Newsletter issue 2 – September 2020

Editorial news – Trudy Ryall

Image of braille on jeans buttons

Hello everyone. I hope that everyone has been able to get out lately. It has been wintery weather in September. The DBV newsletter started up because DBV Café events are postponed until we are allowed to meet again, and we want to make sure everyone stays connected about Deafblind advocacy and can share their stories. Email:

  1. Deafblind tips #2, braille on jeans – Heather Lawson

I have three jeans in the same design. The jeans feel the same, but I have a way of labelling them so I know which colour I am choosing. I create a label by stamping the colour code in braille onto Dymo tape then stick the tape onto the button of the jeans. I read the braille dots using my clever finger, not by me! The braille dots show “bk” for black, “lb” for light blue, “db” for dark blue. It truly helps. For photos & videos, see DBV Facebook page or website. Email:

  1. Deafblind Tech Talk – Michelle Stephens

Hi everyone! For those who may not know me, my name is Michelle Stevens. I am the Policy and Grants Officer for DBV. Each month I hope to write an article on adaptive technology and answer your questions. I have used adaptive technology for many years. On my computer I use JAWS screen reader for Windows and a Focus 40 braille display. I also use an iPhone with a Focus 14 braille display.

Speech to text (STT) software is a computer program that converts words that are spoken aloud to text. SST is also known as dictation, or speech recognition. STT lets someone speak into your phone and shows their words as text. You can read the text as large print or braille.

It is easy to set up. One of the things I really like is that you can braille or type your response back to the shop keeper, or ask questions just like a conversation. You can save the conversation for later, which is a great way to take notes.

It is not possible to always have a commguide or interpreter with you. I have used STT on my phone in some short appointments. It does not replace an interpreter but can get you out of tricky situations.

Email for more information:

  1. Deafblind volunteer register – Meredith Prain

Able Australia, Centre of Excellence – Deafblind are developing a register of people with deafblindness to invite them to participate on projects such as training, interviews, videos and research. All expenses and disability support will be paid such as interpreters. For more information and if you are interested please contact Meredith Prain:

  1. Able Australia Client Advisory Committee – Alex Sar

Able Australia is in the process of establishing a Client Advisory Committee which would make recommendations to the Able Australia Board. The Committee would meet 4 times a year. The goal of this committee is to increase client, carer and community participation in strategy, operations, planning and policy development at Able Australia.  If you are interested in applying and receive more information please contact

  1. DBWA Yarn Bombing –  Karen Wickham

The Deafblind West Australians support group got a grant from Australia Post to launch 2 Yarn Bombing events: Deafblind camp in March 2021 and Deafblind Awareness Week 2021 “Global yarn bombing.” The aim is to improve a community space with tactile art with knitted or crocheted squares. Please share news with the Australian deafblind community and artists if they enjoy crafts in contributing to this fun project. The goal is to make lots of 20 x 20 cm squares and they will be joined together as a big art creation. Here are easy to learn how to knit or crochet videos and it has captioning:

For further information email:

  1.  DBV new office (Old Ablelink Office) – DBV team

DeafBlind Victoria are moving to the old Ablelink craft room. It will be open on Thursdays to the Deafblind community to drop by. It will be a new place run by Deafblind Victoria independently. DBV hopes Deafblind people will provide peer training in braille, tactile Auslan & technology. Ntennis will also be available to help support and train members. Thursdays will be an opportunity to chat with friends, have lunch or a cuppa, use accessible computers, get help with devices, forms and phone calls, learn braille, tactile Auslan or learn about technology. We have to wait until the Covid19 restrictions are eased.  Stay in touch to find out about the opening day celebration 2021! For more information contact Ntennis Davi:

  1. DBV updates – Website & Facebook

You can join DBV and read about stories about on DBV website and Facebook page.


DBV Facebook group:

  1. Next newsletter – Articles are due Monday 21st October 2020

Anyone and DBV members who wish to join the DBV email list or which to send stories to the newsletters. You can email your article (200 WORD LIMIT) and your name and email address to: