'Representing the Deafblind Community in Victoria'

Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Deafblind tips 9 – Ross House lift

Ross House is in central Melbourne. Deafblind people come to Ross House for DBV Connect. It is popular place for get together, learning technology, peer support, communication skills, meeting Deafblind staff, and so on. You can see photos and a short video of Deafblind people coming to Ross House and finding our way to the right floor to visit the DBV office.

In 1999 Ablelink was set up in the same location. It was a deafblind technology and drop-in centre. We Deafblind people often got confused and lost when getting out of the lift to the wrong floors. A simple tip was created to make Ross House more accessible for the Deafblind community. How? There are stickers with embossed numbers and braille numbers on them. These tactile signs can be felt when the lift door opens and we check the numbers on each floor, outside the lift on both sides.

Click the video to watch Heather show the Braille stickers below.

The Rainbow Project, relationships and gender identity

What does “gender” mean in the Deafblind community? What kinds of relationships and sexual preferences do we have? How can we make sure that everyone is welcome and included?

At Deafblind Café on 19th Oct 2022, Sherrie Beaver from the Rainbow Project and DBV’s Michelle Stevens gave a presentation and led a discussion about LGBTQIA+ identities and gender diversity. Members were able to ask questions and share their experiences. Some talked about having friends, family and support workers who are LGBTQIA+, and how they have become an “ally” (supporter). Others felt safe enough to come out as queer, trans and non-binary themselves. One Deafblind participant said that this was the first time they had ever talked about these issues in the Deafblind community. A big thank you to Sherrie and to all who attended!

Click here for transcript of the PDF and photos from the event

DBV Café – Charles Bonnet Syndrome

On Wednesday 21st September DBV held our monthly Cafe event with an AFL theme to celebrate the Grand Final weekend, held at Ross House in Melbourne CBD.

Guest speaker Scot Muirden from Charles Bonnet Syndrome Foundation came to give an interesting presentation on Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) – a condition that can affect people with vision-loss where they experience recurring visions. Thank you Scot for visiting DBV to raise awareness on CBS in the Deafblind community.

Fourteen DBV members and their supports all enjoyed the day.

A special congratulations goes to DBV members Michael D and Gina P for winning best dressed!

Thanks everyone. We look forward to seeing you all at next month’s DBV Café event.

Click for more photos

Deafblind tips 8 – Rubbish bins with shoe laces

I live in a nice unit shared with other 4 units on the same property. Every Monday evening I take my wheeled rubbish bins to the front nature strip for the early morning  smelly rubbish to be picked up by the garbage truck collectors. You know Garbage men do not care to put the bins back in the  same spots on the nature strip. The bins become mixed around and  I can not read the bins printed numbers. How can I find the bin that belongs to me? Well, here is a simple hint. I cut an old shoe lace into two then tie it to the handles of the green rubbish bin and yellow recycle bin.  This helps me find which bins are mine and I can drag them back.

Hey I wonder if Oscar the Grouch is grumpy and nagging if I tied shoe lace on the handles of his bin??

LendLease – Deafblind World

On the 25th of May, staff from Lendlease attended a Deafblind World workshop. LendLease is a construction company involved in the Metro tunnel project near Ross House, where DBV is located. Steven Weir from LendLease arranged for some of their staff to come and learn about deafblind accessibility in building design, and when projects are under construction. He said the LendLease team found the workshop brilliant and “full of great ways we can improve our places and spaces to help to provide a better experience for those who are DeafBlind”. Thanks Steven! We really appreciate you taking the time to work with us.

Click for photo gallery

Deafblind tips 7 – Hospital communication

Before my surgery last year I thought to try and created of the communication between me and nurses at the hospital. You know Sometimes interpreters or Commguide are not available to support.

I typed up a short instruction and is laminated in size A4 paper then typed on words in braille.

See photo of my original template saying, “I can read braille”. I may point which words to show you what I need. You can hold my pointer finger and touch any braille word for me to read. the words under the instruction are – hello, drink, see you later, food, how are you, good, bad, feel hot, feel cold, toilet, pain, comfortable, not comfortable.

See other photos of a bright yellow sign. This yellow with large black print sign is to pin on the wall near the hospital bed for better attention because most in the wards the walls are white. Something for a contrast to be easily seen.

The yellow sign on the top of A4 paper in big block and bold saying ‘I AM DEAFBLIND’ The next lines says, ‘Please tap my shoulder few times this lets me know you are here and want to talk to me. Please write words slowly on my palm hand with your finger in big capital letters. I can write on paper with my pen for you to read.’

From my experiences, I enjoyed communicating with friendly nurses which made me feel good. Also, I had the notebook with a pen for some specific information, I had to write notes for them to read.

I remember a bit after my surgery in the recovery room A nurse woke me up. I was drowsy while Nurse held my finger to the braille word ‘How are you’ I read and signed “thumb up’. After our short conversation, I was surprised that a nurse hugged me. Something that she was proud to talk to me herself.

I received some feedback from nurses, they liked the idea of communication template. They suggested me to add some more words. I will improve this system, but it is really up to deafblind persons to create to meet their own communication needs.

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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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 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.