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



New Horizons Program 465

This week on program 465 of New Horizons, we commence a two part series featuring Bruce Maguire, on the development of touch screens. In particular, the difficulties many blind and vision impaired people are experiencing with the new craze meeting the retail industry – Albert.

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

Blind Citizens Australia 2016 State Conference Dates

Below you will find information on upcoming BCA state events.

Queensland Forum
Saturday 8 October
Vision Australia Cooparoo

NSW/ACT Convention
Saturday and Sunday 15 and 16 October
Pacific Bay Resort Coffs Harbour

South Australian Forum
Saturday 29 October
RSB Knappman House Adelaide

Victorian Conference
Saturday 12 November
Bayview on the Park Hotel Melbourne

We are also planning to hold a members’ forum in Hobart on Saturday 5 November; venue to be decided.

This year’s BCA Annual General Meeting will be held in association with a BCA face to face Board meeting in Sydney on Saturday 26 November. More details will be available shortly.

The 2017 National Convention is to be held in Victoria; dates and location to be finalised.

Event details and registration arrangements for all 2016 events will be provided to all members shortly. In the meantime please direct any inquiries to the BCA office.

Audio Streaming – World Blind Union 2016 General Assembly

the following information has been passed on from the Australian Blindness Forum. The message below contains the link for audio streaming of the WBU General Assembly.

There is a 14 hour time difference between eastern Australia and Orlando Florida.

As some of you may know, the World Blind Union General Assembly commences later this week in Orlando, Florida. ABF is Australia’s representative to the World Blind Union and has sent 4 delegates to the General Assembly – Tony Starkey, Kevin Murfitt, Emma Bennison and Bill Jolley.

As they have done in the past, the American Council of the Blind will be audio streaming all of the plenary sessions of the WBU General Assembly. It will be streamed live on their website starting Friday, August 19th until the end of the General Assembly on August 24th. The link to the audio streaming is World Blind Union 2016

New Horizons Program 464

This week on program 464 of New Horizons, we say a sad farewell to Blind Citizens Australia CEO, Leah van Poppel, who has been with us now for just over a year. Also, an update on convention dates, and some information from the National Women’s Branch of BCA.

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

ALBERT: “Accessibility Lost – Blind Excluded from Retail Trading”

Blind Citizens Australia Media Release

Responding to recent public debate about the accessibility of recently introduced soft touch EFTPOS terminals BCA President Emma Bennison said today “It’s time to put the Disability Discrimination Act to work to ensure that our ability to complete financial transactions independently is not further eroded”.

Since the start of August, Blind Citizens Australia has heard from more than 30 members with concerns about the continuing inaccessibility of the ALBERT and other soft touch EFTPOS terminals. Several members have already instigated complaints under provision of the DDA, while others are investigating legal remedies relating to the breach of credit card regulations that occurs when a blind customer is forced to divulge their PIN to a companion or staff member.

BCA is concerned to note that while members are siting situations where they have not been able to complete a transaction independently, those involved with the manufacture and roll out of these devices are claiming that complex accessibility features that have been added to the device meet their obligations to provide equal access for blind and vision impaired users.

Ms Bennison said “in our opinion the most appropriate way to resolve this impasse is for all of those who find the terminal unusable, to lodge a complaint under the Disability Discrimination Act.”

Complaints can be directed against the CBA, which is marketing the device to retail outlets, and to the manufacturer and other organisations involved with the development of the product.

“The more people who join this campaign the better” she said. “BCA can assist with the lodgement process and the weight of a substantial number of complainants should ensure the matter gets the attention it deserves” Ms Bennison concluded.

For further information or to find out how BCA can assist you to lodge a DDA complaint contact the BCA Office by phone on 03 9654 1400 or 1800 033 660 or via email bca@bca.org.au

Emma Bennison
President
0410 553 383