Wednesday 25 May

Dear Members,

During the 2022 Federal Election Campaign, BCA was pleased to see commitments from most parties and candidates across a range of areas in our Platform. In particular, we welcomed the commitment that an incoming Labor Government would begin a process of genuine co-design reforms to fix the issues with the NDIS.

We want to congratulate the newly elected Albanese Government on their win, and look forward to working with them to improve the lives of people who are blind or vision impaired. We also note the historic victories of a range of Independents across the country, and welcome the support many of these candidates gave to issues facing people with disability.

There are still several areas in our election platform that were not addressed during the campaign, and we will continue to advocate strongly for the issues affecting our community. We hope to work constructively with all newly elected and re-elected members of parliament over the next three years.

CEO Update

In this week’s update, CEO Sally Aurisch talks about the election and the work yet to be done. Sally invites all members to share their experiences and provide feedback on voting in this election, whether through the telephone system, braille ballot, or in a voting booth. Please feel free to share any feedback and ideas that you may have by emailing bca@bca.org.au or by calling 1800 033 660.

You can also view the CEO Update on social media.

View the CEO Update on Facebook.

View the CEO Update on YouTube.

Read the transcript of the CEO Update.

What’s Coming Up at BCA?

Happy Hours

Thursday 26th May 7:30pm AEST

Reconciliation Week

Now is the time to hear from our First Nations members about their experiences and how BCA can better support them. If you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and are blind or vision impaired, join us to share your story or just to have a chat.

Trivia

Saturday 28th May 8:00pm AEST

Hosted by Graeme Innes. The topics for this week’s trivia will be history, geography, music and movies, where am I, and ‘Kickarse Kathryn’s’.

To join a Happy Hour or Trivia

Peer Connect Groups

Our Peer Connect Groups are in full swing! Details for any upcoming group meetings are listed below.

For information on all the other peer groups happening, take a look at the page on our website.

Book Club – Friday 27th May 12:00pm AEST:

If you love reading or discussing books and want to spend time with likeminded people, this is the group for you. BCA is also currently seeking a new peer group leader for this group. If you’re interested, please send your expression of interest to tim.haggis@bca.org.au.

Guitar Group – Saturday 28th May 2:00pm AEST:

Whether you’re just picking up a guitar for the first time or you have been playing for years, this group is for everyone keen to learn and play. The peer group leader, Sean, enjoys teaching and is a great resource for guitar players of all levels. Come along and talk to other members who share the same passion.

BCA Inform

June 2022

When: Tuesday, 7th June 7:15pm – 9:00pm AEST

Do you know about the many forms of concession and financial support you may be able to access? Martin Stewart, National Advocacy Officer, BCA brings his wealth of knowledge to our June BCA Inform, where we will discuss the various concessions that people who are blind or vision impaired may be eligible for.

Come along for a night of learning and lively discussion. You can register for this event using this link. Once registered, you will receive an email with the zoom dial in details.

If you have any questions or have any issues with registration, please contact us on 1800 033 660 or email events@bca.org.au.

Job Ready Workshop

Tuesday, 7th June 2:00-3:30pm AEST

BCA’s ‘An Eye to the Future’ project is pleased to announce an upcoming new series of online Job Ready workshops for jobseekers who are blind or vision impaired. Build your confidence in resume writing and job search techniques, and get expert advice from an experienced Human Resources professional to help you refine the job search and land that all important interview.

There’s no cost to attend and places are filling fast.

Register online or contact Cheryl by calling 1800 033 660 or emailing cheryl.gration@bca.org.au for more details.

BCA Member Events in Adelaide

BCA CEO Sally Aurisch and President Fiona Woods will be travelling to Adelaide at the end of this week.

We’ll be hosting two events on Friday and Saturday. Members are invited to discuss BCA’s work in South Australia and the re-establishment of an Adelaide branch.

Informal Dinner

Friday, 27th May 2022 6:30pm

The Griffins Head Hotel, 38 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide

A booking has been made for Blind Citizens Australia. Drinks and meals are at your own cost.

Morning Tea and Member Forum

Saturday, 28th May 2022 10:00am – 12:30pm

RSB, 212 Pirrie Street, Adelaide

You are welcome to attend either or both of these events however, we do require RSVP so that we can confirm numbers and arrange catering. Please provide us with your name, contact number and any dietary requirements. RSVP’s can be sent to events@bca.org.au or by calling 1800 033 660.

BCA Updates

Federal Election Feedback

We want to hear about your experiences of voting and accessing information in this year’s Federal Election, held on Saturday 21st May. This includes feedback on telephone voting, postal voting, accessing polling booths and in-person voting, accessing to information about candidates, and accessing information about voting processes. If you have any further feedback in addition to these areas, we would also be very happy for you to submit it to us.

If you would like to submit feedback to BCA, please contact Jane Britt, Policy and Advocacy Team Leader or Jackson-Reynolds Ryan, National Policy Officer by email bca@bca.org.au or by phone, 1800 033 660.

Humanitix

Many BCA events are at no cost to the member; however, we use Humanitix for “ticketing” for many events, including BCA Informs and Eye to the Future workshops. This enables us to better plan staffing and technology prior to the event, which allows us to give you the best experience.

Once you have booked your ticket in Humanitix, you should receive an email with event details including zoom links. Remember to check your junk mailbox.

If this does not happen, please reach out to events@bca.org.au or call 1800 033 660 and ask for Danielle.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Blind Citizens Australia celebrates the success of business owners who are blind or vision impaired and is pleased to launch The Entrepreneurial Mindset, a new initiative in partnership with Vision Australia, to build awareness of entrepreneurship as a pathway to employment and financial independence for people who are blind or vision impaired.

Survey for Current Business Owners

Understanding your experiences as a business owner will assist in the development of tools and resources to support aspiring entrepreneurs who are blind or vision impaired. That’s why we are asking former and current sole traders and business owners who are blind or vision impaired to take part in a Quick 5 Minute Survey.

Focus Group for Entrepreneurs

Blind Citizens Australia, in partnership with Vision Australia, would love for you to take part in a focus group to support our members and aspiring entrepreneurs to learn what it takes to succeed in business.  We want to know more about your inspiration, how you got started, what and who helped you along the way, what you learned, and how you managed challenges along the way.

If you would like to share the wisdom gained through your own experiences to help others in their journey to successful business ownership, contact Christina on christina.micallef@bca.org.au to register your interest, or call 1800 033 660 for more details and other ways you can be involved.

News From Outside BCA

National Interest

Vision Australia Job Opportunities

Vision Australia currently has job vacancies in various roles across the country. You can find all available opportunities and job descriptions on their website. For more information about these roles or how to apply, call 1300 847 466.

CommBank Smart Roadshow

CommBank are hosting a nationwide roadshow to showcase the accessibility features on the new Smart EFTPOS terminal. You are invited to attend and familiarise yourself with the terminal to gain an understanding on methods to activate accessibility mode, processing a payment via contactless payment, using tactile indicators to enter a PIN, and making payments via swiping or inserting your card.

To RSVP and for more information please visit their website.

New South Wales

Vivid Sydney – Audio Drama 2022

Love audio books? Podcasts? Heard of audio dramas? Umm… Let’s change that! Audio Drama – aka audio description, or AD – is an audio version of film and TV that frees us from screens so we can enjoy film and TV while out and about, travelling, gardening, working or doing other things.

Join us at Vivid Sydney for a showcase of Audio Drama clips from popular TV shows followed by a panel discussion with AD experts, fans and filmmakers. Discover how AD can change our perspective on screen-based entertainment.

This free Vivid Sydney event is presented in collaboration with the ABC, SBS, Accessible Arts, Blind Citizens Australia, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, The Fred Hollows Foundation and The SubStation.

When: Thursday 9th June, 3:00-4:30pm AEST at the UTS Great Hall.

Find out more on the website.

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Disability Strategy Consultation

Online forums now open for registrations

The consultation is now well underway to shape the future 10-year ACT Disability Strategy.  This consultation has been co-designed with the ACT Disability Reference Group and all conversations are led by people with disability.

The ACT Government are keen to hear from people with disability, families, carers, supporters and interested community members on how to create a more inclusive future for all Canberrans.

This week they will holding the first online forum for consultation. The details are:

When: Wednesday 25th May at 12:30-2:30pm AEST.

RSVP: Register here

If Wednesday does not suit, there are many other ways for people to have their say:

Consultation on the Disability Strategy is open until 31 July.

Victoria

Deafblind Australia Workshops

Deafblind Australia would like to invite you to their free workshops in the coming weeks. There will be a combination of Deafblind presenters and businesses showcasing products relevant to the deafblind community. These sessions will offer a wonderful opportunity to learn more about assistive technology in the market and will provide insight into how technology improves the lives of people who have hearing/vision loss and deafblindness.

The workshops are being held on Thursday 26th May and Friday 10th June from 10:00am-3:30pm AEST. Catering will be provided.

Venue: Monash Conference Centre, Level 7, 30 Collins St, Melbourne

You must register for this event. You can do so by emailing Janet Chalhoub on janet.chalhoub@deafblindaustralia.org.au.

In the email, please advise your preferred date/s and any dietary requirements. Further details will be provided upon confirmation.

Have you got something to contribute?

If you’ve got something you’d like included in the Member Update, please send it to memberupdate@bca.org.au or call us on 1800 033 660. Items received by 12:00pm Monday will be published in the Wednesday update.