Keynote Address – BCA 2015 National Convention

For those who would like to listen to the audio, or read the Keynote Address presented at the 2015 Blind Citizens Australia National Convention, “BCA at 40: Where we are and how we’ve got here”, Bill Jolley has kindly made the text of the address available. To read or download a copy please go here: Text – BCA at 40 Keynote address (Word docx)

If you would like to listen to the Keynote audio, please go here: Audio – BCA at 40 Keynote address (MP3 file)
The audio file is quite large and might take a minute or so to load.

This year’s theme was “Looking Forward Looking Back” Celebrating 40 years of Blind Citizens Australia.

Event details
Date: Saturday 10 – Sunday 11 October 2015.

Venue: Mercure Perth Hotel
10 Irwin Street, Perth WA 6000
Phone: 08 9326 7000
Email Mercure Perth
Mercure Perth website

Visit the BCA 2015 National Convention webpage for further information.

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) held 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 was held in conjunction with the 2015 BCA National Convention and was streamed live over the internet.

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

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

The constitution changes were considered and accepted for adoption at the meeting.

On behalf of the Board and staff of BCA, I do hope you enjoyed this year’s National Convention and Annual General Meeting if you were able to join us or listen in to the provided audio stream. 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

AEC media release – North Sydney voters who are blind or have low vision

North Sydney voters who are blind or have low vision can now register for a telephone vote With early voting now underway, voters who are blind or have low vision can register to access a telephone voting service for the 2015 North Sydney by-election.

Australian Electoral Officer for New South Wales, Mr Doug Orr said eligible voters who are blind or have low vision can register for the service anytime between now and 12 midday on by-election day, Saturday 5 December.

“North Sydney voters who are blind or have low vision can call 1800 913 993 to register for a telephone vote,” Mr Orr said. Once registered, voters will be able to cast their telephone vote between 9am and 5pm on weekdays from now to Friday 4 December and on by-election day, Saturday 5 December, from 8am to 6pm.

Blind or low vision voters don’t need to give their name when they vote using the telephone voting service. Their registration number and pin will be used to mark their name off the electoral roll, ensuring the voter’s identity remains secret.

“North Sydney voters who are blind or have low vision can have confidence they are casting their vote in secret,” Mr Orr said. Blind or low vision voters can still vote with assistance at any polling place on by-election day or, if entitled at one of the early voting centres before by-election day.

More than 2,800 Australians who are blind or have low vision cast a vote via telephone at the 2013 federal election.

Voter services information is available at

New Horizons Program 426

This week on program 426 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Janene Sadhu, the newly elected President of the Women’s Branch of Blind Citizens Australia. Rikki also speaks with George Booth of Travel Tree about an upcoming tour to Singapore for people who are blind or vision impaired.

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 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

Centrelink’s call back system

Centrelink’s call back system


This system will eliminate the need for you to wait on hold with Centrelink for more than 5 minutes. This call back system holds your ‘place in the queue’, and then they call you back, which saves you time and expense. You will however need to register for this service.


Options for Registering for phone self service include:


  • Register online at Centrelink Self Service
  • register with Centrelink over the phone on 136 240
  • Register at a Centrelink service centre

You will need your phone self service ID and PIN to use the place in queue option. You will also need to have your Customer Reference Number or Customer Access Number handy. You may be offered the place in queue option if your call wait time is more than 5 minutes when you call Centrelink between 8 am and 3 pm, Monday to Friday.


Hanna Mazzeo

Updated BCA Constitution

Dear Member

At the 2015 AGM changes to the Blind Citizens Australia constitution were accepted by members.

Please find here a copy of the updated BCA Constitution 2015 (Word doc)

Audio Description on ABC iview for desktop is now available!

AD on iview for desktop is now available.

ABC iview’s media player on the web is keyboard-accessible and works best with JAWS 16 and IE11. The player will also work with NVDA and IE11. Any other browser and screenreader combination may not be supported.

If you have any Difficulties you can view the troubleshooting guide for audio description and screen readers

You can find the list of AD programs currently available here: iview Audio Described Programs.

Happy viewing