Welcome to Blind Citizens Australia

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) 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.

Whether you are blind, have a vision impairment yourself, or are the family member or friend of a person who is blind or vision impaired, BCA is here to assist you. We provide information, peer support, individual and systemic advocacy, and consultancy services. Our Branches act as local lobby groups and provide opportunities for social interaction for members.

Explore our site. Learn about us. Listen to SoundAbout for profiles of people who are blind or vision impaired and those working with our community. If you are interested in audio-described TV, cinema and DVD content check out It’s Our Turn. Set your dial and tune in to our weekly radio program New Horizons. For the issues and policies that affect you, plus useful information and tips, turn to the pages of BC News or Parent News.

Welcome to BCA, the national organisation of people who are blind or vision impaired.

contact BCA:

Toll Free:
1800 033 660

Phone:
(03) 9654 1400

Email: Blind Citizens Australia

Donate to Blind Citizens Australia by using the PayPal button below




THE 13th WBUAP ONKYO WORLD BRAILLE ESSAY CONTEST – 2015

This contest is for people who are blind or vision impaired living in the Asia Pacific region. The Project is sponsored by the Onkyo Corporation Ltd. and The Braille Mainichi Newspaper in Japan, in collaboration with the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific WBUAP.

The Onkyo World Braille Essay Contest is a worldwide initiative planned and sponsored by Onkyo Corporation Ltd. and the Braille Mainichi in Japan, and is implemented by the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific (WBUAP). It is administered locally by the Australian National Onkyo Selection Committee for the World Braille Essay Contest. The Committee comprises representatives from Blind Citizens Australia, the Australian Braille Authority, the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities, and Vision Australia.

The purpose of the contest is to promote Braille literacy and encourage the reading and writing of Braille; and to encourage cultural and social interaction among blind and vision impaired persons through their writings. To that end, the top 5 entries will be made available in the Vision Australia Information Library service (dependent on individual agreement) for members of the community and will be sent to the WBUAP Onkyo Selection Committee for final consideration.

This is an annual project with cash prizes awarded to the best seven entries received from within the WBU Asia Pacific Region. The main prize, “the Otsuki Prize” is $US 1000. Other prizes are for “Excellent Works” ($US 500) and “Fine Works” (either $US 300 or $US 200) depending on the age group. Participation in the contest is open to people from 14 years of age, living in the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific Region. Entries are divided into two age groups: persons between the ages of 14 and 25 years; and persons from the age of 26 years upwards.

Essay topics:

  • Changing What It Means to be Blind with Braille and Mobility Aids.
  • How Braille and Audio Devices are Helping Me to Lead a Normal Life.
  • The Challenges and Solutions for a Blind Person Aspiring to be a Musician.

Closing date is 15 May 2015. Winners will be notified in November 2015.

Essays must be between 700 and 1,000 words and presented in hard copy Braille or in computerized Braille provided you can provide proof of your Braille literacy. This can be in the form of a letter from your Braille instructor, teacher or other professional who can vouch for your skills.

Read about last years winners

When submitting your essay to BCA, you must also provide:
An electronic photo of yourself, a cover letter stating your full name, address, and contact details, your date of birth, your status ie. Student, home maker, worker. If a student state what school you are from including the name, address and email contact for your school.

Please submit entries to BCA at:
Ross House
Level 3, 247-251 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

BCA 2015 National Convention

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) is the representative body for Australians who are blind or vision impaired.

This year’s theme is “Looking Forward Looking Back” Celebrating Blind Citizens Australia.

Event details
Date: Saturday 10 – Sunday 11 October 2015

Starting with a Welcome function hosted by Blind Citizens WA on Friday 9th October evening.

Venue: Mercure Perth Hotel
10 Irwin Street, Perth WA 6000
Phone: 08 9326 7000
Email Mercure Perth
Mercure Perth website

Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #BCACONV and on Twitter @au_BCA

Visit the BCA 2015 National Convention webpage for more information.

Australian Banknotes: Assisting People with Vision Impairment

Bulletin – March Quarter 2015
Australian Banknotes: Assisting People with Vision Impairment
Kylie Springer, Priya Subramanian and Terence Turton

Abstract:

A key function of the Reserve Bank is to design and produce banknotes that meet the needs of all sections of the community. The Bank has consulted a wide range of subject matter experts and stakeholders to ensure that the next generation of Australia’s banknotes reflects Australia’s cultural identity, is secure and remains functional. One aspect of functionality is that the banknotes are accessible to people with vision impairment. This article outlines the work the Bank has undertaken to meet the needs of the vision-impaired community, from the paper decimal banknote series that was issued in 1966 through to the forthcoming next generation series of banknotes.

Australian Banknotes: Assisting People with Vision Impairment – YouTube Clip

View transcript

Resignation from BCA Board

Due to increasing work commitments, Lauren Henley has informed me that she will need to resign her Directorship on the BCA board.

It is with regret that the Board has accepted Lauren’s resignation. Lauren has been an outstanding contributor to the governance of BCA; to lose her ability and skill-set will be a great loss.

The BCA Board would like to wish Lauren all the best for the future.

Thank you

Greg Madson
President

New Horizons program 391

This week on program 391 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Hazel Hockley, about archery for people who are blind or vision impaired, and with Hank Jongen from Centrelink, about the portability of the Disability Support Pension when travelling overseas.

You can use the embedded audio player above to listen or download the program.

New Horizons is now available as a podcast! Using your pod catcher of choice, use the search term “Blind Citizens Australia”, you should then be able to subscribe to the New Horizons program.

New Horizons is Blind Citizens Australia’s weekly radio program. It can be heard on RPH and community radio stations throughout Australia. Go here for Broadcast times and stations

Current and past Episodes of New Horizons can also be found on the Blind Citizens Australia audio page

And on the The Global Voice

New Horizons is produced at the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne. Blind Citizens Australia thanks Vision Australia for their technical Support and for the use of their resources. You can visit Vision Australia on the web at Vision Australia website

New Horizons program 390

This week on program 390 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Damian McMorrow, who tells us a little about himself, including his interest in internet radio and cooking.

You can use the embedded audio player above to listen or download the program.

New Horizons is now available as a podcast! Using your pod catcher of choice, use the search term “Blind Citizens Australia”, you should then be able to subscribe to the New Horizons program.

New Horizons is Blind Citizens Australia’s weekly radio program. It can be heard on RPH and community radio stations throughout Australia. Go here for Broadcast times and stations

Current and past Episodes of New Horizons can also be found on the Blind Citizens Australia audio page

And on the The Global Voice

New Horizons is produced at the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne. Blind Citizens Australia thanks Vision Australia for their technical Support and for the use of their resources. You can visit Vision Australia on the web at Vision Australia website