Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) develops policy documents and position statements to further our advocacy work, and to uphold the rights of people who are blind or vision impaired.
Through our policy work, we provide information and advice to community and government on issues of importance to people who are blind or vision impaired.
On this page:
- BCA Policy
- BCA Campaigns
We develop our policies and position statements in consultation with members and under the guidance of our National Policy Council (NPC) with support from our National Policy Officer. The NPC is an elected sub-committee of BCA’s board and is made up of representatives from state and territories and from the board. To promote continuity and sustainability of the committee, each member has a term of two years, with half of the positions on the NPC being up for nomination at BCA’s Annual General Meeting every year.
National Policy Council Chair: Fiona Woods (NSW)
Below you will find a list of our current policies. These are regularly refined and updated to reflect legislative, technological and philosophical changes.
The policies on this page can be used to guide the expectations and promote the rights of people who are blind or vision impaired through self-advocacy efforts. BCA’s campaigns, submissions and responses to inquiries or reviews are based on our policies and position statements.
All policies and position statements are available in your preferred format, on request by contacting us.
Access to Information Technology and Telecommunications
- BCA Information Access Advocacy Guidelines – 8 steps to Web Accessibility (Word doc)
- Round Table for Information Access – Resources
- BCA Employment Policy (Word doc)
- Hello Recruiters (Word doc)
- Hello Employers (Word doc)
- Hello Disability Employment Service (DES) providers (Word doc)
- Government as an Employer (Word doc)
- How the Australian Government can meet their national and international obligations (Word doc)
We have also created a series of fact sheets which challenge assumptions about what people who are blind or vision impaired can do, bust myths, provide guidance on legal blindness, and advise people who are blind or vision impaired on where to find and access information.
- Have you checked your assumptions? (Word doc)
- Busting those myths (Word doc)
- What does the term legal blindness mean? (Word doc)
- Reading information as a person who is blind? (Word doc)
- What Australian and international law say about disability – the law and guidelines (Word doc)
- And now to some useful links (Word doc)
Take a peek at a list of jobs that people who are blind or vision impaired have undertaken.
BCA’s National Policy Council (NPC), after consultation with members, created a Healthcare Policy. This details the rights to which all users of healthcare settings are entitled under the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights and how these rights can be given meaning when applied to people who are blind or vision impaired. This policy is linked below. The NPC is also creating a series of checklists, to give the policy relevance to specific contexts. The checklist for use with hospitals is linked below.
Additional Health Resources:
- Get Prepared – a new app from the Red Cross. A useful way of storing information you might need in an emergency. You can save details about the important people in your life and local emergency services. It also has packing lists, checklists and things to think about. It enables you to share your emergency plan. It is new and they are looking for feedback, so please have a look at it and let them know of any issues.
- QDN know your rights COVID19 – this contains Queensland specific information but has useful suggestions for things to think about if you are going to hospital during the pandemic.
- BCA Position Statement on COVID-19 Sign-in Protocols People who are blind or vision impaired have encountered issues with COVID-19 sign-in measures for the purposes of creating a register for contact tracing, this document shows BCA position on QR codes and the “check in” process across Australia.
- COVID19 hospital companion for people with disabilities – this contains information about your support people, medication, common behaviours and how you show pain. Also details of hearing-aids or other communication devices you may use.
- NSW Health Disability Information
- Health Care Plan – it is often suggested that we talk to our families about our wishes for our end-of-life care well in advance. For information about discussing and planning this important but difficult topic.
- NPS 13Medicines: 1300 633 424 – with information about prescription, over the counter, complementary, herbal, natural, vitamins and mineral medicines. Monday to Friday 9-5. not for emergencies, second opinions or medical advice. They can tell you how it works, how to take it, side effects, interactions with other medicines, medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding and medications for children.
- Health direct helpline: 1800 022 222 – for health advice that is not an emergency–24 Hour access to a registered nurse, government accredited. There is also an online Health Direct symptom checker.
- Healthcare Complaints Commission: 1800 043 159 – the emphasis is on resolving complaints first with the person involved. If this cannot be achieved, you can refer to the Commission. It deals with complaints against public and private healthcare providers and unregistered providers, such as natropaths and massage therapists. They can resolve the complaint, refer it for mediation, refer it to other bodies, investigate it or discontinue it. In each case, they can make comments to improve future practice.
In The Home
Transport, Travel and Built Environment
- BCA Position Statement on Silent Vehicles (Word doc)
- Aviation Policy (Word doc)
- Bus Services Policy (Word doc)
- Taxi Services Policy (Word doc)
- Train Services (Word doc)
- Tram and Light Rail Policy (Word doc)
- Ferry and Hydrofoil Services Policy (Word doc)
- White Cane Policy (Word doc)
- Pedestrian Safety Policy (Word doc)
- Audible Traffic Signals Policy (Word doc)
- Safer Streets – A guide to public access advocacy for people who are blind or vision impaired (Word doc)
- BCA Environmental Scan on E-scooters (Word doc)
- BCA Position statement on e-scooters and e-bikes (Word doc)
Voting and Elections
For many years now BCA has been advocating for accessible voting for Australians who are blind or vision impaired.
To support and move policy objectives forward, we will often design and implement a campaign to influence change.