Farewell to SoundAbout

By John Simpson


Listen to the audio

Since 1992, BCA has produced SoundAbout, an audio magazine containing interviews and information of interest to our members. For nearly thirty years, SoundAbout has provided local, state-specific and nationally significant information which has informed, entertained and challenged its listeners.

At this point in our organisation’s development though, we acknowledge that use of technology among people who are blind or vision impaired has become more widespread, and avenues for receiving information are increasing. So at its face-to-face meeting held in July, the board made the difficult but necessary decision to discontinue SoundAbout in its current form while we consider next steps.

Steve Richardson, who has been involved in the production and coordination of SoundAbout since the mid 90’s offers this reflection:

“SoundAbout was introduced in the 1990s as a way to share state-based information with members. Rather than being presented from the perspective of the national office, these audio newsletters were a presentation of various branches of BCA. The world wide web was only in its infancy, and communication over long distance was still sometimes unreliable and expensive. So members often relied on the very important information provided by local branches about their upcoming activities, advocacy, or state government changes that might affect blind and vision impaired people.

It was felt that a radio-style format magazine, featuring interviews with key people around the organization would be a more informal and friendly way to disseminate information to members. It was also a great training ground for those interested in developing interview and presentation skills, and learning the fine art of editing and producing a recorded program.

Members originally received their quarterly SoundAbout on cassette, and I remember one of the important announcements I had to make as the presenter of SoundAbout Queensland, was to remind listeners to make sure their cassette was fully rewound when finished with, and to turn over the address label before sending back. We actually had to produce two parts in those days, a “Side A” and a “Side B”, and these had to be well organised and precisely timed to around 43 minutes.”

On behalf of members, board and staff, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated team of members who have researched information, sourced and conducted interviews and edited the production to ensure that SoundAbout has been produced professionally and on time for nearly 30 years. In particular, I want to pay tribute to the creator of the SoundAbout concept, Stephen Jolley, and to acknowledge the contribution of Dale Simpson, who produced the magazine over many years. The production of an audio magazine is a time-consuming process, and requires a significant and ongoing commitment. We thank all those who have given up their time and energy to consistently provide us with relevant and helpful information.

We will now take the time to reflect on what our current communications channels offer, and where the gaps are, so we can ensure that the current information needs of people who are blind or vision impaired continue to be met. In the mean-time, a reminder that we continue to produce our weekly radio program and podcast, “New Horizons”, this publication, “Blind Citizens News”, our E-mail list, “BCA-L”, our website, and social media feeds.

We welcome your feedback on what you would like us to consider, whether it be a new communications channel, or content suggestions for our current offerings. So whether or not you are a BCA member, please get in touch and share your thoughts with us.


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May 2015 Edition of SoundAbout

Following are links to the May edition of our audio magazine, Soundabout.

Please choose the Listen link for immediate listening or the Download link to save to a device for later listening.

In this edition:

  • Kerry Hoath speaks with Greg Madson President
  • Steve Richardson speaks with Tony Iezzi about the Onkyo Braille Competition
  • Peter Greco speaks with John Simpson about 40 years of BCA
  • Edited Keynote note Address by Maryanne Diamond at recent Victorian Convention
  • Rikki Chaplin speaks with Edward Santo, CEO of the Public Advocacy Training Centre
  • Marian Jones speaks with Barry Chapman about his experiencing using Ivote
  • Steve Richardson speaks with Adam Morris about the BCA Computer Users Group
  • Steve Richardson speaks with Kerry Hoath, Instructor at Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired
  • Rikki Chaplin speaks with Julie Sutherland about her Master of Arts and Cultural Management Degree
  • Peter Greco speaks with Steven Barnes of Blind Sports Australia
  • Diary dates for WA, NSW/ACT, Qld, and Vic
  • BCA information and Contact Details

SoundAbout, May 2015 – listen to SoundAbout May 2015 Edition


Download SoundAbout May 2015 Edition

February 2015 Edition of SoundAbout

Please find below two links for the February edition of Soundabout. choose Listen for immediate listening or Download to place it onto a device for later listening.

Alternatively go to the BCA website Audio Page and the files can be found under the SoundAbout heading.

The Contents of this edition include:

  • Sue Hastie talks with Greg Madson about the National Office and funding changes
  • Peter Greco talks with Erika Webb about the 2015 National Convention
  • Marian Jones talks with Chelsea Bartlett who is a new board member
  • Rikki Chaplin talks with Lauren Henley the new chair of the National Policy and Development Council
  • Marian Jones talks with Janene Sadhu about the National Women’s Branch.
  • Highlights of the keynote address at the 2014 NSW/ACT state convention
  • Sue Hastie talks with George Booth about this year’s tour to NZ for people who are Blind or Vision Impaired
  • Peter Greco talks to Steven Parma about the World Blind Cricket Championships
  • Rikki Chaplin talks with Helen Freris about the midterm assembly of the World Blind Union
  • Peter Greco talks with Sue Hastie about her experience of the Victorian State Election
  • Diary Dates for NSW/ACT
  • Diary Dates for VIC
  • National Office contact details

SoundAbout, February 2015 Listen or Download

November 2014 Edition of SoundAbout

Please find below links for 2014 November edition of Soundabout.

You can either choose the link Listen To which will allow you to listen straight away or the one to Download which allows you to place the file onto a device.

This edition includes the following:

  • Sue Hastie speaks with Greg Madson, BCA President about the recent BCA AGM
  • Peter Greco speaks with new Board Member Lauren Henley
  • Peter Greco speaks with new Board Member Michael Baker
  • Rikki Chaplin speaks with Grace King, newly appointed WA NPDC representative
  • Marion Jones speaks with Karen Passmore, President of the Women’s Branch on an upcoming project
  • Rikki Chaplin speaks with Emma Bennison about her recent trip to the UK through an Arts Leadership Program
  • Peter Greco speaks with Joy Foster who recently competed in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in Lawn Bowls
  • Rikki Chaplin speaks with Joyce Jones about her attendance at the recent Dog Guide Handlers Conference in Adelaide
  • Sue Hastie speaks with Rikki Chaplin who has recently been appointed as a BCA staff member
  • Sue Hastie speaks with Sharyl Brockett who has recently been appointed as a BCA staff member
  • Marion Jones speaks with Graeme Innes about changes to the Association of Blind Citizens NSW
  • Diary dates for WA, ACT and NSW, and Victoria

Listen to SoundAbout, November 2014


Download SoundAbout, November 2014

Soundabout August 2014

Please find following links to the latest edition of Soundabout, BCA’s audio magazine. The links are worded Listen or Download. Choose the first to listen to the edition immediately or Download to place on a device and listen to at a later time.

This edition includes:

– Sue Hastie speaks with Rosemary Boyd about the upcoming AGM

– Rikki Chaplin speaks with Maryann Diamond about her recent Order of Australia award

– Rikki Chaplin speaks with Graeme Innes about his final days as Disability Commission for Australian Human Rights Commission

– Peter Greco speaks with Lauren Henley about her trip to New York for the United Nations Convention on Human Rights

– Marion Jones speaks with Joyce Jones about the Womens Branch sessions at state forums

– Rikki Chaplin speaks with Lyn Eagers about the Queensland State Forum

– Marion Jones speaks with Stephen Belbin about the NSW/ACT State Convention

– Sue Hastie speaks with Thai Nguyen about the Victorian State Forum

– Peter Greco speaks with Andrew Davis, RSB about their Technology Day

– Dates for State Forums

– Diary dates for WA, Qld, NSW/ACT, and Vic

§ SoundAbout, August 2014 – listen or download