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Vision Australia Client Newsletter - May 2006

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Vision Australia Client Newsletter - May 2006

    Vision Australia Client Newsletter

May 2006

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Welcome to our Client Newsletter.............................. 4 Introducing the Client Representative Council ......... 4 Dates for your diary..................................................... 6 Association of Blind Citizens of NSW events ......................... 6 Men‘s Golf Day ..................................................................... 6 Accessible Art Exhibition ....................................................... 6 Healthy Ageing Talks ............................................................ 7 Bird walks for clients ............................................................. 7 Albinism Conference ............................................................. 8 JAWS ―Freedom‖ Scholarship ............................................... 8 General Vision Australia news ................................... 9 Invitation to all clients ............................................................ 9 Vision Australia Client Survey ............................................... 9 Vision Australia Lottery 3 ...................................................... 9 Vision services clinics ......................................................... 10 Buy Nature Nature's new CD .............................................. 10 Equipment Solutions closing for stocktake .......................... 10 Vision Australia‘s 2006 Bursary Awards .............................. 10 Braille courses at Vision Australia ....................................... 13 Recreation and access news .................................... 13 NSW/ACT ........................................................................... 13 Victoria ............................................................................... 15 Audio Description Program ...................................... 17 Theatre dates Sydney ......................................................... 18 Theatre dates Melbourne .................................................... 19 Theatre dates Canberra ...................................................... 20 Announcements ........................................................ 21 Funding for a guide dog ...................................................... 21 Wanted: new mums! ........................................................... 22 Accessible hotels in the UK ................................................. 22 Guide dogs on Qantas ........................................................ 22 American Reader‘s Digest in braille and cassette ............... 23 Looking for pen pals............................................................ 23 Low cost internet services ................................................... 23

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    Peer support .............................................................. 23 Wyong VIP support group ................................................... 23 New support group in Ulladulla ........................................... 24 Role models needed for Canberra ...................................... 24 Classifieds ................................................................. 24 For Sale .............................................................................. 24 Wanted ....................................................................... 26 Complaints and suggestions ................................... 26 Correction .................................................................. 26

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Welcome to our Client Newsletter

    This Vision Australia‘s first regular Client Newsletter to clients in all the areas where we provide our services. It will contain news from Vision Australia and the community, including announcements of upcoming events and recreational programs that may be of interest.

    We welcome readers to suggest information we can include to make this newsletter as useful as possible for everyone. If you have story suggestions, submit them by email to info@visionaustralia.org.au or post material to Client Newsletter, Corporate

    Communications, Vision Australia, PO Box 176, Burwood NSW 2134. Submissions should be 200 words or less.

    Please also let us know if you would prefer to receive this newsletter in a different format. The newsletter is available in large print, braille, on audio cassette or by email. If you can we encourage you to receive it by email as this helps us channel more resources towards our essential services.

    The next Vision Australia Client Newsletter will be circulated in August 2006. For changes to your preferred format, your address or your mailing details, please phone 1300 847 466 or email info@visionaustralia.org.au

    Introducing the Client Representative Council The Client Representative Council (CRC) is Vision Australia‘s peak body for consulting with clients of the organisation.

    There are 12 Client Representatives throughout NSW, the ACT and Victoria. This voluntary position entails the following: attending regular meetings in Sydney and Melbourne, attending the Annual General Meeting of Vision Australia, meeting Board members and staff, and learning the ropes to understand how the new organisation operates.

    During 2006/7 the CRC will establish client committees in each region. It will also encourage the development of local client groups. These will enable clients to come together for mutual support and to provide informed feedback to Vision Australia. This is a big task. But it‘s more than worth it to ensure that all clients have a say in

    how Vision Australia operates!

    The CRC is supported by a Secretariat based in the Enfield office of Vision Australia. The Secretariat Coordinator is Lynne Davis, who can be contacted on 1300 847 466

    or (02) 9334 3293. Contact the Secretariat if you would like more information about the Client Representative Council or a copy of Vision Australia‘s Client and Consumer Advisory Charter in the format of your choice.

    If you‘d like to speak to a member of the Client Representative Council we‘d be very glad to hear from you. Our contact details are as follows:

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NSW/ACT contacts

    Stephen Hallinan (Hunter region comprising the NSW central to mid north coast) - Stephen represents deafblindness issues.

    ; Email sph@hunterlink.net.au

    ; Mob 0418 766 347

    ; Home (02) 4957 2741

    Jenna Davis (Hunter) - Jenna has a special interest in issues relating to young people.

    ; Email jennacdavis@hotmail.com

    ; Mob 0405 642 350

    ; Home (02) 4945 9809

    Bob James (South West including southern NSW, Canberra and the Far West)

    ; Email james106@netspeed.com.au

    ; home (02) 6231 0895

    Simon Bosch (Sydney Metro including Greater Sydney and the NSW south coast) - Simon represents parents of children who are blind or vision impaired.

    ; Email simon@digital-illustration.com.au

    ; mob 0411 209 596

    ; home (02) 4759 1488

Rowena Jitts (Sydney Metro)

    ; Email ladyrow@tpg.com.au

    ; mob 0418 780 440

    Wal Bolin (Northern region including the NSW north coast and north west)

    ; Email: embee52002@yahoo.com.au

    ; phone: 0429 918 977

    ; home (02) 6559 3666

Victorian contacts

    David Brant (northern region, specifically the Metropolitan sector) - The CRC chair, David is active in a range of disability advocacy groups.

    ; Email: dbrant@tpg.com.au

    ; mob: 0402 540 383

Natale Cutrue (western region, from Footscray to the SA border) Natale‘s interest

    is the needs of blind people in the workforce, while his Italian background gives him

    insight into the issues facing ethnic groups.

    ; mob: 0402 473 747

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Christine Simpson (eastern region including Melbourne's eastern suburbs) A

    former Tilly Aston Council member, Christine will chair the library subcommittee for the CRC.

    ; mob: 0418 331 506

    Mark Boyd (northern region including Bendigo) - Mark represents people from rural and remote communities.

    ; mob: 0417 508 193

    We look forward to answering any of your queries, and to receiving your feedback about Vision Australia and the services it provides.

Dates for your diary

    Association of Blind Citizens of NSW events

    What: Market Day

    When: Saturday 3 June, 9am to 1pm

    Where: 11A Ethel Street Burwood NSW

    Rain or shine, we‘ll have the usual stalls including, pre-loved goods, cakes, jams and

    preserves. Morning tea and lunch will also be available for purchase.

What: General meeting

    When: Saturday 24 June from 2pm

    Where: Shirley House, 11A Ethel Street Burwood NSW

    Members please also note the change to our office hours. We are now open from 10am to 3.30pm Tuesday and Wednesday and 9am to 3.30pm Thursday.

    For more information about our activities please contact Naomi Clark, Executive Officer, on (02) 9744 1516.

Men‟s Golf Day

    Where: The Commercial Club in Albury

    When: 16 June

    A men‘s Golf day will be held in Albury to promote men‘s health week. Activities will include a round of golf and bbq lunch. Vision Australia Albury volunteers often audio describe local theatre, productions and art galley exhibitions at different locations in Albury during the year. For more information about any for these activities please call the Albury centre on (02) 6023 6611.

Accessible Art Exhibition

    Where: The Bunker Cartoon Gallery, City Hill, Coffs Harbour

    When: 16 to 30 June 2006

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    The exhibition will feature artwork by local year 12 design student, Ashlee Corfe, whose interest in art for people who are blind or vision impaired led her to creating this event. Opening night Friday 16th June is a fundraiser for Vision Australia and is a wine and cheese evening at $10 per head. Phone (02) 6651 1863 for more

    information.

Healthy Ageing Talks

    A series of talks are being held in Sydney to discuss issues of healthy ageing.

What: ―Loss and Grief – Why Just Cope when you can Manage it Well?‖ with

    Nadine Veitch

    When: Thursday 22nd June 2006 at 10am

    What: ―The Best is yet to be! – Ageing and Intimacy‖ with Dr Rosie King,

    Woman‘s Day writer, Sexual Health Physician and relationship

    counsellor

    When: Thursday 17th August 2006 at 10am

    All talks will be held at Level 1, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney. Morning or afternoon tea will be provided. Attendance is free for members of NSW Councils on the Ageing (COTA). The cost for non-members is $5 per talk. Bookings are essential on (02)

    9286 3860. For more information call COTA (NSW) on (02) 9286 3860 or email

    Suzanne Williams, Medication Management and Healthy Ageing at

    pep@cotansw.com.au

Bird walks for clients

    Recreation organisation, Follow That Bird, has partnered with Vision Australia to offer accessible bird walks in Sydney, with transport available for people who attend.

Where: Narrabeen Lakes

    When: 9 September 2006, rain, hail or shine!

    City pick-up: 8am outside the top entrance to the Automobile Club, 89 Macquarie Street. Drop off 5.30pm.

    Killara pick-up: 8.30am on the highway side of the railway station in front of the council car-park in Culworth Avenue. Drop off 5pm.

    Participants will experience bird life in Sydney‘s Warriewood Wetlands, learning to identify birds like Purple Swamphens and Sacred Kingfishers by their different calls. Ornithologist John Gale will guide the group trekking along a railed boardwalk near Narrabeen Lake, walking to Deep Creek through an open grassed area surrounded by steep cliffs and towering eucalypts. The paths aren‘t difficult but if you are not confident walking in unfamiliar terrain you may like to bring a friend.

    Bring your lunch, hat, comfortable walking shoes, a raincoat or umbrella, sunscreen, insect repellent and a water bottle.

Coffee and tea are provided at morning tea and lunchtime.

For more information please contact Vision Australia‘s Jane Ellis on (02) 9334 3282.

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Albinism Conference

    Where: Y Hotel, 5-11 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney

    When: 25 to 27 August 2006

    Learn more about Albinism, share your experiences and get to meet other people with albinism at Australia‘s first Albinism Conference. Presentations will cover School Bullying, Vision Impaired Learning and Genetics. There will also be plenty of time to interact and share ideas and experiences in a family environment. For more information log onto www.albinismaustralia.org or contact one of the state

    representatives listed below.

NSW / ACT Kim Gillespie albinismnsw@optusnet.com.au

    VIC / TAS Nigel Moyle nwmoyle@bordernet.com.au

    QLD Helene albinismqld@yahoo.com.au

    SA / NT Toni Tiller albinismsa@iprimus.com.au

    WA Erika Webb albinismwa@yahoo.com.au

JAWS “Freedom” Scholarship

    Entries close 29 September

    Freedom Scientific and Quantum Technology is offering a free copy of JAWS Professional screen reading program to eight people undertaking tertiary study in 2007. To be eligible you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen who is blind or vision impaired and planning to start tertiary studies in 2007. To apply, describe in 500 words or less why you need a Freedom Scholarship and how it will assist you in

    info@quantumtechnology.com.au or via mail to your tertiary studies, then send to

    Quantum Technology PO Box 390, Rydalmere NSW 2116. Applications close Friday 29 September 2006, and winners will be notified by e-mail and announced in LiveWire.

    For further enquiries please call or e-mail your local Quantum Technology office:

Head Office (02) 8844 9888

    lkumutat@quantumtechnology.com.au

    Southern Office (03) 9545 4100

    vic@quantumtechnology.com.au

    Queensland Office (07) 3393 5776

    qld@quantumtechnology.com.au

For further information visit:

    www.quantumtechnology.com.au

    www.jotadot.com.au

    www.mountbattenbrailler.com.au

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General Vision Australia news

    Invitation to all clients

    Vision Australia is giving you the opportunity to visit your local centre to attend an Insight Day during June. Selected offices will be conducting tours plus holding a talk about access issues as part of the special day. Please contact your local service provider to find out what activities are planned for your area.

Vision Australia Client Survey

    Last September 2,707 of you were contacted and agreed to participate in the first ever Vision Australia client survey. Vision Australia is grateful to all the people who agreed to answer our questions. This is the only way we know what you'd like us to keep doing, what you'd like us to stop doing and what else you'd like Vision Australia to offer you.

    Overall most of you were satisfied, which is wonderful. In fact 96% of you said you agreed or strongly agreed that you were satisfied with the service you had received, and 98% said you'd recommend us to other people. Most of you also felt you were treated with respect by our staff.

    Vision Australia also explored aspects you were not so happy about, to see where we can improve. Two things you said you‘d like us to do better were:

    ; Providing more braille and electronic forms when we communicate with clients

    who prefer those formats.

    ; Providing training and employment services at times that are more convenient

    to clients who need those services.

    You also said the most important aspect of the service was that it was personalised to meet your needs.

    Vision Australia committed to looking at how we can improve these aspects of our service. So we‘d like to continue hearing from you. Over the coming year we will be randomly contacting people to take part in other surveys or research groups. Thank you once again for your involvement.

Vision Australia Lottery 3

    For $10 a ticket (minimum of three), you have a chance to win one of over $69,000 worth of prizes. First prize is a 17-day holiday around Australia for two, taking in such sights as the beautiful Barrier Reef and the Barossa Valley, plus a new Holden Viva. Second prize is a zippy new Holden Barina. Harvey Norman vouchers of $2,500 each are also up for grabs. The Vision Australia lottery will be drawn on 30 June at 12.00pm and proceeds will support Vision Australia‘s services. For a ticket and your chance to win a fabulous prize, call our hotline on 1800 422 007.

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Vision services clinics

    If you need to visit one of Vision Australia‘s Low Vision Clinics, don‘t forget to make an appointment first. Unfortunately Vision Australia can‘t cater for "drop ins" so unexpected visits impact on staff and clients who have made appointments in advance. To ensure you can be seen on the day you attend, please contact us on 1300 847 466 prior to attending any of our clinics, whether you‘re in a metropolitan or regional area.

Buy Nature Nature's new CD

    Vision Australia is selling "In Concert", the new CD by Nature Nature - a band featuring client Henry Phineasa and David McBurney, aka Geordi, the gardener at our Enfield office. Henry, who is blind, is a didgeridoo virtuoso, while Geordi thrills the soul with his flute, clarinet and percussion. Their music is inspired by and infused with the sights and sounds of nature. "In Concert" includes tracks from a concert recently filmed by ABC-TV - "a mixture of blues, tangos and long, dreamy pieces," says Geordi, who feels this is their best album so far.

To obtain your copy call 1800 422 007 or buy one direct from reception at Enfield.

    The CDs cost $20 each and profits go towards Vision Australia.

Equipment Solutions closing for stocktake

    Vision Australia‘s Equipment Solutions at Enfield will be closed for business on Thursday 29 June and Friday 30 June as we will be re-labelling shelving and doing our stocktake. To avoid disappointment we ask that customers plan their visits around this closure.

Vision Australia‟s 2006 Bursary Awards

    With the help of our generous supporters, Vision Australia was delighted to present bursaries to students for technology enabling them to participate in tertiary studies. Students received their bursaries at special presentations in Sydney and Melbourne in March. Vision Australia would like to congratulate the following students and wish them every success in their efforts this year:

Maysa Abouzeid

    Maysa will be going to La Trobe University to study a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary European Studies. She is a stand-up comic and has performed a number of comedy routines.

Jai Ambry

    Jai is enrolled in a Certificate 4 in Applied Design at Box Hill TAFE. He is a car enthusiast and is currently restoring a Commodore and a panel van.

Kathryn Barr

    Kathryn will be going to Bathurst to study a Bachelor of Social Science (Criminal Justice) at Charles Sturt University. She says she is looking forward to the challenge of an independent future.

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