2016 Round Table Conference – Call for Papers

Call for Abstracts: 2016 Annual Conference
14-17 May 2016
Bayview on the Park,
52 Queens Road, Melbourne, Australia

Conference Theme:
Access and engagement with the marketplace of information, technologies and learning

Information access is important to all persons with print disabilities, and has many dimensions including format (braille, large print, E-text, etc.), facilities (libraries, agencies, educational institutions, government bodies) and modes of access (tablet, laptop, refreshable braille). The 2016 Conference will explore the ever-expanding opportunities presented to people with print disabilities for communication, learning and information access and creation.

Conference Aims

  • To share information about the latest developments in provision of accessible information
  • To provide and promote accessible information for people with print disabilities
  • To enhance dialogue between users and providers of accessible information
  • To promote and enhance collaborative partnerships and peer support networks
  • To showcase and workshop examples of best practice in the provision of accessible information and technology for children and adults with print disabilities
  • To explore policies, frameworks, supports and services provided for children and adults with print disabilities in work places, educational institutions and local communities

Suggested presentation topics

  • Legislation, policies, research and/or service delivery models that promote equitable information access for children and adults with print disabilities
  • Specialist and mainstream technology, including new and emerging technologies
  • Literacy development for children and adults with print disabilities
  • Provision and cataloguing of accessible information
  • Innovative strategies and practices in print accessibility
  • Recent developments in copyright, disability standards and Round Table guidelines
  • Issues relating to print disability in school, work and community contexts
  • Implications of policies, frameworks and activities under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for Australians with print disabilities
  • Workshops demonstrating the creation of accessible documents, websites and/or graphical images

Types of presentations

  • Oral presentation of approximately 30 minutes (20 minute presentation plus 10 minutes for audience questions or discussion)
  • Panel presentation, with 10 minutes allocated to each presenter on the panel. Each panel session will include time for audience questions and discussion
  • Interactive workshop presentation of 60 or 90 minutes duration, providing opportunities for the active engagement of participants
  • Poster presentation that will be exhibited in a dedicated space for informal browsing, with opportunities for presenters to discuss their posters with Conference participants

Conference participants and presenters

The Conference provides a forum for all of those with an involvement or interest in information access for children and adults who cannot readily access standard print. Conference participants and presenters generally include the following:

  • Individuals with print disabilities, including people with vision impairment, learning disability and dyslexia
  • Disability service providers, including national and local government agencies, education and rehabilitation professionals, librarians, and web and technology developers
  • Consumer representative organisations
  • Publishers and accessible format producers

Closing date for Abstract submissions: 4 December 2015

Please complete and return the Round Table Abstract Submission Form to:
Frances Gentle
By Post: RIDBC Renwick Centre, 361-365 North Rocks Road, North Rocks, NSW 2151 Australia
By Email: frances.gentle@ridbc.org.au

For general information about the Conference, please contact:
Marjorie Hawkings, Administration Officer
By Email: admin@printdisability.org

Telephone: (03) 9010 6251 (for overseas calls: +61 3 9010 6251)

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

BCA Summit Snapshot

The BCA Leaders’ Summit, held in Melbourne from Friday evening 26th to Sunday afternoon 28th June 2015 brought together 33 BCA leaders from across Australia, including members of the Board and NPDC; representatives from most of our regional and special interest branches; former leaders of the organisation; and members who have been active in a range of key roles.

Our objective was to consider the ways in which BCA might best serve the needs of its members and others who are blind or vision impaired in the foreseeable future – when we will need to operate with reduced financial resources and in an ever changing community environment.

This objective was addressed through the development of a series of implementable recommendations for consideration by the BCA Board. A summary of these recommendations can be found here: BCA Summit Snapshot (Word doc)


This contest is for people who are blind or vision impaired living in the Asia Pacific region. The Project is sponsored by the Onkyo Corporation Ltd. and The Braille Mainichi Newspaper in Japan, in collaboration with the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific WBUAP.

The Onkyo World Braille Essay Contest is a worldwide initiative planned and sponsored by Onkyo Corporation Ltd. and the Braille Mainichi in Japan, and is implemented by the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific (WBUAP). It is administered locally by the Australian National Onkyo Selection Committee for the World Braille Essay Contest. The Committee comprises representatives from Blind Citizens Australia, the Australian Braille Authority, the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities, and Vision Australia.

The purpose of the contest is to promote Braille literacy and encourage the reading and writing of Braille; and to encourage cultural and social interaction among blind and vision impaired persons through their writings. To that end, the top 5 entries will be made available in the Vision Australia Information Library service (dependent on individual agreement) for members of the community and will be sent to the WBUAP Onkyo Selection Committee for final consideration.

This is an annual project with cash prizes awarded to the best seven entries received from within the WBU Asia Pacific Region. The main prize, “the Otsuki Prize” is $US 1000. Other prizes are for “Excellent Works” ($US 500) and “Fine Works” (either $US 300 or $US 200) depending on the age group. Participation in the contest is open to people from 14 years of age, living in the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific Region. Entries are divided into two age groups: persons between the ages of 14 and 25 years; and persons from the age of 26 years upwards.

Essay topics:

  • Is Braille Still Relevant in the Age of Technology?
  • The Positive Experiences of Living with Blindness: Opportunities That Can Come from Being Blind.
  • The Impact of Music on My Life: Socially &/or professionally.

Closing date is 15 May 2015. Winners will be notified in November 2015.

Essays must be between 700 and 1,000 words and presented in hard copy Braille or in computerized Braille provided you can provide proof of your Braille literacy. This can be in the form of a letter from your Braille instructor, teacher or other professional who can vouch for your skills.

Read about last years winners

When submitting your essay to BCA, you must also provide:
An electronic photo of yourself, a cover letter stating your full name, address, and contact details, your date of birth, your status ie. Student, home maker, worker. If a student state what school you are from including the name, address and email contact for your school.

Please submit entries to BCA at:
Ross House
Level 3, 247-251 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

2015 Round Table Conference Registrations close 20 March 2015

A reminder – registrations for the 2015 Round Table Conference close 20 March 2015

Saturday 2 May – Tuesday 5 May 2015

Stamford Plaza Adelaide
150 North Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000.

Conference Theme
Dynamics of information access – Current and future contexts and designs”.

Keynote presenters will be focusing on accessibility for online materials from both Apple and Android platforms. The Australian Braille Authority (ABA) Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, there is also a special braille music workshop in the general program.

One of the highlights of the 2015 program will be the panel discussions each afternoon. The Round Table conference committee have invited leaders in the field to reflect on questions about free resources, audio description and embedding accessibility in education settings. Each session will provide opportunities for the audience to contribute to the discussion to tease out the topics.

Round Table has now moved to an on-line registration system.  The registration form is available as a link from the “2015 Round Table Conference Registration Details and Form” page on the Round Table web site:

Round Table Conference Registration Details

A number of rooms are currently being held for conference delegates at the venue:
Stamford Plaza Adelaide
Bookings must be made direct with the hotel by Friday 20 March 2015 to access the negotiated conference rates of
$180.00 per room, per night, room only.  Bookings made after this date will not be able to access the negotiated rate. For further details and booking codes please see the conference accommodation information.

Should you require assistance completing the on-line registration form, or have any feedback that may improve the experience for those using the form please do not hesitate to contact me.

Enquiries to:
Tammy Axelsen Administration Officer Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc. PO Box 229 LINDISFARNE   TAS   AUSTRALIA   7015
Ph: 0417 101 418/03 6265 1519
Email: admin@printdisability.org