On the 17th April 2013, it was an exciting moment for three members from DBV – Trudy, Heather, Michelle who met with the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and Federal community services and Jenny Macklin at the 50th Community Cabinet Meeting, the fifth Community Cabinet in Victoria.
At the start, they had a private meeting with Julia and Jenny and talked about the barriers Deafblind people experience and self-advocacy for the Deafblind community. The meeting was planned for 15 minutes but extended to 30 minutes, which was a great opportunity to share with them and give them paper goggles with tiny holes. They wore the pinhole goggles while we discussed communication and mobility barriers.
Jenny explained to them about the NDIS that had not yet rolled out at that time. They also gave them a DVD that DBV made with SARU (Self Advocacy Resource Unit) about their lives as Deafblind people, and a T-shirt promoting Deafblind communication.
Afterwards at the community forum, Heather raised the issue of the closing of Kangan Batman TAFE Auslan courses and the concerns of the reduction of trained interpreters for the Deafblind community in the future.
You can read a document with each of the presentations, including a video transcript – click here to download the document. There is also a video from the community forum. Note: the video automatically opens from 41 minutes when Julia Gillard spoke about Deafblind Victoria.