2018 Adelaide Branch Report

By David Squirrell
Branch President, Secretary & Treasurer

Below is a summary of the advocacy and activities the Adelaide Branch has been involved in throughout 2018.

Committee: Peter Emery, Marion Rogers, Lina Bonetti, Annette Holden

Guide Dogs

Submission to Guide Dog Handlers Australia, and SA Cat & Dog Board and Minister David Speirs after a number of Guide Dog attacks or unwanted behaviours from other’s dogs not on a leash or not under control. No response received from GDHA, SA Cat & Dog Board accepted the arguments, but State Government accepted (1), (2) and (3) of below:

1. Compulsory Microchipping
2. Compulsory de-sexing of all dogs unless registered for a strict breeding stock
3. Specified risk associated dogs not permitted to be owned or bred
4. All dogs have to pass ‘puppy’ & next level training to substantiate the dog can be controlled & the owner understands basic aspects of pet ownership including the role of assistance dogs
5. Extender leads are only to be used where other pedestrians or dogs are not in proximity
6. Guide dogs are to be given the same protection under law as Police animals
7. Where a hearing, vision, autism etc guide dog is injured and the owner can be identified then the owner is liable for veterinary costs, purchase of replacement dog and care associated needs
8. Significant fines to deter people allowing their dogs off leashes in places not clearly permitted by adequate signage
9. Compulsory reporting by councils & vets to a central database

Election 2018

Several meetings with ECSA to review and make recommendations.
Council Elections – ECSA made several recommendations as to accessibility and privacy but feedback indicates minimal recommendations were implemented.

Street Furniture

This continues to be a significant challenge for vision impaired and blind persons having to negotiate, as well as cyclists leaning bikes along buildings. The Councils we contacted did little to rectify and some stated the shore lining BCA policy was not reflected in State Government regulation and legislation. The problem escalates in late spring, summer and particularly Christmas season.

Government offices and accessibility

There are still a number of offices that create challenges and barriers due to their use of issuing a ticket and expecting people to view a display screen, hear an instruction for the alpha numeric number then locate a counter and communicate from behind a security transparent panel. This was raised several times when the president served on the Premiers Access and Social inclusion Plan committee and was again brought it to the attention of Dept Community and Social Inclusion (now the Department of Human Services).

My E Health

The President was invited to be part of a community / Government advisory committee and presented a submission in April 2018. Another meeting in November 2018 of stakeholder representatives demonstrated most of the same issues remain and another submission was tabled. The president also serves on the Deaf Blind National Board and assisted in their submission. This had led to James Miller (Manager of Hard to Reach Groups) having one to one discussions with the President as to vulnerable groups and accessibility. Negotiation to promote Enduring Power of Attorney, Advance Care Directives and Organ Donation requests for all Australians via this Commonwealth initiative continues. The President has been asked to have several more one to one discussions due to the submissions and medical career background.

Commonwealth Bank

The inaccessibility of ‘Albert’ EFTPOS touch screens continues and apart from collaborating with the National Office initiative to present Cards to shop owners using such we await a positive outcome.

Bank SA

The President has been meeting with senior management over the past 5 years to resolve some of the challenged in regard to web design and accessibility related issues and has been given a specific manager to liaise with to try to address.

New Royal Adelaide Hospital

The President was invited to be a pre opening visitor to receive a guided tour. Issues were raised as to accessing from the Railway Station and Tram service, Road crossings, accessing the front door, the touch screen navigational machine what relies on touch function and issues a paper instruction, and the low number of disability parking spaces continue to be negotiated.

Financial institutions

Several members complained as to the move to web based portals to access superannuation, investments and superannuation and were not easy to navigate and often not WCAG 2.0 AA rating compliant (Federal Government accepts as the standard). This led to bring to the financial companies attention the nature of vision impairment challenges and the mounting aged population who may be challenged by web based access and vision / hearing impairment.

Can Do – web design

Can Do cares for hearing impairment in SA and as a number of their clients are also vision impaired the President was asked to critique their new web design and accessibility.

Deaf-Blind Australia

Although this is not a BCA organisation the President was voted onto the national Board and this allows a discussion interface as to challenges faced by both groups. It is noted that as most BCA membership is over 65 there is a large overlap with those who also have hearing impairment. Rikki Chaplin, BCA Advocacy Officer, is also on this Board. DBA has recently moved into Ross House in Melbourne and is planning to create closer working relationships with BCA National as was raised at the Strategic Planning Conference held in Melbourne this year.

Department of Transport

Over the past 5 years there has been many submissions to the immediate past Minister (Stephen Mullighan) and current Minister (Stephen Knoll) as to outstanding challenges and areas on non DDA compliance.  After a number of attempts to communicate with the newly appointed government minister were not responded to the President was able to confer with the acting CEO’s personal assistant and gained a reply which was shared with Tony Starkey from RSB who holds the role of RSB Government Liaison manager. A copy of the documents can be requested amd supplied.

Audio Description

This has been increasingly requested by BCA National Office and we have attempted to act in accordance to their request to lobby various Government officials.

Adelaide Airport

In 2013 Mr Ross Sands (architect and access accredited assessor) and the President wrote a lengthy submission to the aviation industry and a copy was given to Adelaide Airport, salient Ministers and Virgin Airline. This year Mr Ross lobbied the Federal Minister and received correspondence from the Federal Minister that ALL airport facilities MUST be DDA compliant. This led to a meeting with the Adelaide Airport management who then engaged an independent access assessor and remains a work in progress. We also brought to the airport management attention that the assistant dog toileting area was obstructed by the scaffolding related to the new hotel complex adjacent to the airport building and gained a temporary one relocated to a more central location. There is still consideration as to such a facility the other side of security.

Virgin airlines

Due to a number of issues over the past three years where members have faced intermittent poor customer service, and almost missing flights due to poor acoustics and displays that are not accessible the President had been in dialogue with the customer service manager, Mr Matthew Dixon, who flew over to have dialogue and look for strategic ways these issues could be managed and overcome. He left that role and after the national president had a similar crisis the national office has now taken over this advocacy with Virgin senior management. One of the wins we created in 2015 was the ‘booking in process’ when accompanied by a guide dog and a one stop shop phone number process 1300 139 303 or 07 3295 3941. Qantas has not undertaken a similar process to date.

NDIS and MAC

Many members have voiced concerns as to the assessment and implementation, as well as the portal if one is self-managed. In June 2018 the President was invited to be a delegate at a NDIS advocacy group forum in Sydney on behalf of DeafBlind Australia. For reasons unknown BCA was not able to send a delegate so feedback from the meeting was supplied to national office. The President wrote a submission based on members feedback (listed as Number 64 on the relevant senate enquiry web site). The forum organisers requested feedback from my medical background as to specific areas where improvements could be generated.

Forums

Several forums have been held this year with attendance of between 15-20 persons. We have moved towards closer working relations with the Deaf-Blind community due to having many issues in common and we thank RSB for allowing us to use their facilities free of charge. The President was asked to chair a forum which explored real life situations and coping strategies from three panel members with a lived life of vision and hearing loss.

SA Disability Inclusion Bill

Feedback was given which may influence the wording and implementation of councils access and social inclusion plans.

Marion Council

The President has been discussing a unique concept which has now been given the go ahead. Commencing in the 5158 postcode region (Hallett Cove, Trott Park and Sheidow Park) the president, his care giver and guide dog Viking will walk every street over a 3-6 month time period to document environmental risks using a reporting proforma and with photographic evidence so as to build up a database and then use such for budget costing to implement resolution and create a disability user friendly environment. If this project is successful it is hoped to be rolled out to other areas and create a model for other councils to consider. In 2013 the President wrote a lengthy submission paper as to the environmental risks persons with a disability have to face and this was distributed to all State Ministers, Mayors and the Local Government association. Despite the very positive feedback little has changed.

Adelaide city Council

Since 2013 the President has attended many meetings and forums, met managers, and written submissions as to the challenges faced by people with a disability in negotiating the city region. The requests have all been accepted but little has eventuated. This led to a specific mini forum with Manager Sarah Cleggert where the access and social inclusion plan and the latest submission written by the President were discussed. To date no further action plan for resolving these issues has been received. The meeting as attended by the President, Annette Holden, Margie Francis, Alisha Hill, and Tony Starkey with apologies from Michael Taggert.

RSB and BCA Adelaide Branch

The 2018 appointed CEO of RSB, Robert Dempsey, senior executive Jodie Martin-Rankin, Peter Emery and the President have been meeting every three months to discuss what the Adelaide Branch has been undertaking and the sharing of information generally. This is a very positive collaboration. We had also approached GDSA as to being involved. The National Office also has been developing a memorandum of understanding with various service providers in SA (RSB & GDSA). At the December 2018 meeting we learnt of an exciting new development. Due to the cost of maintenance & the design of current premises they are looking at selling Knapman House and the Angas St properties so as to invest if a bigger and better location in Adelaide to better serve their clients.

Tool Kit

The BCA Adelaide Branch has a series of tool Kits specific for assisting with information and advocacy and are in need of updating. We are progressing through these to update or add to where needed.

Marion Council Trolley initiative

Mayor Kris Hanna embarked on a campaign to resolve the environmental & functional issues relating to the use of shopping trollies and where they are left or discarded.  The President attended & added that it is a very worthwhile initiative but there are so many other environmental risks that also need attention.

SA Ambulance Service

Due to the record of positive advocacy undertaken, medical and ambulance background the President was interviewed and appointed to the SA Ambulance Consumer advisory Committee and also their Clinical governance committee which permits enabling discussion when warrened as to vulnerable groups and those with specific disabilities.

Adult Same Day Elective and Outpatient Ophthalmological Model of Care

The President was invited to be part of the State Governments approach to seeking best practice and evidence-based models so as to deliver a better model for effective and efficient delivery of eye care to those within the public hospital system.

COTA

BCA President has been sharing and communicating with the CEO Jane Massured frequently on a number of issues which both organizations may share in common.

Taxi discrimination

The President experienced a case which led to an official complaint, government department investigation and feedback as to a carry being denied on the basis of a guide dog. The matter has been dealt with internally and the driver disciplined accordingly.

Hospital disability assistance

The President experienced the inability to navigate leaving the ED section of a major hospital due to glass door panel walls and no obvious button located to open sliding doors, then being in a busy waiting area with no guides or prompts as to accessibility out of the area to navigate to a taxi ramp. Staff available did not offer any assistance until a verbal request was made via a raised polite voice and then the response was not courteous and the experience of being a person with a disability treated sub-optimally. The Health SA evaluated and processes are being looked into as to navigation systems and staff education as to how to maximally offer and actually assist people who need such assistance.

Personal advocacy

We have been able to assist a number of persons requesting information or actual assistance in advocacy. One that has failed to date is a legally blind prime carer who is managing her high-risk spouse with dementia and only being offered 2 hours a week package assistance. This is a work in progress.

Palliative Care

The Federal government has asked AHA Consulting to undertake a study as to palliative care services for vulnerable populations. The President was contacted due to a past involvement in palliative care within the hospital and community setting and also due to connections with the vision and hearing-impaired communities. Two consultants flew over from Melbourne for a one hour discussion for which a submission was also presented. The same day (7th Dec 2018) the SA Health tabled its Palliative care Plan Model for discussion where some aspects of vulnerable populations were also documented.

Digital Citizen Services re online accessibility policy

The State Government contacted the President to discuss some of the issues facing vision and hearing impaired persons and the policy they are working towards. We’re currently working on the toolkit for agencies to support the policy, focusing on requirements for ‘procurement staff, UX designers, editors, project managers, graphic designers and front-end developers’. This will be accompanied by ‘how to’ guidelines and videos for reference. The team here will also provide ongoing support and education. They wish to gain insight into the medical & functional aspects that need to be taken into consideration and will also be looking at further community consultation.

Other

The President was nominated for a second year for the Joy Nobel Volunteer State Award and was sponsored by a State Minister, and several senior government officials for services to the vision impaired community.

Over the past year Lina Bonetti has phoned as many members as she can locate from our database to inform them of what we are undertaking and listening to any areas they would like us to focus upon.

During the year the President has but out over 80 newsletters or information emails to members on the email database. These are distributed to members within SA, and insightsa members as well as other community and service providers who request to be included.

The Oct-Nov AGM was postponed by request of National office to enable the potential combining with a forum in March of 2019. I would like to sincerely thank our committee for their work and support. We note Joanne Chua has been appointed to the National Board after the recent November National AGM, and wish her well. We would like to extend to her the same invitation as we did to the outgoing SA National Board member, Chelsea Bartlett, that we are always happy to have her join our committee meetings to discuss aspects of mutual interest. We also thank Chelsea for her time on the National Board & wish her well for her next career journey.
We have had a few Letters to the Editor published.

The President still is invited to present his lived story and lessons as to environmental risks to the students as the Flinders University Optometry School each January.

Train experience and Guide dog users

A member with their guide dog was denied disability seat access by another passenger and located a seat adjacent to a wheelchair reserved space whereupon a cyclist placed their bicycle over the guide dog forcing the owner to move their guide dog for safety. 15 minutes of verbal abuse from the cyclist followed and their bicycle fell over twice. Reporting the incident & staff reviewing the CCTV led to the following email from DPTI.

“On the occasion you have identified, the issue relates to the behaviour of a passenger, and a direct approach from DPTI in response to the passenger is unfortunately not available.
I would like to advise that the priority seating made available on public transport vehicles relies on the courteous nature of the travelling public who don’t fit the criteria stipulated on signage and the Adelaide Metro website. Requesting people to move from these seats when they don’t appear to have an apparent disability is not mandated. It is important to highlight that not all people with a disability have an easily identifiable disability and therefore discretion should be used.”

2018 Annual General Meeting

Blind Citizens Australia will hold its 43rd Annual General Meeting in Melbourne, at the John Pierce Centre, 25-35 High Street, Prahran, on Saturday, 1 December 2018 at 11:00am. Those members unable to attend in person will be able to listen in to the proceedings via a live stream. The AGM will be followed by lunch and a discussion forum in the afternoon for those who can attend in person.

More details…

Accepted Forms of ID

Australia does not have an identity card. Instead, various documents may be used or required to prove a person’s identity.

There is no consistent standard for verifying identity. For most purposes, an Australian driver’s licence or Australian photo card will suffice; however, for more sophisticated transactions (e.g. applying for a passport or opening a bank account), each institution tends to have its own rules.

On this page:

Key Pass

The Australia Post Key Pass identity card is an identification card showing your photo, name, address, date of birth and signature. The card is accepted as proof of age for entry into venues throughout Australia which display a sign saying they accept the card as proof of identity. To apply for the card, visit your local Australia Post or download the application form online at:

Website: http://auspost.com.au/travel-id/keypass-identity-card.html

ID Requirements

For a new Key Pass, you will need to have the following combination of documents:

  • 1 X Category A and
  • 1 X Category B and
  • 1 X Category C or Category B

You must have 1 Photo ID (mandatory), and if your current resident address is not shown, choose 1 X Category D. If 1 or more identity documents do not match the application name, choose 1 X Category E

You will need to take the original identity documents to your Australia Post Office along with your application.

Note:

  • All documents must be current unless specified otherwise. If a document is not in English, please provide a translation, this must be completed by a NAATI accredited translator
  • In most cases, you cannot choose the same document for separate categories. Exceptions are:
    • Ability to choose Immicard in Category A and Immicard in Category B
    • Ability to choose Australian Visa/International Passport (Foreign) in Category A and International Passport (Foreign) in Category B.

Category A:

  • Australian Birth Certificate (not an extract)
  • Citizenship Certificate
  • International Passport (if not in English, with a translation by a NAATI accredited translator)
  • Australian Visa
  • Australian Passport (up to two years expired)
  • Immigration Card

Category B:

  • Firearms License
  • Australian Learners Permit
  • Australian Driver’s Licence
  • Australian Passport
  • Consular Photo Identity Card (issued by Department of Foreign Affairs)
  • Working with Children Check Card
  • International Passport (Foreign)
  • Police Force Officer Photo Identity Card
  • Australian Defence Force Photo Identity Card
  • Aviation Security Identification Card
  • Maritime Security Identification Card
  • Student Identification Card
  • Proof of Age Card (Government issued)
  • High Risk Work Licence (issued by Australian State/Territory WorkSafe or SafeWork)

Category C:

  • Australian Birth Certificate (not an extract)
  • Medicare Card
  • Student Identification Card with a Photo (issued by an Australian University, Australian TAFE or Secondary School)
  • Australian Electoral Role Card
  • Identity Document Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
  • Identity Certificate Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
  • United Nations Travel Document Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
  • Foreign Birth Certificate
  • Foreign Driver’s License
  • Government Benefit – Department of Veteran Affairs Card
  • Certified Australian University Academic Transcript
  • Debit / Credit or Savings Card
  • Tax Assessment Statement Notice

All documents must be originals.

Category D:

  • Choose one option if your current address is not shown on any of your identity documents:
    • Utility Notice (no older than 3 months)
    • Telecommunications Bill (no older than 12 months)
    • Bank Statement (no older than 6 months)
    • Australian Learner’s Permit

Category E:

  • Choose one option if your application name differs from the name on your identity documents:
    • Marriage Certificate (Australian and Change of Name Certificate

Duration: 5 years
Cost: Adult $39.95, Concession $29.95 (eligible government concession cards must be cited), NT Resident $25.00

Australian Capital Territory

ID: Proof of Age Card

To obtain a Proof of Age card the applicant must be 18 years of age or older on the day of application. The application must be made in person at any Canberra Connect Shopfront or the Civic Driver Licence Service and provide original copies of both proof of identity and residency and proof of age.

Phone: 13 22 81
Email: rus@act.gov.au
Website: http://www.rego.act.gov.au/aboutus/infoproofofage.htm

ID Requirements

Primary proof of identity:

  • A photographic driver’s licence issued in Australia (current or expired up to two years)
  • An Australian birth certificate (not a Commonwealth certificate and not an extract). If the certificate is not in the same name currently used, appropriate linking documentation such as a marriage certificate is required
  • Australia passport (current or expired up to two years)
  • Overseas passport (current or expired up to two years)
  • Australian citizenship certificate or naturalisation certificate
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection travel document (valid up to five years after issue)
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection evidence of immigration status (EIS)
  • ImmiCard (valid to date of expiry)
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection permanent resident evidence (PRE)
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection Australian migration status (AMS)
  • Police Officer photographic identity card (from the ACT only)
  • Australian proof of age card or proof of identity card including NSW photo card (with appropriate security features, showing date of issue by an Authority and is current or expired up to 2 years)

Secondary proof of identity:

  • Current Medicare card
  • Current credit card or account card (with signature and embossed name from a bank, building society or credit union)
  • Current student identity document (with photo and/or signature issued by and educational institution)
  • Current Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs concession card
  • Australian issued security guard or crowd controller licence (with photo)
  • Australian issued firearm licence (with photo)
  • Current consular photograph identity card issued by Department of Foreign Affairs and trade
  • Current State, Territory or Commonwealth Government employee photo identity card
  • Australian Defence Force photo identity card (excluding civilians)
  • ACT Services Access card issued by the ACT Government (for asylum seekers)
  • Current working with vulnerable people card

Duration: Does not expire.

New South Wales

ID: The NSW Photo ID Card

Issued by Service NSW is a voluntary card for people who do not hold a current NSW driver’s licence. It may be used to help access a number of everyday services such as sending or receiving international mail, opening bank accounts and entering licensed premises. While there is usually an administration fee associated with this card, cards are issued to eligible pensioners free of charge. To find out more about the NSW Photo Card or to obtain an application, visit your nearest Service NSW centre.

Website: http://www.service.nsw.gov.au

ID Requirements

Visit RMS at http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/licence/poi.html

Duration: 5 or 10 years

Northern Territory

ID: NT Evidence of Age Card

This card is evidence of your age and is available to any Northern Territory resident aged 18 and over. If you change your name or want a new photo you will need to apply for a new card. When changing your name or photo, you must surrender your old card to the motor vehicle registry (MVR) or a police station, and you must provide evidence of name change documents. If you are a concession card holder, you are eligible for a free evidence of age card every five years.

Duration: 5 years

Application for evidence of age card (191.6 kb)

Queensland

ID: The Adult Proof of Age Card

Provides proof of age for Queenslanders aged 18 years or older. This is an ideal form of photo identification for people who don’t hold a driver’s licence or passport.

To apply for the card you must:

  • Be at least 17 years and 11 months of age
  • Complete the adult proof of age card application (F4772)
  • Provide evidence of identity

You will need to present 3 original evidence of identity documents:

  • 1 Category A document + 2 Category B documents, or
  • 2 Category A documents + 1 Category B document

Duration: 10 years
Cost: $66.65

South Australia

ID: Proof of Age Card

The Proof of Age card is often used by people with vision impairments as an alternative form of identification to a driver’s license. This can also be used for legal and financial documents. It is used to verify that the person seeking to enter a licensed premises or purchase liquor is over 18 years of age. This card is recognised throughout Australia. To apply for the Proof of Age card:

Phone: 13 10 84
Website: http://www.sa.gov.au/

You will need to provide at least three documents that verify your identity, age, signature and residential address. If you have a photographic learner’s permit or licence you may not need to supply full evidence of identity. A payment is required with the application.

Duration: Does not expire
Cost: $22

Tasmania

ID: Tasmanian Government Personal Information Card

This card is a form of identification that can be used by people of all ages to provide evidence of their identity and age. To apply for a Personal Information Card:

  • Complete the Tasmanian Government Personal Information Card application form
  • Present your application form together with your original evidence of identity documents in person at a Service Tasmania Shop
  • Complete and sign the declaration on page 2 of the application form, in the presence of a Service Tasmania Customer Service Officer (or parent / guardian to sign if the applicant is under 18 years of age)
  • Have your photo taken and pay the application fee

The Personal Information Card application form provides additional information, including the acceptable types identification required to submit your application. Once your application and payment have been lodged at a Service Tasmania shop, you can expect to receive your Personal Information Card within ten business days.

Access the Tasmanian Government Personal Information Card application form

Duration: 5 years
Cost: $28

Victoria

ID: Proof of Age Card

The Victorian Proof of Age card is used to verify that the person seeking to enter the licensed premises or purchase liquor is over 18 years of age. This card is recognised throughout Australia. Any person who has reached the age of 17 years and 11 months can apply, however you must wait until you are 18 to use it.

The form can be collected from any VicRoads office or by contacting Victoria Liquor and Gaming on 1300 182 457 and request an application form be mailed to you. Take the completed form and your original proof of identity documents (one from Category A and one from Category B) to someone who has known you for a minimum of 12 months and who is listed on the electoral roll. This person must complete and sign the ‘Referee’s declaration’.

Please note that original documents are required for sighting, photocopies are unacceptable. If you have changed your name (either through marriage or otherwise) you must also provide documents as evidence of this change.

Category A documents:

  • Full Australian birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Naturalisation certificate
  • Immigration papers
  • Citizen papers

Category B documents:

  • Driver’s licence or learner permit
  • Security card
  • Credit card or bank passbook
  • Medicare card
  • Shooters licence
  • Student identification card

Duration: Does not expire
Cost: $10

Western Australia

ID: WA Photo Card

A photo card provides anyone aged 16 years or over with a recognised form of personal identity, primarily for use in accessing licensed premises in Western Australia. Find out how to obtain a photo card, or order a replacement. The photo card is a voluntary card to assist people who do not hold a driver’s licence or passport in conveniently proving their identity. It is available to people 16 years and older who normally reside in WA. Cardholders have the option of including their address on the card and can choose to have two cards, one showing their address and one without it.

Photo cards have the same level of security as a driver’s licence and display the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Signature
  • Address (optional)

A combination of 5 original identity documents must be presented to verify your full name, date of birth and residential address. Further information can be obtained at:

https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/licensing/LBU_FS_YourSecureID.pdf

Duration: 5 years
Cost: Pensioner $21.60

Acceptable forms of ID in Australia

Primary Identification Documents

The highest category of identity documents that often act as primary validation of identity include:

  • Australian passport
  • Australian citizenship certificate
  • Overseas passport
  • Australian birth certificate
  • Australia driver’s licence
  • Overseas driver’s licence
  • Australian Document of Identity
  • Australian Certificate of Identity
  • Australian Convention Travel Document
  • Medicare card
  • Australian state and territory issued identity photo cards
  • Australia Post Key Pass identity card

Secondary Identification Documents

Other documents generally used to enhance an identity check along with primary documents, or used for specific purposes include:

  • Concession card
  • Australian Seniors Card
  • Australian Marriage Certificate (for change of name)
  • Australian Change of Name Certificate (for change of name)
  • Utility bill – a telephone, water, electricity or gas bill
  • Rates notice – a notice of rates issued by an Australian municipal council
  • An Australian education institution identification card
  • A letter of enrolment from an Australian school or education institution
  • An Australian bank issued plastic debit or credit card
  • An Australian bank statement
  • Motor vehicle registration papers issued in Australia

Call to action: Lets shake things up with the Royal Commission

 

Inaccessible EFTPOS machines and ATMs continue to be rolled out across Australia, compromising the dignity, independence and privacy of many people who are blind or vision impaired. You may be aware that a Royal Commission is currently underway to inquire into instances of misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry. This provides us with a unique opportunity to draw attention to this very important issue.

We are asking people to consider lodging a short submission with the Royal Commission every time they encounter an inaccessible EFTPOS machine or ATM that impacts on their ability to access financial services. The squeakiest wheel gets the most attention and by following this call to action, you will be helping to demonstrate how many people are being negatively impacted by the roll out of inaccessible touchscreen devices.

The terms of reference for the Royal Commission state:

“All Australians have the right to be treated honestly and fairly in their dealings with banking, superannuation and financial service providers. The highest standards of conduct are critical to the good governance and corporate culture of those providers.

And these standards should continue to be complemented by strong regulatory and supervisory frameworks that ensure that all Australian consumers, including business, have confidence and trust in the financial system.”

Clauses B and F of the terms of reference hold the most relevance to the issues that are faced by people who are blind or vision impaired. These clauses require the Commission to investigate:

“B) whether any conduct, practices, behaviour or business activities by financial services entities fall below community standards and expectations.

F) the adequacy of forms of industry self-regulation, including industry codes of conduct; to identify, regulate and address misconduct in the relevant industry, to meet community standards and expectations and to provide appropriate redress to consumers”

The Commission’s preference for receiving submissions is via an online submissions form, but there are also other options available. The online form will ask you to:

  • Describe the misconduct of the relevant financial services entity
  • When this conduct occurred
  • Your views on what contributed to this misconduct, and
  • Any steps you have taken to complain about the conduct and the outcome of your complaint.

The form also enables you to provide the Royal Commission with other comments, including your views on what changes you would like them to recommend.

You can complete the online submission form here.

If you need assistance to complete the form or require the form in another format, you can contact the Commission by phone on 1800 909 826, or by email at FSRCenquiries@royalcommission.gov.au

Thanks for reading, and please consider taking up this call to action to support the work we are doing at a national level. If we don’t speak out about this issue, no one else will.

 

 

Help us promote access and inclusion in your local community with our new EFTPOS accessibility postcards

Touchscreen technology has now entered the retail industry and is compromising the privacy, dignity and independence of people who are blind or vision impaired Australia-wide. BCA is working hard to address this issue at a national level, but we urgently need your help!

Perhaps you’ve already encountered an inaccessible touchscreen EFTPOS terminal when trying to pay for a product in a shop or settle the bill at a restaurant. If not though, you’re bound to come across one in your travels sometime soon. These devices do not have a physical keypad with buttons, and their touchscreen-only interface makes it difficult or impossible for many people who are blind or vision impaired to enter their PIN independently. This often results in a breach of privacy as people are left with no alternative but to divulge their PIN to another person in order to complete their transaction.

We need to make businesses more aware of the impact inaccessible touchscreen devices can have on customers who are blind or vision impaired, but it can be difficult for even the most experienced advocate to get the message across in some of the crowded and noisy environments where these devices are found. This is where our new advocacy tool comes in!

We’ve designed a postcard to enable any person who is blind or vision impaired who comes across an inaccessible touchscreen terminal to quickly and easily advocate for change. The front of the postcard includes the BCA logo and contact details, as well as the tag line:

“Use touch screen EFTPOS devices, lose touch with your customers”

The back of the postcard includes the following text:

“I want to pay you, but I can’t use your EFTPOS terminal because it does not have physical buttons. The touch screen design means that people who are blind or vision impaired like me cannot enter their PIN independently. I don’t want to share my PIN with you or anyone else – nor should I have to. Please give this card to your manager. Ask them to tell your bank to stop rolling out EFTPOS machines which can only be operated using touch screens and to give you a device with a keypad with buttons instead. This is the only legal and accessible way for a person who is blind or vision impaired to pay.”

Each postcard has a hole cut out of one corner to assist with orientation. When you are holding the postcard with the front facing towards you, the hole will be in the top left hand corner. If you are holding it with the back facing towards you, it will be in the right hand corner.

These postcards are available to you at no cost, all you have to do is contact us and ask for some to be sent to your nominated address. To assist with our work on this issue, we’d also really appreciate you getting in touch to let us know when and where you’ve used a postcard. You can contact us using the following details:

Phone 1800 033 660

SMS 0488 824 623

Email bca@bca.org.au