Introducing the new editor of Blind Citizens News

“As editor, I hope to bring a wider variety of voices and views to BC News, to reflect the incredible diversity of ideas and perspectives which I see in the Australian blind community. I’m here to help you tell your stories.”

Find out more about Jonathan Craig, and about how you can contribute to the next edition of BC News this April.

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

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2018

On Thursday 8 March our CEO Emma Bennison spoke at an International Women’s Day event hosted by Amnesty International. The theme was “Inspiring Women”, and you can read her words here.

 

New Horizons Podcast

New Horizons is Blind Citizens Australia’s weekly radio show. It is an interview style, with topics relevant to people who are blind or vision impaired. It runs for about 15 minutes, in MP3 format. To listen, you can use the audio player below.

From January 2018, New Horizons and other BCA audio files are available from a new podcast feed ! You can subscribe to the Blind Citizens Australia podcast feed by pointing your Pod-Catcher to: http://blindcitizens.podbean.com/feed

To visit the Blind Citizens Australia podbean page, go to: http://blindcitizens.podbean.com

Centrelink’s call back system

Centrelink’s call back system

 

This system will eliminate the need for you to wait on hold with Centrelink for more than 5 minutes. This call back system holds your ‘place in the queue’, and then they call you back, which saves you time and expense. You will however need to register for this service.

 

Options for Registering for phone self service include:

 

  • Register online at Centrelink Self Service
  • register with Centrelink over the phone on 136 240
  • Register at a Centrelink service centre

You will need your phone self service ID and PIN to use the place in queue option. You will also need to have your Customer Reference Number or Customer Access Number handy. You may be offered the place in queue option if your call wait time is more than 5 minutes when you call Centrelink between 8 am and 3 pm, Monday to Friday.

Regards

Hanna Mazzeo