Newsletter issue 3 – October 2020

Editorial news – Trudy Ryall,

Hello everyone.  I hope that everyone enjoyed the last weekend!  Some people were watching the AFL Grand Final 2020 – Richmond Tigers vs Geelong Cats game. Some were happy or sad to see who win. The DBV newsletter has started up because the DeafBlind Victoria monthly café has been postponed until we are allowed to meet again and DBV want to make sure everyone stays connected about Deafblind advocacy and contribute their stories. Part of the Funding DBV received from the government is also about forming partnerships with other organisations.

 Deafblind tips #3: Carton flaps – Heather Lawson,

Hey everyone. Another deafblind tip to share. When I go shopping, I like to buy milk and juice but all in the same style of carton. They are all in same sizes, very tricky to know which one. Now how I do this? Before putting cartons in supermarket trolley or in the pantry, I have to break one side flap of a carton for soy milk, break two side flaps for juice and the carton of almond milk with no breaking flaps. It helps me to feel the flaps when I need to. Question: Which carton is Deaf and have no ears?

Deafblind Tech Talk #2: Seeing A.I.  for iPhone – Michelle Stephens,

The Artificial Intelligence app (Seeing A.I.) 2020 is an app for the iPhone which is an amazing device and very helpful for people who are blind or have low vision or deafblind.  The features this app has are: 

  1. Artificial intelligence application is developed by Microsoft for IOS.
  2. A camera that identifies people and objects around them.
  3. Audibly describes those objects around them.
  4. Scans short texts, currencies and a picture of a person.
  5. You an tell when the light is on or off in the room.
  6. A product channel to used for reading barcodes, once the barcode is identified, Seeing AI will speak the name of the item.  It is a very useful tool.
  7. A handwriting function which can scan most handwritings which can be  read out on the braille machine and  IPhone.
  8. Colour probe so you can tell what colours you have.
  9. Works with large print.
  10. Seeing AI works well with Braille THROUGHOUT THE APP 
  11. You can download the FREE app in the Apple App Store and there is a help menu.

With practice, the app works well for a Deafblind person. I would like to see more features such as vibrations on the phone rather than sound.

My introduction to Amateur and Marine Radio – Robert Toseland,,

I am sight and hearing impaired, but still able to enjoy radio.  An invitation to attend the Amateur Radio Club came to me at the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind school in Burwood, Victoria. That was about mid ‘70’s. The station consisted of a transceiver and 2 types of antenna outside. We had great fun making contacts with other radio amateurs who were from local to overseas. For me, the standout contact was a station in Guam, North West Pacific Ocean. In the 80’s, I took up membership of the Radio Enthusiast’s Club of the Blind (later renamed to Kooyong Radio Club to broaden membership) and then the Wireless Institute of Australia in ‘85. We were provided facilities for our Club equipment. For me, studying the limited Amateur licence (completed 1984); the full ticket with Morse code (completed 1986) and the Marine radio certificate (completed 2010) was fun. Using my equipment, my best distance contacts were on very high frequency to Tasmania and Warburton via Geelong repeater and on shortwave, to Tucson, Arizona, USA. Both were from Gippsland.

My experiences in Community Radio…

During my school days in the ‘70’s, we visited these radio stations: 3XY, 3EA and EON-FM. These have since changed.  I did the ‘Radio: Introduction’ course at JOY FM for some evenings (completed 2011), my first training in broadcast radio. Then 2 courses followed: ‘A to Z of Podcasting’ (completed 2014) and ‘Multimedia, Radio and Filmmaking’ (completed 2015). That included panel operating at Channel 31. These courses were in the City and then South Melbourne.

I was told about 3WBC through word of mouth. I visited 3WBC one morning and met a presenter. I watched how the presenters ran their show. Before making my shows, I taught myself Audacity, an audio editor. I met the Station Manager and got to know other presenters over time. The Station Manager helped me with the program name. In May 2016, I started production of my monthly program ‘Out and About with Robert Toseland’ which is heard on the 3rd Saturday of the month (except January) at 9am on 94.1 FM or via the internet on So, please have a listen! I enjoy computers, sailing, trains, planes and square dancing. Hope you enjoyed this article.

National Self Advocacy Month – Ntennis Davi, 

Deafblind Victoria is run by deafblind people. We joined together to support each other and stand up for the Deafblind community. We work together to make sure we have the same rights, choices, and opportunities as anyone else. This is called “self-advocacy”. There are many self-advocacy groups in Australia, run by people with different disabilities. Like DBV, these groups speak up about rights and help each other. Members can meet new people, learn new skills, and give feedback to government and services.

November is National Self Advocacy month. To celebrate, the Self Advocacy Resource Unit (SARU) has organised an online event every Friday in November at 1pm – Nov 6, 13, 20 and 27. The events happen on Zoom. There will be a fun quiz, a dance party, a movie and a forum. There will be an Auslan interpreter on screen. Tell DBV or SARU if you want to join, and if you have other access needs like tactile interpreters or captions, or need help setting up Zoom. For more information, email or

The November 2020 newsletter

Articles are due Friday 20 November 2020.  

DBV members who wish to:

  • Join the DBV email list    
  • Give feedback
  • Request a membership form 
  • DBV want deafblind members to add stories to the newsletters (200 WORD LIMIT)