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




Blind Citizens Australia Annual General Meeting 2014

Notice to BCA members

Annual General Meeting

11.00am on Saturday 4 October 2014

Introduction

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) will hold its 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Melbourne, at the Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens Hotel, 13 Spring Street, Melbourne on Saturday 4 October 2014 at 11.00am. This meeting will be streamed live over the internet.

The AGM will be held in conjunction with the BCA Victorian State Convention which commences at 9.00am and concludes after the Conference Dinner at the same venue.

The BCA 2014 AGM agenda for the AGM includes conformation of the 2013 AGM Minutes a presentation and discussion of the Annual Report and Financial Statements as well as the announcement of the election of Directors. The special business for the meeting will relate to consideration of the proposed Revised Constitution and notice of the 2015 National Convention.

All Full Members are entitled to one vote each in relation to any resolutions put forward at the AGM. If Full Members are unable to attend this meeting, they may appoint the chairperson, or another Full Member as a proxy. Information about Proxy Voting is available from the National Office.

It is important to note that no election will take place at the AGM. The method used to elect Directors is by postal vote. All eligible full members of BCA will have the opportunity to vote via a postal ballot should an election be necessary.

Annual Report

If you would like a personal copy of the 2013-2014 BCA Annual Report, please call the National Office on 03 9654 1400 or 1800 033 660 to lodge this request. This Report will be available in large print, Braille, or by email only. As soon as the Report is available it will be sent to you in your preferred format. The Report will also be published on the BCA Website.

Revised Constitution

This year the Board members have been looking very closely at all of the BCA Governance documents with a view to ensure that they are up-to-date with current practices and with recent legislative changes. The BCA Constitution was last revised in 2007; consequently the Board have prepared a Revised Constitution which they are seeking approval from the members to implement.

This document takes into account the changes to the Charities Act as well as the recommendations from members to reduce the “red tape” where possible.

Copies of the revised constitution, along with a summary outlining the differences between the 2007 Constitution (Word doc) and this 2014 Revised Constitution (Word doc) are also available from the National Office by request.

If you have any questions relating to the proposed changes, please do not hesitate to contact any of the Directors, or the Executive Officer, Rosemary Boyd.

State Conventions

Information regarding each State Convention is available via the links below, in the August SoundAbout and will also be presented on New Horizons programs leading up to the AGM.

below you will find links to program overviews, downloadable and links to on-line registration forms for the Victorian, NSW/ACT and Queensland State Conventions. There is no State Convention in South Australia this year.

Information and on-line registration forms are also available using the links below.

You can also register for each State Convention over the phone, by email or regular mail. Please take note of the closing date for registration for each State Convention.

Summary

On behalf of the Board and staff of BCA, I do hope you can join us at our Annual General Meeting or at one of the State Conventions. As an organisation of and for people who are blind or vision impaired, it is important that we acknowledge and support each other to enhance the lives of people who are blind or vision impaired.

Rosemary Boyd
Company Secretary

New Horizons program 365

This week on program 365 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with two attendees to the upcoming Mid-Term General Assembly of the Asia Pacific Region of the World Blind Union. Dr Kevin Murfitt speaks about the agenda and Tony Starkey speaks about his work with a special employment project.

The direct link to listen is

Listen to program 365

and to download is

Download program 365

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 364

This week on program 364 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Greg Madson, President of Blind Citizens Australia, about the role and functions of the National Policy and Development Council, and with Michelle Griffin and Grace King, candidates for the vacant NPDC position in Western Australia.

The direct link to listen is Listen to program 364 and to download is Download program 364

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

september Edition of BC Update

The September edition of blind Citizends Update is now available. Go to September BC Update to grab your copy.

Centrelink pension card issue

Was your Centrelink pension card issued between the 1st August and the 3rd September 2014? If so, read on…

The BCA National Office received a number of complaints throughout August from members regarding their Centrelink Disability Support Pension (Blind) or Age Pension (Blind) pension cards. It was reported that pension cards no longer had the word blind on them; and that the cards were issued without the hole punch in the bottom right hand corner. This was a mistake due to a change of DHS printing contractors, which has now been rectified.

For members issued with a pension card between 1st August 2014 and the 3rd September 2014, you may have encountered this mistake. For members who have received their cards after this date, please check your card to make sure it is correct.

The Department of Human Services advises that these cards will not be automatically reissued, however you can request a new pension card by calling the Department of Human Services Disability and Carers Line on 13 27 17.

BCA wishes to thank the many members who bought this issue to our attention.

Hanna Mazzeo
Advocacy and Policy Officer