Wednesday 01 February

Dear Members,

Happy February! January has flown by, and we have even more exciting things coming this month. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our Member Communications Survey. We value and appreciate the feedback you have provided. In this update, you will find a few more short surveys to further help guide our work. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

BCA Video Update

In the first video update of 2023, Angela Jaeschke, Operations Manager, welcomes our newest staff members: Tim Davey, Project Officer – Eye to the Future; Tony Delmadoros, NSW/ACT Advocacy Projects Officer; and Corey Crawford, Policy Officer. She also highlights some of our upcoming events and plans for the year.

You can also view the BCA Video Update on social media.

View the BCA Video Update on Facebook.

View the BCA Video Update on YouTube.

Read the transcript of the BCA Video Update.

What’s Coming Up at BCA?

Plan ahead using our monthly calendar – the February events calendar is now available on our website.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please feel free to contact us on events@bca.org.au or call on 1800 033 660.

BCA Conversations

Thursday 2nd February 7:30pm AEDT

Travel

Join Tim Haggis to talk about travel both within and outside of Australia. We’ll be sharing the best places to go, where to stay, and what to do!

Trivia

Saturday 4th February 8:00pm AEDT

This week’s trivia will be hosted by popular host Tony Grant, bringing his own brand of general knowledge trivia to the evening with a series of tricky questions guaranteed to test us all.

To Join BCA Conversations or Trivia

Peer Connect Groups

The Peer Connect groups meeting in the next week are listed below. For information on all the peer groups happening, take a look at the page on our website.

Music Group – Wednesday 1st February 7:30pm AEDT

BCA Inform

Member Engagement

Tuesday, 7th February 2023 at 7:15pm

Our first BCA Inform of 2023 will focus on how we engage with our members.

Member engagement is one of our biggest priorities here at BCA. The input and collaboration that we receive from members contributes to the work of BCA both in terms of the content we produce and the services, programs, and events we provide.

This session will discuss the various ways BCA members can get involved, while providing members with the opportunity to give feedback on BCA events and communications.

You can register for the event here.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please feel free to contact us on events@bca.org.au or call 1800 033 660

BCA Updates

Peer Connect Groups – Survey

BCA currently offers a number of Peer Connect Groups that bring together and support the wellbeing of members through opportunities for peer support and social connection. Each group connects like-minded people, catering to different interests, from gardening and music to assistive technology and parenting. These groups meet regularly and welcome people from all ages and walks of life. BCA has recently received a funding grant to review our current Peer Connect Groups with an aim to expand and create new groups, in order to provide meaningful and lasting connections and self-advocacy skills for members.

We would love your feedback on our current groups, and new ideas you may have for social groups, activities, or events that you would like to see offered by BCA. You can complete the survey online here, or contact BCA at 1300 033 660 to complete the survey over the phone with a member of staff.

The survey will remain open until Sunday, 12th February 2023, so don’t miss out on your chance to have a say regarding the future of BCA’s Peer Connect Groups!

Opportunity – Community Broadcasting and Audio Training

Are you an avid audio listener wanting to know how to make audio and get into broadcasting or podcasting?

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) is excited to announce a new project funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation to support people who are blind or vision impaired interested in gaining valuable training and experience in the world of audio presentation and production.

The world needs more of our voices creating audio that empowers, connects and informs. There’s never been a better time to step up and make your mark in community radio.

Submit an expression of interest now to take part in this exciting project, which will run from February to June 2023. Places are limited, so get in quick by emailing your interest to bca@bca.org.au or contact Christina on 1800 033 660 for more information. Expressions of interest close midnight, Sunday 12th February 2023.

BCA Convention 2023

BCA is currently exploring the option of holding a convention in 2023. We are seeking your input, and have a provided a short, 3-question survey with some background information about the convention below.

You can complete the survey online using this link.

Please note the survey will be open until 3rd February, you can also call BCA on 1800 033 660 to submit your responses.

New Horizons

This week we conclude our discussion with Joel Snyder about Audio Description in the USA and internationally. We discuss some of the advocacy strategies likely to prove most successful for Australian consumer groups and individuals. As well, a call for upcoming stories. Next week we’ll be discussing discrimination against Blind people, this time, not in the context of Guide Dog refusals, but against individuals just going about their daily business. We want to hear your discrimination story in brief, either as a recording or written down. We want to know what happened and what you did about it.  Please send your recording or E-mail to new.horizons@bca.org.au or leave a message on the BCA feedback mailbox. Your story may be featured on the programme.

Note: Brisbane Reading Radio 1296AM will air the Melbourne Vision Australia Radio program for the period between 1st February 1:00pm until 20th February 6:00am.  Therefore, New Horizons in Brisbane will play at the following times: Wednesdays 4:30pm, and repeated on Sundays at 8:15am.

Take a listen to the New Horizon’s podcast or find how to tune in live.

Do you have any ideas for stories, or feedback about the show? Contact us on new.horizons@bca.org.au.

News From Outside BCA

National

Valentine’s Day Call Out

In the lead up to Valentine’s day, Guide Dogs would love to hear from those of you with stories about dating and finding love as a person who is blind or vision impaired. How did you find love? How accessible are dating apps? What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them? How does being blind or vision impaired impact your search for love? Does your partner get jealous of your Guide Dog?

Guide Dogs wants to hear your heart warming, romantic, funny, and amazing tales of love and share them with their community. If you would like to share your story, you can submit it by emailing community@guidedogs.asn.au.

Research Opportunity – Appearance and Body Image

A psychology research student at Trinity College Dublin is currently conducting psychological research on the importance of appearance, body satisfaction, and the development of body image for people who are blind or vision impaired.

The study will consist of a short 30-minute online interview. If you are interested in participating, you can register here or email Maya Sakharov on sakharom@tcd.ie for more information.

Survey – Share Your Experience Using Productivity Publications

Are you blind or vision impaired and interested in sharing your experience working with productivity applications (e.g word processors, spreadsheets, presentations etc)?

A group of researchers from the Inclusive Technologies Group at Monash University are conducting research towards enhancing the accessibility of these productivity applications for people who are blind or vision impaired.

If you are interested in sharing your experiences, you are invited to respond to this online survey. The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete, after which you will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win one of ten $50 gift cards.

If you have any questions or require assistance, please email Minoli Perera at minoli.perera@monash.edu.

Victoria

Pride Street Party – Travelling Touch Tour

Victoria’s Pride Street Party will be hosting a Travelling Touch Tour of Melbourne’s iconic Gertrude and Smith Street precinct especially curated for people who are blind or vision impaired.

This inaugural guided walking tour, co-hosted by much loved personality Dolly Diamond, is jam-packed with music, performances, food, art, stalls and stories that celebrate the locale’s diverse LGBTIQ+ communities, featuring multi-award-winning musician Casey Donovan and so much more! You can find more information about the event here.

This event is free but bookings are essential and guides are available upon request. To book your place in the tour, and/or to request a guide, please contact Nilgun Guven on nilgun@vitaeveritas.com.au or by calling 0400 901 848.

100 Years of Blind Cricket Celebration

The Victorian Blind Cricket Association, together with Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria (BSRV) would like to invite you their centenary celebration of blind cricket in Victoria.

The celebration will include drinks and canapes followed by a three course dinner, and will feature BSRV Patron and Comedian, Charlie Pickering as the host for the night.

When: Friday, 24th March 2023 at 7:00pm AEDT.

Where: Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, 489 Glenferrie Road, Kooyong. Vic 3144

Cost: $65 per person (includes dinner). You can book your ticket here. Bookings will close on 6th March.

If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact the BSRV office on 03 9822 8876.

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.