'Representing the DeafBlind Community in Victoria'

Posts from the ‘DBV remembers’ category

DBV member Gina’s story about macramé and crafts

I’m Gina and I have Usher Syndrome. Now my eyesight is getting worse, things look foggy. I had an operation two years ago but my eyes have changed. It’s sad. However, my hobby for many years has been doing craft – macramé, mosaic, knitting, crochet, etc. I love making different things with my hands and learning new skills. I am always getting ideas for things to make. I can’t stop! At the moment I’m doing macramé – it’s a beautiful craft of knotted cords or ropes in patterns. While some people are sitting patiently at home because Covid lockdown, I’ve been adding crafty things all around the house. Now there’s so many everywhere! Ha-ha.

With macramé you can use one colour or two and weave them together into a pattern. Different thickness of cord will make a different style. Cords can be made from cotton, yarn, or wool – there are lots of varieties. I find very thick cotton cord is too heavy. There is a video and photos of my macramé below. You can try it for yourself and have something beautiful to touch and hang on a wall.

Gina signs in Auslan about her crafts and shows her macramé

DBV remembers: Meeting the PM

DBV meets Julia Gillard, Wednesday April 17, 2013.
Photo: Mark Graham

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.

Video from the Community Cabinet where Heather Lawson and Julia Gillard discuss the closure of Auslan courses at TAFE, 2013.