BCA 2015 National Convention and Stream Information

The audio Stream of the Blind Citizens Australia 2015 National Convention will be available from 8am WA time, 11am eastern daylight savings time from Saturday 10 October with thanks from LotteryWest, Information Alternatives and Blind Sports Radio.

To listen please go to BCA 2015 Convention Audio Stream

Or you can use the Tune-In Links below

Blind Citizens Australia would like to thank LotteryWest, Information Alternatives and Blind Sports Radio for their support in making the BCA Convention stream possible.

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

The 2015 National Convention webpage has been updated and includes the current version of the Convention Program.

This year’s theme is “Looking Forward Looking Back” Celebrating 40 years of 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 further information.

Annual General Meeting
11.00am on Sunday 11 October 2015


Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) will hold its 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Perth, at the Mercure Hotel, 10 Irwin Street Perth, on Sunday 11 October 2015 at 11.00am. The AGM will be held in conjunction with the 2015 BCA National Convention and will be streamed live over the internet.

The agenda for the AGM can be found here BCA 2015 AGM Agenda (Word doc) and includes presentation and discussion of the 2014-15 Annual Report and Financial Statements as well as the announcement of the election of Directors.

The special business for the meeting will be consideration of some minor changes to the BCA Constitution (details can be found here) BCA Minor Constitution Changes (Word doc)

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.

Annual Report

If you would like a personal copy of the 2014-2015 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.

National Policy and Development Council(NPDC)

As several of the recommendations that resulted from the recent BCA Leaders’ Summit relate to the processes that BCA applies to its Policy and Organisational Development functions the BCA Board has resolved to give urgent priority to the conduct of a review of the functioning of the National Policy and Development Council. To facilitate this review and ensure that the NPDC can continue to support BCA’s Policy and Advocacy work current elected members of the NPDC will be invited to remain in office until the review is completed. The Terms of Reference for this Review will be made available to members by the time of the 2015 National Convention.

Constitution Amendments

The BCA Board is recommending to members that five minor constitutional amendments be approved at the 2015 Annual General Meeting. Details of these amendments and an explanation of their purpose can be found in this document BCA minor constitutional amendments (Word doc)

Full Members of BCA present in person or by Proxy will be able to vote on the approval of these amendments at the AGM on 11 October 2015.

National Convention


On behalf of the Board and staff of BCA, I do hope you can join us at this year’s National Convention and Annual General Meeting. 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.

Greg Madson
Company Secretary

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

Media Release and More BCA 2015 National Convention Information

Dear members

Convention weekend is finally here!

Please find below a media release about Convention issued late yesterday.

If you’re not attending but would like to keep in touch, remember that you can do so in several different ways:

  • Listen to the live stream through Blind Sports Radio. A link will be available on the front page of the BCA website at www.bca.org.au when the stream is active. An email circulating the direct links for different apps and platforms has been circulated to the list.
  • Tune in through the RPH network. Listen to packages and highlights through the two days.
  • Follow us through @au_BCA and the Convention hashtag #BCACONV on Twitter.

There will be two sessions where those not with us in Perth will be able to text through questions for discussion to 0407 308 706. Those sessions are:

  • Saturday 10th October: Celebrating 40 Years of Blind Citizens Australia – 10:40 – 11:40 Western Standard Time
    Panel discussion with Robyn Gaile, Emma Bennison and John Simpson chaired by Bill Jolley.
  • Sunday 11th October: Looking to a Bright Future – 2:55 – 3:55 Western Standard Time
    Panel discussion with Emma Bennison and Leah van Poppel, chaired by Grace King.

I’d also encourage you to start a discussion on bca-l if a topic sparks your interest.

Happy listening, tweeting, emailing and texting everyone!

Kind regards,



8 October 2015

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA), the national peak body for people who are blind or vision impaired, will celebrate its 40th anniversary year in Perth this weekend with a national Convention for members, service providers and the broader community.

“This Convention will highlight the strength of BCA as a voice for people who are blind or vision impaired,” said Greg Madson, BCA President. “We have a long history of fighting successfully for positive changes, like audio signals at traffic lights to make sure everyone can cross roads safely. We’ll be looking back at these successes and thinking of the challenges ahead, such as access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Broadband Network.”

BCA National Convention, which occurs every second year, is an important way of bringing together people for peer support and vital information. People who are unable to attend will be able to participate by listening to a live internet stream through Blind Sports Radio or through radio by tuning into Radio for the Print Handicapped (RPH) stations.

“We’ve had a great response from both members and service providers,” said Leah van Poppel, BCA Chief Executive Officer. “It’s really important that BCA as an independent voice for people who are blind or vision impaired is supported to stay strong by the agencies who value our feedback on the support they provide in our community. We’re especially pleased to have significant sponsorship from Vision Australia, with supporting sponsorship from Senses Australia.”

BCA National Convention will be held at the Mercure Hotel Perth on 10th and 11th October.

Media contact: Leah van Poppel, Blind Citizens Australia CEO
Mobile: 0430 210 980 Email: leah.van.poppel@bca.org.au

New Horizons Program 419

This week on program 419 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Phillip Chalker about his recent successes with complaints to the Human Rights Commission, with support from Blind Citizens Australia.

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

New Horizons is also 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 Iview Audio Described Programs – October Highlights

Please find below a list of Audio Described program highlights for October.

As always, programs are subject to schedule changes however this is what is currently planned.

  • Agatha Christie’s Partners In Crime
  • Doctor Who
  • How Not To Behave
  • New Tricks
  • Please Like Me
  • Silk
  • The Beautiful Lie
  • The Ex-PM
  • Vera
  • Australian Story
  • Reggie Yates Extreme Russia
  • Angry White And Proud
  • Breaking The Silence
  • Changing Minds: The Inside Story
  • Ka-Ching! Pokie Nation
  • Ready For This
  • Bubble Bath Bay
  • Octonauts Special- The Over Under Adventure
  • Olivia

You might find the instructional clip with information on how to access AD on iview useful. It can be found here: ABC Iview instructional Youtube clip

An FAQ document on the AD trial can be found here: AD Iview FAQ(Word docx)

To provide your feedbac during the trial, or for any other information pleas visit the ABC’s AD website

Closing Date Extended – Blind Citizens WA Youth Scholarships 2015

Dear Blind Citizens WA Members,

Blind Citizens WA Inc is proud to offer three scholarships for members under the age of 35 to attend the 2015 Blind Citizens Australia Convention, including the 40th Anniversary Ruby Red Dinner, to be held at the Mercure Hotel Perth, 9 – 11 October 2015. The scholarships are offered in memory of the late Josephine Nicholson.

Each scholarship will cover the cost of registration ($195), with up to $130 per scholarship to help towards transport and/or accommodation costs.

The application closing date has now been extended to Friday 2 October 2015.

To apply, please download and complete the BCWA 2015 Youth Scholarships Application Form (also attached) and return to bcwa@westnet.com.au by 5pm, Friday 2 October 2015.

Successful applicants will be advised by Monday 5 October 2015.

If you have any questions or have any difficulty accessing the application form, please contact Blind Citizens WA President Deanne Ferris via bcwa@westnet.com.au or call 0438 687 768.

For information about the BCA 2015 National Convention visit:

Warm regards,

Deanne Ferris
Blind Citizens WA Inc.
Mobile: 0438 687 768