Latest edition of BC News now available

The July edition of Blind Citizens News is out now – view it online today.

In this edition we cover:

  • Inaccessible EFTPOS machines
  • Immigration advocacy
  • The World Blind Union Regional Assembly
  • Mental health and blindness
  • Domestic violence
  • The NDIS and My Aged Care
  • Travel tips
  • …and much more!

Directory of Contact Details

 

National Women’s Branch (including Womentalks)
Contact: Janene Sadhu
Email: nwb@bca.org.au

National Women’s Branch (regarding Domestic Violence)
Contact: Vicki Alipasinopoulos
Email: lola1@optusnet.com.au
Phone: 0432 332 115

National Policy Council
Contact: Fiona Woods
Email: fionapawoods@gmail.com

NDIS / NDIA
To find out when you will be able to access the NDIS, contact the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110.

My Aged Care Contact Centre
Phone: 1800 200 422

Information about co-payments for Home Care Packages
To find out how much you might be required to contribute, contact the Department of Fees and Charges within the Department of Human Services (Centrelink) on 1800 227 475.

 

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New Horizons Radio Broadcast Schedule

 

Adelaide, 5RPH 1197AM and on RPH Adelaide digital
Times: 9.15am Wednesday; Repeated 6.00pm Friday
Also on Iris which is a linked digital radio station
Times: 10.30am Friday; Repeated at 6.30pm, 10.45am Sunday; Repeated at 6.45pm,

Brisbane, 4RPH 1296AM
Times: 1.30pm Thursday; Repeated 8.00pm

Canberra, 1RPH 1125AM

Wagga Wagga 89.5FM
Junee 99.5FM
Times: 9.15am Tuesday;
Repeated 8.00pm and again at 9.30am on Saturday

Coral Coast, 94.7FM
Time: 4.30pm Saturday

Hobart, 7RPH 864AM

Launceston, 106.9FM

Devonport, 96.1FM
Times: 11.30am Thursday; Repeated 9.45pm Wednesday

Melbourne, 3RPH 1179AM and Vision Australia Radio regional stations; RPH Albury, 101.7FM, RPH Bendigo, 88.7FM, RPH Geelong, 99.5FM, RPH Mildura, 107.5FM, RPH Shepparton, 100.1FM, RPH Warragul, 93.5FM, RPH Warrnambool, 94.5FM
Times: 4.30pm Wednesday; Repeated 6.30pm Sunday

Sydney, 2RPH 1224AM

Sydney East 100.5FM

Newcastle/Lower Hunter 100.5FM
Times: 3.00pm Thursday; Repeated Saturday 2.00pm; no Saturday repeat for Newcastle/Lower Hunter

Perth, 6RPH 990AM
Times: 4.30pm Wednesday: Repeated 6.30pm Sunday

 

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How to Submit to Blind Citizens News

 

The Editor welcomes your submissions for Blind Citizens News. The deadline for contributions for the next edition is Friday, 10 August, 2018. Contributions can be submitted in Braille, print, audio CD or electronic format (in Word in Arial 16-point font).

Send emails to bca@bca.org.au and write “Blind Citizens News Submission” in the subject line. For all other format contributions, please send the document to the BCA Office.

Submissions should be between 500 and 1200 words in length. Submissions cannot be made anonymously, and the Editor must be made aware of any conflict of interest which may be relevant to the author’s work.

 

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Your Advocacy is the Unique You

Martin Stewart

 

Editor’s Note

Martin Stewart, with support from BCA, was last year instrumental in inspiring Telstra not only to make significant accessibility fixes to all their AFL and NRL apps, but also to hire two world-class app developers with experience writing accessible software.

It seems that by raising awareness of the issue, Martin has helped the telecommunications giant make a new, more sustainable commitment to accessibility. Here, he offers compelling insight into his perspective on advocacy, and an optimistic vision of a more inclusive future.

***

As I mingle and circulate, I often hear it said, “let’s face it, I can’t change this”. “It doesn’t matter what I do or say”. “My opinions do not count”.

These are understandable feelings of alienation and disempowerment. Such feelings are experienced and expressed more often within minority groups. Although this is easily rationalised because of mainstream attitudinal ignorance and therefore outcomes, I say let’s reject such negatives and replace them with the power of our natural, strong and unique character print.

I can hear you asking, “what does this mean”? Here is my explanation, which is based upon my many years of advocacy experience.

Every human being has a unique DNA makeup. This impacts upon how we individually interact. Therefore, each of us possesses what I describe as a unique character print. I strongly suggest that this very individual personality, that each of us has, is actually naturally required to complete society’s jigsaw puzzle. Without you, your opinions, actions and skills, society itself is the loser.

In days gone by, people would refer to sayings such as “the power of the pen” or “the pen is mightier than the sword”. These descriptive sayings were meant to convey the influence that an individual could wield by the simple act of handwriting. Of course for many of us blind or low vision citizens, our words were then primarily produced by writing in brilliant braille.

Thanks to technology, our expression horizons have truly broadened. Now we can express ourselves in so many varying formats, and on social media. For example, I am currently using voice interactive software to produce what you are now reading. This, in the recent past, was simply not possible. This being said, if you choose to make your unique mark by expressing yourself using older technology, such as a pen or landline phone, this is definitely you speaking your own way.

With technology, such as language translators, I believe the cultural gaps are being bridged, and the world is becoming smaller, therefore the opportunity to influence is becoming larger. The use of words, rather than fists, to influence outcomes is increasingly society’s preferred language.

I optimistically believe that this slow but sure global change is the key to true equality and equal opportunity. When this occurs we will no longer be a minority, instead each one of us will be a valued and unique contributor to humanity.

Despite steps back, I believe that this change is happening. Your advocacy is as good as you and your words. You have been born with traits which we need to be influenced by. I hope that we all can respond accordingly when we next face the inevitable advocacy challenge, with self-worth in mind.

 

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