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 , a 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

(03) 9654 1400

Email: Blind Citizens Australia

Donate to Blind Citizens Australia by using the PayPal button below

Hello From the New CEO of Blind Citizens Australia

Hello From the New CEO of Blind Citizens Australia

Hello everyone,

Today is my first day in the BCA office and I wanted to do a quick introduction for those of you who don’t know me.

Some of you will remember me by my unmarried name, Leah Hobson. I’ve worked for BCA before from 2006 to 2008 as the National Policy Officer.

Since then I’ve done similar work at a national level at the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), where I was heavily involved in fighting for the NDIS to be set up, and I worked on issues around income support, employment and telecommunications. I’ve managed both projects and people, often within the disability community.

I identify as deafblind, which in my case means I have partial hearing and partial vision.

I know that some people are worried there’s been a lot of upheaval for BCA over the past year. I think this kind of concern is a good thing: it tells me that people are passionate about seeing BCA do well. If you have concerns and you feel comfortable to do so, please let us know.

Because I’ve just started in the office I’d love to meet you and hear what you want from BCA. We’ll be holding some meet the CEO teleconferences later in August to give you the chance to find out more about me, and for me to hear about what you think is important for BCA going forward. Teleconferences will be held on:

Monday 17th August 11am – 12.30 pm AEST
Wednesday 19th August 8 – 9.30 pm AEST
Saturday 22nd August 12 – 1.30 pm AEST

If you’re interested in attending a teleconference please call the office on 1800 033 660 or email with your name, phone number and preferred session times. Sessions will be limited to ten people each.

There will be a waiting list for participants if interest is high.
If you’d like to tell me and the BCA team what’s important to you or ask me questions, but you’re not able to make a teleconference, you can:

– Call the office on 1800 033 660
– Leave feedback on the BCA website at www.bca.org.au
– Email leah.van.poppel@bca.org.au

My main tasks for the short term will be to hear from as many of you as possible, and work with the Board, staff and members on a way forward. I intend to remain in contact with you through all of our communications channels as we work towards keeping BCA strong.

Kind regards,
Leah van Poppel
Chief Executive Officer
Blind Citizens Australia
Ross House
Level 3, 247-251 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

Mobile: 0430 210 980
Toll Free: 1800 033 660
Phone: 03 9654 1400

Email: leah.van.poppel@bca.org.au
Web: www.bca.org.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BlindCitizensAustralia
Twitter: @au_BCA
ABN: 90 006 985 226

BCA acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.

Registrations now open for BCA 2015 National Convention

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

You can now RESGISTER for the 2015 BCA National Convention. the National Convention webpage link below will take you to further information.

A copy of the (draft) Program and the Registration form are available on the BCA 2015 National Convention webpage.

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 registration details and further information.

New Horizons Program 410

This week on program 410 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Eddie Johnson of Onwatch about products to assist with personal safety.

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

New Horizons is available as a podcast! Using your pod catcher of choice, use the URL http://wordpress.bca.org.au/feed/ to subscribe manually 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

ABC Audio Described iview Programs for August

Please find a list below of ABC TV iView Audio Described program highlights for August. As always, programs are subject to schedule changes however this is what is currently planned.

  • Kevin McCloud’s Escape To The Wild
  • The Politicians Husband
  • Humans
  • Line Of Duty
  • Old School
  • How Not To Behave
  • The IT Crowd
  • Last Tango In Halifax
  • Australian Story
  • The Honourable Woman
  • Utopia
  • Catastrophe
  • Vera
  • Open Heart
  • Spooksville
  • Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb Vs Gravity
  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • First Position
  • Extreme Brat Camp
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Olivia

What is Audio Description?

Audio description (AD) is a verbal commentary that complements the underlying soundtrack of a television program, movie, DVD or live performance. It is designed to assist people with vision impairment and those with print, learning and physical disabilities to enhance their understanding of what is happening on screen.

The ABC is conducting a trial of audio description on its online catch-up television service, iview, for 15 months making 14 hours of AD content available per week.

From 14 April 2015 AD content has been accessible through the iview application on iOS compatible tablets and mobile devices. The iOS app will allow playback on a television if an Apple TV is connected (via AirPlay). Please note, closed captions will not be available in conjunction with AD when using AirPlay.

Following the launch in April, the ABC will progressively roll out AD services across other platforms including Android mobiles and tablets ; the ABC’s iview website (Sept) and HbbTV (Oct).

For more information on the ABC iview trial please go to ABC AD iview

August 2015 Edition of SoundAbout

Dear BCA Member

Please find following the latest edition of Soundabout audio magazine. Following is a list of this editions content.

Below that you will find two links. By choosing the link with the words Listen, you can listen when you choose to. If you prefer to download it to another device then choose the link named Download. Alternatively, you can always go to our Audio page and do the same things.


  • Kerry Hoath speaks with President, Greg Madson about is resignation and nominations.
  • Peter Greco speaks with John Simpson about the recent BCA Summit.
  • Peter Greco speaks with Erika Webb about this year’s BCA Convention.
  • Marian Jones speaks with Joyce Jones about the Womens’ Branch Convention activities.
  • Rikki Chaplin speaks with Tony Iezzi about the Roundtable.
  • Steve Richardson speaks with Chris Michael, of Media Access about Audio Description.
  • Steve Richardson speaks with Maryanne Carmody about the upcoming 2015 Retina Congress.
  • Rikki Chaplin speaks with Paula Hobley about being a PHD student.
  • Diary Dates for Queensland, NSW and ACT.
  • BCA Contact details.

listen to SoundAbout August 2015


download SoundAbout August 2015