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




3 Great JobAccess Stories

See the possibilities

Hello

JobAccess invites you to watch our recently launched videos showcasing stories of three employees with disability and how JobAccess and the support of modifications has helped them in their roles.

JobAc cess works with employers, providers and people with disability to remove barriers to employment. Each person helped is a person who can access employment and contribute to their fullest. Each workplace or person has a unique situation and JobAccess can provide the best solution to anyone eligible.

Meet Caroline, Louise and Huy and watch their stories by clicking the links below.

We are proud to play a role in their success and look forward to sharing future stories.

Please enjoy them w ith your family, friends and colleagues and let us know if you have any feedback. Feel free to contact the team at JobAccess on 1800 464 800 for advice and support on all matters relating to removing barriers to employment.

Access Communications – Australia Post and Caroline Browne

– Louise Pearson

Access All Areas – Huy Nguyen

The JobAccess stories – a compilation

Kind regards

Nicola

Nicola Tuckwell
Manager—JobAccess
T/TTY 1800 464 800 F 08 9382 9277
E/MSN ntuckwell
PO Box 1764, Osborne Park DC, WA 6916
jobaccess.gov.au

JobAccess is administered by WorkFocus Australia

Disclaimer: This email is confidential to the addressee. If you are not the addressee, please notify WorkFocus Australia by return e-mail and delete the message from your system. You must not disclose or use this information in any way. WorkFocus Australia does not guarantee that this email is virus free. Any Personal information in this email must be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

Visually impaired and blind workers: undervalued, underemployed

Article from the Sydney Morning Herald – 13 October

Reporter: Julie Power

Lauren Henley has developed superhero-like powers as she navigates the world of work.

Blinded when she was 20, Ms Henley uses a form of “echo-location” – clicking her fingers or tongue to produce echos much like a bat’s navigation – to find her way around a new office and a new city.

“The noise bounces off objects in your environment. You can use it to work out different bits of information, such as how large the object is,” said Ms Henley who moved to Sydney two weeks ago to work as an adviser at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

“Normally I use a tongue click,” she said, demonstrating the technique. “You do it discreetly if you are inside. If I am in a louder environment, such as busy peak-hour traffic, where I can’t hear much, I either tap my cane or click my fingers.”

Ms Henley was trained by Daniel Kish, the leader of a global movement to teach blind people to see using their ears. He was brought to Australia by Guide Dogs NSW /ACT.

Some disability advocates fear this skill can make people with visual impairment look like “superhuman freaks”, but 27-year-old Ms Henley said it had bolstered her independence and confidence, allowing her to travel independently for work and pleasure.

People who are blind or have a vision impairment are four times as likely to be unemployed than average, finds new research by Guide Dogs. Around 37 per cent of its clients are unemployed, many are underemployed, and nearly all want more work. Once they find a job, they are more loyal and take far less sick leave.

After losing most of her sight in 2001, Sally-Anne Giliam, the executive assistant to NSW Roads’ Minister Duncan Gay, has developed another skill that is nearly as impressive in an era when most people store phone numbers in mobile phones.

To save time, Ms Giliam – who was promoted from receptionist to EA and office manager – remembers more than 1000 phone numbers. She has become the “eyes” of her office, the person who knows where things are kept.

Ms Giliam uses an identification cane when she catches public transport to work. In the office, she uses screen reading technology and magnification.

Her screen reading technology is so accurate that she is often asked to proof the office’s documents. Once she spotted an error in a draft press release, announcing a tax on toads instead of a tax on roads, that had been missed by others.

The research was commissioned to address employer concerns that people who can’t see can’t work because they won’t be able to get to work, read emails or use a computer.

Before Ms Henley started her new job, a mobility expert from Guide Dogs spent the weekend with her, helping her navigate public transport to work and around the new office that sprawls over several floors, so she could find the bathrooms, the lunch room, the meeting room and her office.

“It is so extremely daunting to start a new job. So the ability to learn how to get around before you even start was really empowering,” she said.

“Having a job provides me with financial security and greater flexibility in terms of the life that I choose to lead.

“But beyond that, it gives me a sense of self-worth, the opportunity to get out and meet people and the opportunity to fight for a cause that I am passionate about.

“For me, not having a job would be devastating.”

New Horizons program 369

This week on program 369 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Emma Bennison, Chief Executive Officer of Arts Access Australia, following her trip to the UK to research leadership in the arts and cultural sector, of people with disabilities.

The direct link to listen is

Listen to Program 369

and to download is

Download Program 369

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

http://wp.me/P4cPvC-1K

New Horizons can also be heard over the Internet from the Blind Citizens Australia web site at

http://www.bca.org.au

And on the Global Voice at

http://theglobalvoice.info

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

http://www.visionaustralia.org

New Horizons program 368

This week on program 368 of New Horizons, Sue Hastie speaks with Rikki Chaplin, the regular presenter of New Horizons, and with Sharyl Brockett, who tell us a little about themselves and their new roles as Advocacy and Policy Officers with Blind Citizens Australia.

The direct link to listen is

Listen to program 368

and to download is

Download Program 368

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

http://wp.me/P4cPvC-1K

New Horizons can also be heard over the Internet from the Blind Citizens Australia web site at

http://www.bca.org.au

And on the Global Voice at

http://theglobalvoice.info

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

http://www.visionaustralia.org