Jarrett here. Today I’d like to share with you a story about my best friend, my RSB Guide Dog Adam. Four years ago, the world through my eyes was a dark and difficult place. I was struggling with my eye condition, Retinitis Pigmentosa, and feeling isolated as I am also profoundly deaf.
Daily activities that you might take for granted like working, reading, watching TV, listening to music or surfing the net are beyond me and I began to wonder how I would get by.
My life changed when I met with Chris Muldoon, the Manager of the RSB Guide Dog Service, and he introduced me to RSB Guide Dog Adam.
Today, Adam is my best friend—we do everything together. Without him, I would be useless. I would be stuck at home unable to go out, like I was before. I would be miserable. Adam is proof that an RSB Guide Dog can change the life of a person who is blind or vision impaired, like me.
Image: RSB client Barry sitting and patting his RSB Guide Dog Adam
Caption: Barry Jarrett with his best friend, RSB Guide Dog Adam
Image: RSB German Shepherd pup Kasey wearing RSB Guide Dog puppy coat sitting on a puppy bed.
Caption: Meet South Australia’s first German Shepherd RSB Guide Dog in training, Kasey.
++RSB Industrial Services
Image: Corporate photo of Mark Burleigh
Image: HACCP logo
Image: Quality Assurance logo
Image: Australian Disability Enterprise logo
A busy and successful year enjoyed by RSB Industrial Services stands as a credit to the workforce at the RSB Gilles Plains factory. With a turnover of approximately $1.2 million, RSB Industrial Services remains competitive in a tough business climate.
RSB Industrial Services provides valuable and meaningful employment for more than 70 South Australians who are blind or vision impaired, and staffing levels are always at a minimum of 90 per cent capacity.
Flexibility and adaptability of work practices continues to enable RSB Industrial Services to embrace diverse orders from customers.
From bag and carton packaging and sealing, component assembly and packaging, rigid food packaging in snap-lid or hinged PVC containers, point of sale display construction, packaging with folded and heat-seal blisters, shrink film wrapping, die cutting, thermoforming and pressure formed products, RSB Industrial Services also provides diverse assembly and packaging services.
A strategic business approach has resulted in the development of complete packaging solutions for customers, making RSB products and packaging solutions a very attractive and viable option in the marketplace.
Sales staff attracted many new customers in 2011/12, joining major clients including GM Holden, Nova Concepts, Environmental Water Services, Philmac and Sarstedt. To our new customers, we look forward to building long lasting partnerships of mutual benefit with you.
During 2011/12, strength in the plastics moulding section was notable, with the capacity to operate moulding machines and high-speed Scope pressure forming machines that allow large scale production from 2,000 to 100,000 moulded plastic parts. The result—a vast array of thermoformed and pressure formed products such as tamper proof food grade containers, trays, blisters and clamshells.
RSB Industrial Services achieve this with safety and quality as a prime consideration, retaining the highest levels of accreditation with ISO 9000 Quality Assurance and HACCP (Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Points) Certification.
RSB Industrial Services continues to hone its specialist role and has maximised the potential of staff capabilities. Many companies have removed much of their manual labour force, especially to fulfil small-scale orders and short production runs. As a result, to still retain these jobs, their most profitable course of action is to outsource specialised packaging requirements—and this is where RSB Industrial Services capably fills a significant gap in the market.
Investing in further capital for long term gain, RSB Industrial Services has begun the manufacturing and supply of sewage tank filters for an Adelaide Hills based company.
A recent upgrade to one of the machines at RSB Industrial Services allows for the creation of pressure moulded products at varying lengths from 1,500mm to 2,400mm.
By choosing RSB Industrial Services, the Adelaide Hills company has dramatically reduced transport costs by buying locally. The first tank filters rolled off the production line in December 2011 and are now destined for mining developments and communities.
In 2011/12 RSB Industrial Services optimised marketing and advertising opportunities with the introduction of an online catalogue and quarterly Industrial Services Update newsletter. We also broadened networking opportunity by joining the Defence Training Centre monthly networking forums with other manufacturing and service based organisations.
On a personal note, we said farewell to former RSB Industrial Services employees, Nasir Darwishi and Philip Back and would like to acknowledge their commitment, valued service and friendship.
RSB Industrial Services would also like to recognise the services of Daryl Thorpe, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Daryl worked in Packing and Assembly and will be remembered fondly as a valuable worker and a true gentleman.
As the Manager of RSB Industrial Services, I would like to express my gratitude to the entire Industrial Services team and I look forward to 2012/13 being another successful and productive year.