Notice of Annual General Meeting

Blind Citizens Australia will hold its 42nd Annual General Meeting in Melbourne on Friday 13 October 2017. Join us at the Novotel Glen Waverley, 285 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley, at 7:00PM. The meeting will be followed by a welcome dinner as part of the 2017 National Convention. Visit our Events page or read more here to find out everything you need to know about the AGM.

2017 National Convention – Registration Now Open

Blind Citizens Australia is excited to be hosting its 2017 National Convention in Melbourne from 13 – 15 October. Visit our Events page or follow this link to find out everything you need to know about the program, how you can get involved, and how to register.


New Horizons Program 515

This week on program 515 of New Horizons, we discuss Audio Description. We hear from BCA Advocacy officer, Rikki Chaplin, about some upcoming teleconferences related to audio description in cinemas. Then, we discuss a campaign to encourage Audio Description on Australian television.

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 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

MEDIA RELEASE: CBA to become our most disability-friendly bank, unless you’re blind

Blind Citizens Australia congratulates the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on making its facilities more accessible for people with disability, and releasing its access and Inclusion plan 2017-2020. But we strongly criticise the CBA for rolling out over 75,000 devices to retail outlets that blind people cannot use independently.

The Commonwealth Bank is the only Australian bank to have released an EFTPOS device which has a touchscreen, but no telephone style keypad. The CBA has stated publicly that as of April this year, 75,000 of these devices are being used by retailers in the Australian market, with more being rolled out each week.

“You can’t aspire to be the most accessible bank in the country while continuing to create thousands of retail outlets which exclude people who are blind or vision impaired,” said Emma Bennison, Executive Officer of Blind Citizens Australia.

“You may have a great Smartphone banking app, and talking ATMs, but until your Albert EFTPOS machine can be used quickly and independently by people such as me who cannot see the touchscreen, you have not achieved access to your services for all Australians.”

The lack of a tactile, physical keypad on a machine, which has inadequate and inaccessible speech output, means that a person who cannot see the screen cannot independently complete their transaction.

“People who are blind are being asked to divulge their pin number to a retail staff member to make a payment. This is totally unacceptable, no doubt breaches the terms of their credit card agreement and is probably against the law. I cannot complete transactions which other Australians make ten or twenty times a day.” Ms Bennison said.

“We have raised this issue with the bank, and they are engaging with us. But in the mean-time, our members are finding that each week, many more shops and restaurants in their local communities are no longer accessible to them. This exclusion of thousands of people who are blind or vision impaired is simply unacceptable conduct from one of our largest corporate citizens.”

Blind Citizens Australia has requested the bank to stop the rollout until the machines are able to be used by all, and has encouraged other financial institutions not to go down the same path of exclusion.

Media contact: Emma Bennison
Ph: 0410 553383

August 2017 edition of Soundabout now available

There are several ways to access the August 2017 edition of SoundAbout:

  • You can listen or download using the audio player above
  • Find it on our audio page
  • or, the links below will also work. The first is with the word “listen” for immediate listening. The other is with the word “download” for placing on a device for listening at a later date

Please note; Soundabout is also a podcast which you can subscribe to. You can do this in a couple of ways:

  • If you are a Vision Australia library client, make enquiries with them, call 1300 847 466
  • Using your podcatcher use the URL to manually search

Contents of this edition include:

  • Steve Richardson speaks with BCA President, John Simpson for an update
  • Glen Morrow speaks with Executive Officer, Emma Bennison for an update
  • Rikki Chaplin speaks with new BCA Policy Officer, Katrina Taylor
  • Marian Jones speaks with Women’s Branch Vice President, Helen Freris for an update
  • Peter Greco speaks with Sam Taylor of Pacific Vision about the Polaris Note Taker
  • Glen Morrow speaks with Blake Ison, Humanware Products Specialist
  • Peter Greco speaks with David Diepel, of Demand Films about an Audio Description app for your mobile phone
  • Steve Richardson speaks with Nick Gleeson about his new book Many Ways of Seeing
  • Branch and office contact details

SoundAbout, August 2017 – href=””>listen