Welcome to Blind Citizens Australia

Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) is the united voice of Australians who are blind or vision impaired.

Our mission is to achieve equity and equality by our empowerment, by promoting positive community attitudes, and by striving for high quality and accessible services which meet our needs.

Whether you are blind, have a vision impairment , a family member or friend of a person who is blind or vision impaired, BCA is here to assist you.

We provide information, peer support, individual and systemic advocacy, and consultancy services. Our Branches act as local lobby groups and provide opportunities for social interaction for members.

Explore our site. Learn about us. Listen to SoundAbout for profiles of people who are blind or vision impaired and those working with our community. If you are interested in audio-described TV, cinema and DVD content check out It’s Our Turn. Set your dial and tune in to our weekly radio program New Horizons. For the issues and policies that affect you, plus useful information and tips, turn to the pages of BC News or Parent News.

Welcome to BCA, the national organisation of people who are blind or vision impaired.

Contact BCA:

Toll Free:
1800 033 660

Phone:
(03) 9654 1400

Email: Blind Citizens Australia

Donate to Blind Citizens Australia by using the PayPal button below



Calling Braille Writers – Onkyo World Essay Contest Open

The World Blind Union Asia Pacific Onkyo Braille Essay competition is now open for entries. If you or someone you know is a writer who uses braille, please read the information below and share with your networks. We look forward to receiving your entries by 15 May 2017. Should you have any questions, please contact the BCA office on 1800 033 660.

ONKYO BRAILLE ESSAY COMPETITION 2017

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. The top 5 entries will be sent to the WBUAP Onkyo Selection Committee for final consideration, and any winning Australian entries will be published in Blind Citizens News.

This is an annual competition, 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:

  • The Positive Experiences and Opportunities of My Life from Being Blind
  • The Importance and Creative Uses of Braille in My Life
  • Music brings opportunities, joy, development and change in my life.

Closing date is 15 May 2017. Winners will be notified in November 2017.

Essays must be between 700 and 1,000 words and presented in hard copy Braille or in computerized Braille if 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.

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 by 15 May 2017 at:

Attention: Emma Bennison

emma.bennison@bca.org.au

Blind Citizens Australia

Ross House
Level 3, 247-251 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

New Horizons Program 495

This week on program 495 of New Horizons, we hear about an amazing man, who is definitely no stranger to Blind Citizens Australia, or the blindness community. We speak with John Coleman, who has been building a series of podcasts on the life of David Blyth, a founding member of BCA, and its inaugural president. This nine episode series will soon be available to the public for the first time, on the BCA website.

You can use the embedded audio player above to listen or download the program.

New Horizons is available as a podcast! To manually subscribe, using your pod catcher of choice, place the following URL http://wordpress.bca.org.au/feed/ in the appropriate field to subscribe to the New Horizons program.

If you are a Vision Australia I-Access Library member, you can subscribe to New Horizons using the I-Access on line catalogue. Use the find facility within the on line catalogue with the search term “New Horizons” and you will be presented with current and past programs of New Horizons, from there you can subscribe to the podcast.

New Horizons is Blind Citizens Australia’s weekly radio program. It can be heard on RPH and community radio stations throughout Australia. Go here for Broadcast times and stations

Current and past Episodes of New Horizons can also be found on the Blind Citizens Australia audio page

And on the The Global Voice

New Horizons Program 494

This week on program 494 of New Horizons, we hear from incoming Director of Blind Citizens Australia, James Manders. James tells us of his background and his hopes for the future of employment for people who are blind or vision impaired.

You can use the embedded audio player above to listen or download the program.

New Horizons is available as a podcast! To manually subscribe, using your pod catcher of choice, place the following URL http://wordpress.bca.org.au/feed/ in the appropriate field to subscribe to the New Horizons program.

If you are a Vision Australia I-Access Library member, you can subscribe to New Horizons using the I-Access on line catalogue. Use the find facility within the on line catalogue with the search term “New Horizons” and you will be presented with current and past programs of New Horizons, from there you can subscribe to the podcast.

New Horizons is Blind Citizens Australia’s weekly radio program. It can be heard on RPH and community radio stations throughout Australia. Go here for Broadcast times and stations

Current and past Episodes of New Horizons can also be found on the Blind Citizens Australia audio page

And on the The Global Voice

Help Us Make BCA’s 2017 National Convention the Best Yet!

Dear Members,

2017 is a National Convention year and we need your help to make it the best yet! The Convention will be held in Melbourne over the weekend of 13 to 15 October. Venue details are still to be finalised. There are plenty of ways to get involved, so read on.

Join the Convention Programming Committee

Join with other BCA members to help build a stimulating, informative and inclusive Convention program. While we will need to have some committee members who are Melbourne-based, we also welcome members from other states. We will be looking to ensure the committee is as diverse and inclusive as possible. So unfortunately we may not be able to accept everyone who expresses interest.

Meetings will be held at least once a month and you will need to be able to take on a share of the workload between meetings. To express your interest, please send an E-mail to bca@bca.org.au with “Convention Programming Committee” in the subject line. Your E-mail should include:

  • Your name
  • The state you reside in
  • A couple of paragraphs telling us what you will bring to the committee and why you’d like to be involved.

Or you can call the office on 1800 033 660 and we can record your response for you. The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 17 March.

Help with Convention Logistics

If things like catering, social functions and creating a family-friendly event are more your style, we also want to hear from you. We are looking for people to assist with various logistical tasks, so please E-mail bca@bca.org.au with “Convention Logistics” in the subject line or call 1800 033 660 and let us know how you can help by Friday 17 March.

Other Ways to Have Your Voice Heard

Committees are not everybody’s idea of a good time, but there are plenty of other ways you can contribute. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Tell us what topics you would like to see on this year’s program. You can send your suggestions to bca@bca.org.au with “Convention Ideas” in the subject line. Or call the office on 1800 033 660 and give us your suggestions. We welcome any and all suggestions, even if they are new and different from what we have done in the past. While there is no closing date for your ideas, the sooner you get them to us, the better, before the program fills up.
  • Assist as a volunteer or invite a friend or family member to do so. More information on volunteering opportunities will follow later, but this is just to get you thinking.
  • Pitch a session to us. Perhaps you have an idea for a session which you could deliver. Please let us know and we will pass your details on to the programming committee for consideration. Please note that BCA does not pay speakers.
  • Give us your ideas for fundraising and sponsorship. If you know of companies who could support the Convention or have ideas for raising funds, we would love to hear them. Please contact the office to share your suggestions.

So as you can see, there are many ways you can work with us to build BCA’s best National Convention yet. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.

We look forward to hearing from you. Our contact details are below for easy reference:

Phone: 1800 033 660

E-mail: bca@bca.org.au

New Horizons Program 493

This week on program 493 of New Horizons, we continue our discussion with Bill Jolley about his recent international travel. He tells us about some interesting events regarding Braille.

You can use the embedded audio player above to listen or download the program.

New Horizons is available as a podcast! To manually subscribe, using your pod catcher of choice, place the following URL http://wordpress.bca.org.au/feed/ in the appropriate field to subscribe to the New Horizons program.

If you are a Vision Australia I-Access Library member, you can subscribe to New Horizons using the I-Access on line catalogue. Use the find facility within the on line catalogue with the search term “New Horizons” and you will be presented with current and past programs of New Horizons, from there you can subscribe to the podcast.

New Horizons is Blind Citizens Australia’s weekly radio program. It can be heard on RPH and community radio stations throughout Australia. Go here for Broadcast times and stations

Current and past Episodes of New Horizons can also be found on the Blind Citizens Australia audio page

And on the The Global Voice