'Representing the Deafblind Community in Victoria'

ABC TV report: interpreter and commguide shortage

Last night, ABC TV news reported on the national shortage of Auslan interpreters and commguides. Heather Lawson was featured. DBV is glad that this issue is getting some coverage in the media. The Deafblind community in Victoria is really struggling at the moment, with very limited access to commguides. The situation has gotten worse over the last couple of years. Thanks to Meredith Bartlett and all who stepped in to support Heather’s access to this event, where the Victorian government announced funding for Auslan training. Gayle Tierney, the Victorian training minister, said that Victoria will add Auslan to the list of free TAFE courses. This is great news! See the 2 minute news segment, with a transcript below.

ABC TV News, Victoria, 16.5.2022
Click for transcript

Craft group – card making and beanie making

Kathy and Rodney learn to make beanies

On Wednesday 13th of April, DBV had our monthly craft activity day. DBV members Debbie and Kathy taught the group how to make beautiful art cards.

We also had art therapist Kim visiting from Camberwell Community Centre to show the group how to knit their own beanies.

Enjoy the gallery of photos below. We look forward to seeing you all at the next DBV craft day on May 11th when DBV visit ArtVo.

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Recreation program – Luna Park

DBV members on the roller coaster at Luna Park

On Saturday the 26th of March, DBV members went for an exciting trip to Luna Park. It was a great day. Thanks Alex for coordinating the activity, and to all support people for helping make it a great day.

Enjoy the gallery of pics below. Photos taken by DBV member Robert. We hope to see you at the next DBV recreation activity! Check the what’s on page for updates.

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Tactile maps research

Leona and Ruth from Monash University testing 3D printed building models with Heather Lawson & interpreters

Researchers from Monash University are testing 3D printed models with blind and deafblind people. These models show the layout of rooms in a building, including the location of walls, stairs, toilets, shops and more. They can show different floors of the same building. The researchers, Ruth and Leona, visited DBV yesterday to test the models with DBV members. We think it’s a great idea and we hope to see tactile models of buildings in future! It might help us find our way around independently.

For more information on the study and to register your interest, please visit: https://forms.gle/fFvvUFRcztUJa7cE9.  

Contact Ruth.Nagassa@monash.edu if you have any questions.

Craft group – Southbank and National Gallery

DBV members Richard and Debbie with communication guides, engaging with Aboriginal art at NGV.

On the 9th of March, 13 Deafblind Victoria members attended our monthly craft group activity.

We took a trip to Southbank for lunch, followed by a trip to the National Gallery of Victoria to explore their Exhibition called “Marking Time: Indigenous Art”.

Enjoy the photos taken by DBV members on the day.

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DBV newsletter #8, March 2022

This edition of DBV’s newsletter features the wonderful woodwork creations of DBV member Richard Howell, as well as updates about DBV’s recreation program, craft group and other DBV projects. The regular Deafblind Tips segment shows how a deafblind person can know which rubbish bin is theirs when living in flats or units. This month’s Tech Talk is about a braille display issue with iPhones.

To download the newsletter as a Word document, click here.

Medical trial – new drug for Usher Syndrome RP

DBV member Joseph Heenan visited DBV today to share news about a medical trial that he is involved in. Doctors are testing a new tablet to see if it can help stabilise Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) for people with Usher Syndrome. In the video, Joseph talks in Auslan about the trial. A transcript is below. Joseph doesn’t know if he is taking the real medicine or a placebo! If you want to join the study, click here for more information.

Joseph Heenan talks in Auslan about a clinical trial of a new medicine for RP and Usher Syndrome

Transcript: Hello, my name is Joseph Heenan. I have Usher Syndrome. I’m visiting to tell you about a new medial trial for people with Usher Syndrome. Here are the tablets that I will take for 2 years. You can join the trial too – download the flyer and send them an email to make arrangements. You can test the medicine for 2 years to see if it helps keep your RP stable. It won’t improve your condition but it might stop it from getting worse. Good luck!

DBV Xmas party

On the 1st of December, Deafblind Victoria held a Xmas party at the Richmond Rowing Club in Melbourne CBD.

24 DBV members celebrated with commguides, volunteers and interpreters; 58 people in total.

There were dress-ups with Santa Claus and his little helper making a guest appearance by Daryl Harrison and Sharon. Presents were handed out by Trudy and Paola. Speeches, raffle door prizes and pizza lunch were also provided.

DBV wishes to thank everyone for joining us to celebrate Xmas! Enjoy the photos.