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




Important Notice

For Immediate Release

1 December 2014

Blind Citizens Australia Announces Resignation of Executive Officer

It is with regret that the board of Blind Citizens Australia, (BCA) has today accepted the resignation of our Executive Officer Rosemary Boyd. Rosemary’s resignation will take effect from 1 January 2015, following a period of well-deserved personal leave.

BCA President, Greg Madson thanked Rosemary for her commitment and dedication to the organisation. “On behalf of the Directors, I want to publicly express our sincere appreciation for Rosemary’s tireless attention to advocating on issues impacting the lives of people who are blind or vision-impaired.”

BCA board members will support staff in ensuring the smooth running of the organisation until a recruitment process to appoint a replacement Executive Officer is finalised early in 2015. The board recognises the need to undertake this process in a timely manner and thanks members for their understanding and patience at this time.

ENDS

Media Contact:

Greg Madson, President
Ph: 0408 396 333

Semester 1 – 2015 Courses from Cisco Academy For the Vision Impaired

Cisco Academy For the Vision Impaired, also known as CAVI

This course offers employment strategies and skills for the blind, taught by the blind.

Enrollments are now open for the term beginning in February, 2015.

Course Offerings: courses
Application Fomr: application
Course Schedule: schedule

A Note On Prerequisites
Most courses require some basic computer and screen reader knowledge. If you are unable to complete the basic computer skills test, please talk to us about the Computers 101 course. Prerequisites

The WordPress course requires some HTML knowledge. If you have not taken our HTML course, you may need to complete a skills test to demonstrate your knowledge.

Fees
For information on pricing, see the fees page. Fees

Courses:
IT Essentials
Learn how to configure, repair, and install PC hardware and software This course provides a comprehensive overview of computer fundamentals and an introduction to advanced concepts. It is intended for people who wish to pursue careers in IT and gain practical knowledge of how a computer works. This course prepares students to take the A+ certification exam if they wish, and students who complete the course may find work as a technical support representative. At the end of this course, you should be able to:
Describe and identify the internal components of a computer
Assemble a computer system
Install an operating system
Troubleshoot using system tools and diagnostic software
Connect computers to the Internet
Share resources in a networked environment
Install and troubleshoot peripherals such as printers and scanners
IT Essentials course link

Intro To Networking
Introduction to networking is your first step along the path to studying for the CCNA or CCENT.

In this course you will learn basic network terminology, subnetting, how to configure basic home and business networks and the basics of network security., At the end of this course you will have the basic skills and experience to configure home and small office networks.

Building Websites With HTML 5
Learn to build your own website from scratch
This course is designed for both those who are new to HTML as well as those people who want to upgrade their HTML skills to use HTML 5. HTML is the basic building block of websites. Students will learn to build a website from the ground up using practical techniques that work for vision impaired people.

Topics covered include:
Choosing a web address and web hosting provider
Using an FTP program and HTML editor
Adding text, links, and lists to your website
Choosing a color scheme for your site
Adding audio and video content to your pages
Adding images to your site
Adding a shopping cart and contact form to your site
Using security measures to protect your visitors and your site
HTML5 course link

Getting the most out of Word Press
WordPress isn’t just a blogging platform. You can build entire websites with WordPress. This course will show you how to configure the Word Press content management system from Scrach and how to optimize both accessibility and functionality.

Audio Editing Fundamentals, Single Track or Multi-track
These courses teach audio editing to those of all skill levels. The single trakc course focuses on using software like Goldwave to record, edit, and enhance audio. The multi-track course teaches all aspects of audio production and mixing using Reaper. Both classes teach principles of microphone usage, choosing formats, and provide a survey of audio equipment for all budget levels. Our original Audio Fundamentals course has had a refresh this term and is now split into two tracks. Students may choose whether they’d like to learn single track editing with Goldwave, or multitrack editing with Reaper.
Audio Editing course link

Introduction to Linux With The Raspberry Pi
This course will help students learn how to run things like a Teamtalk server, media center, web server, and broadcasting software by teaching students how to use the Linux command-line operating system. and the Raspberry Pi.
Linus course link

MS Word Essentials
This course will teach students how to use Microsoft Word with a screen reader to create useful and attractive documents. The course will run for 12 weeks, and will take students from the basics of using the Ribbons and the Backstage view in Office 2010-2013 to the more advanced features of the program suchas macros, graphics, templates, forms, and mail merge.
MS Word Essentials course link

Short Courses
These courses do not run for the entire length of the term. They vary in length, anywhere from one week to half the term in length. They tend to be more focused than the full length courses in terms of content.

Employment
This course offers employment strategies and skills for the blind, taught by the blind. It will run for 8-10 weeks, dependent on student needs.
Employment course link

Other Short Courses
The following courses are being considered to run next term. Let us know which of these you would be interested in seeing. and if you have ideas for other courses that you’d like to see up teach.

MS Excel: A course exploring Excel, and how to use it to improve efficiency and productivity.

MS PowerPoint: A course designed to take students from the basics all the way through creating a presentation with multimedia and graphical elements. The course has one assignment, a final presentation that will be shared with the class.

The Windows Command Line: A course aimed at teaching students all about the power of the Windows command line – it can do more than you think.

Cooking 101: A series of short courses based around certain topics, such as baking, once-a-month or freezer cooking, meal preparation and planning, how to create home-cooked alternatives to restaurant meals, ETC.

Enrolling
To sign up for the course, send an email to caviinfo @ ciscovision.org [without the spaces], or by letting us know via the contact form on Contact Form

CAVI – A leading technology school for blind and vision impaired people around the world.

Online learning can level the playing field for blind and vision impaired people who want to learn computer and technology skills.

CAVI provides accredited Cisco Academy courses, computer skills courses, and employment preparation sessions for people who are totally or partially blind. The instructors have years of experience in their technical field and are blind as well. Many of our students get a job after graduation, while others focus on pursuing skills related to a hobby.

New Horizons program 382

This week on program 382 of New Horizons, Sue Hastie speaks with Greg Madson, President of Blind Citizens Australia, and Rikki Chaplin speaks with John Simpson, acting Executive Officer.

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

Changes to Disability Support Pension legislation for travel outside Australia

From 1 January 2015 DSP customers can be paid outside Australia for a temporary absence of, or number of absences totalling 4 weeks (28 days) in a rolling 12 month period. They can also travel outside Australia and be paid under the approved reason portability provisions, up to a maximum of 4 weeks.

  • Days paid DSP while outside Australia are included in the 4 weeks, regardless of the reason for absence.
  • Days paid DSP outside Australia before 1 January 2015 are not included in the 4 weeks.
  • Prior to 1 January 2015 DSP customers could be paid for a temporary absence of 6 weeks.

A transitional provision allows customers who booked and paid before 14 May 2014 for travel outside Australia commencing on or after 1 January 2015 and returning before 1 January 2016 to be paid under the pre 1 January 2015 DSP portability provisions.

International Agreement specific rules:

  • Days paid while outside Australia but in the agreement country, are not counted while paid under that respective agreement country
  • Days paid while outside Australia and the agreement country, are counted in the 4 weeks

New Horizons program 381

This week on program 381 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Laurie Grovenor about the challenges for people who are blind or vision impaired living in regional and rural areas, and with Karen Passmore, President of the National Women’s Branch of Blind Citizens Australia, about their project for regional and rural women.

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