'Representing the Deafblind Community in Victoria'

Posts from the ‘DBV Forums’ category

Deafblind Café – public transport accessibility reforms

At Deafblind Café on 20th July 2022, we talked about public transport and celebrated Christmas in July.

Maddie Chandler talks with Michelle Stevens about train access

The federal government plans to change the Disability Transport Standards. Maddie Chandler visited DBV from Canberra to find out more about Deafblind Victorians’ experiences with trains, trams, buses and taxis, so the government can make better rules about accessibility.

DBV members talked about problems we have with transport:

  • We memorise routes (how many stops, how to get from the platform to the exit, etc.) It’s difficult when things change
  • Announcements are not audible, signs are not visible, and asking for help is difficult with communication barriers
  • Staff can be unhelpful and hostile, and rules are inconsistent
  • Passengers rush in at stops before we can get off
  • Gaps, uneven platforms

And possible solutions:

  • Travel training for Deafblind people; learning the layout of stations
  • Deafblind Awareness training for transport staff
  • Signs with black backgrounds, and lower or closer to the ground
  • In Singapore and Japan, there are designated zones around train doors that passengers must stand behind, and glass doors to prevent tripping at the edge of the platform
  • Braille and tactile information at train stations

For more information about the Transport Standards, including how you can have your say about the changes, visit www.infrastructure.gov.au/transportaccessibility.

We celebrated Christmas in July with a Secret Santa and a prize for best festive hat, won by Jasper Cleland.

Click for photo gallery

11th National Deafblind Conference – DBV group presentation

DBV were proud to present at the 11th National Deafblind Conference on 1st July. Five DBV members gave the closing presentation for the conference: “How Deafblind people run our own organisation”.

Jasper Cleland, Trudy Ryall and Michelle Stevens presented in Perth, and Alex Sar and Heather Lawson presented from Melbourne via a live video link. A video of the presentation is below; it is Auslan/English interpreted with live captions. Corrections for a few small captioning errors will follow.

Thank you to the amazing team of interpreters and commguides – all their names are listed below the speaker notes. Without them we would not have been able to make this presentation!

Abstract: Have you ever wondered how a group of Deafblind people can run a meeting? Hold community events? How would they access funding? What can they do without support, and what supports are needed? Since it was founded by three Deafblind people in 2007, Deafblind Victoria has become a flourishing community group with 45 members, a permanent office space and 8 staff. It remains grass-roots; all members and the entire committee of management are Deafblind, as are most of the paid staff. DBV runs a weekly drop-in program, monthly peer support events, a volunteer program, Deafblind Awareness training, and develops and shares information and resources. The physical space at DBV has been designed by Deafblind people, with communication and mobility needs in mind. In this presentation, members will share learnings, challenges and experiences in building and sustaining their unique self-advocacy group, including practises of peer mentoring and the development of Deafblind language and culture.

CLICK FOR SPEAKER NOTES

Covid safety workshop

Deafblind Victorians face unique challenges with Covid. For an overview of the issues, see our post from last November.

To help members stay safe and get support during the pandemic, Deafblind Victoria and SARU (the Self-Advocacy Resource Unit) ran a Covid safety workshop on 23rd June 2022. The workshop was facilitated by Miranda Darrer from SARU and Jasper Cleland from DBV. Members paired up to talk about their experiences of masks, testing, isolation, supports and access to information. They learned about which kinds of masks give you better protection, and they were able to try different masks and take them home.

Two guests attended to provide more information:

  • Bec Swansson from Able Australia answered questions about how Covid rules affect Deafblind people’s access to commguides
  • Christy Walsh, a Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) explained that each region in Victoria has a DLO who can help you access testing and treatment
click for photos