audio recording of a recent discussion forum about the NDIS and Aged Care

The Association of Blind Citizens of NSW, is pleased to make available for download from its Website, an audio recording of a recent discussion forum about the NDIS and Aged Care.

This was a presentation by a panel of speakers, which provided information, and an opportunity for questions and answers from the audience, about how people who are blind or vision impaired can access disability services into the future.

The audio download is available from:


Rowena Dowling
Executive Officer
Association of Blind Citizens of NSW Inc.
4 Mitchell St Enfield NSW 2136
PO Box 1322 Burwood NSW 1805
Phone (02) 9744 1516


The My Aged Care Gateway

Information that may be relevant for BCA members who are over the age of 65 years.

The My Aged Care Gateway

This is the equivalent system of the National Disability Insurance Scheme for people aged over 65 years.

The My Aged Care website has been established by the Australian Government to help you navigate the aged care system. My Aged Care is part of the Australian Government’s changes to the aged care system which have been designed to give people more choice, more control and easier access to a full range of aged care services.

My Aged Care Gateway Website

My Aged Care is made up of this website and a contact centre. Together they can provide you with information on aged care for yourself, a family member, friend or someone you’re caring for. You can call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422 between 8am and 8pm on weekdays and between 10am and 2pm on Saturdays. The My Aged Care contact centre is closed on Sundays and national public holidays.

You can expect our staff to be polite, helpful and knowledgeable and to provide:

^ prompt, reliable and confidential services.
^ clear information, which can be made available:
^ in languages other than English if you speak another language and need an interpreter Service
^ help to find Government-funded aged care services.
^ prompt resolution of any complaint or concern you have with My Aged Care.
^ in other formats if you have hearing difficulties or a vision impairment

People who are deaf or who have a hearing or speech impairment can contact My Aged Care through the National Relay Service in two easy steps:
Step 1: Visit the National Relay Service website to choose your preferred access point.
Step 2: Ask for My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

Aged care changes from 1 July 2014
Aged care changes

The Scope Outcomes Project

The Scope Outcomes Project is a national, multi year project to test some surveys that are designed to measure the outcomes associated with disability services and social inclusion, as experienced by people with disabilities in Australia.

The project will result in surveys that can be used by organisations involved in providing disability services in the future.

We are inviting adults with disabilities (and/or their carers or support workers) to complete the survey/s available online at
Scope Vic

Participation is voluntary and anonymous. No identifying information will be collected. The project has ethics approval from Scope. The surveys are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities. We have standard and easy English versions of surveys and the website works with a range of assistive technologies.

Hardcopies of the surveys can be provided for participants for those who find online access a barrier.

The project closes June 2015.

If you require more information please don’t hesitate to contact me>

Kind Regards

Celeste Cuzzillo
Researcher, Outcomes Project
Scope | 830 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill, VIC, 3128
Tel: 03 9843 2042

Changes to Disability Support Pension legislation for travel outside Australia

From 1 January 2015 DSP customers can be paid outside Australia for a temporary absence of, or number of absences totalling 4 weeks (28 days) in a rolling 12 month period. They can also travel outside Australia and be paid under the approved reason portability provisions, up to a maximum of 4 weeks.

  • Days paid DSP while outside Australia are included in the 4 weeks, regardless of the reason for absence.
  • Days paid DSP outside Australia before 1 January 2015 are not included in the 4 weeks.
  • Prior to 1 January 2015 DSP customers could be paid for a temporary absence of 6 weeks.

A transitional provision allows customers who booked and paid before 14 May 2014 for travel outside Australia commencing on or after 1 January 2015 and returning before 1 January 2016 to be paid under the pre 1 January 2015 DSP portability provisions.

International Agreement specific rules:

  • Days paid while outside Australia but in the agreement country, are not counted while paid under that respective agreement country
  • Days paid while outside Australia and the agreement country, are counted in the 4 weeks

PTV ScreenReader App

Key improvements we are making to our mobile apps to ensure they meet the accessibility requirements of an important customer group within our community.

We recently launched a new mobile app available on both iOS and Android. Following the successful release of the app to market, we discontinued support and access to all previous versions of our apps.

Following the app’s removal, one of our vision-impaired customers informed me directly that the new PTV apps did not offer the same level of accessibility as the discontinued ‘PTV Original’ app.

This discussion identified to me that PTV needed to better focus on incorporating accessibility into our business processes. It has taught us a really important lesson around appropriate testing related to our ongoing development and release of customer information.

As a result, we have now restored our PTV Original app for iOS, to enable the accessibility of public transport information for our vision-impaired customers. We re-named this app ‘PTV ScreenReader’ and it is the same version of the app being used before it was removed.

Our app development team is currently working with members of the accessibility community to ensure the existing apps support screen reading capability and enhance accessibility for all of our customers; which we aim to have done by early 2015. We are confident these will be the most accessible apps we have released to date.

In the interim, ‘PTV ScreenReader’ will be available from the Apple iTunes store until the accessible versions of the PTV app in both iOS and Android are ready to download.

Though this issue was raised through a negative experience by some customers, PTV has used it to take appropriate steps to ensure that it will not happen again.

I would like to apologise on behalf of PTV for this oversight and wish to reassure you that we are actively working across the business on ensuring that we better cater for our customers that have accessibility requirements.

PTV is committed to creating a public transport system that is accessible for all Victorians, as detailed in our Accessible Public Transport in Victoria Action Plan 2013-2017: PTV Implementation Plan. As part of this, the PTV website will be compliant to the WCAG2.0 AA standard by 31 December 2014, and we are working with our transport operators to ensure more announcements at stations and on trains, trams and buses.

Significant accessibility improvements are occurring across the network. This includes major station redevelopments at Springvale, Mitcham and Footscray, raised tram and train boarding platforms, the installation of tactile ground surface indicators across the network, an increase in accessible car parking spaces and improvements to toilets.

I welcome any feedback you or your members may have in regards to this and request that you extend this information to your networks.


Mark Wild
Chief Executive Officer
Public Transport Victoria

Mark Wild
Chief Executive Officer

Level 10, 750 Collins Street
Docklands Victoria 3008 Australia
PO Box 4724 Melbourne Victoria 3001

Telephone +61 3 9027 4127
Mobile: +61 407 502 357

For more information visit
or call 1800 800 007 (6am – midnigh