'Representing the Deafblind Community in Victoria'

Posts tagged ‘deafblind victoria’

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.

Read more

Recreation program – Luna Park

DBV members on the roller coaster at Luna Park

On Saturday the 26th of March, DBV members went for an exciting trip to Luna Park. It was a great day. Thanks Alex for coordinating the activity, and to all support people for helping make it a great day.

Enjoy the gallery of pics below. Photos taken by DBV member Robert. We hope to see you at the next DBV recreation activity! Check the what’s on page for updates.

Read more

DeafBlind World workshop with Bendigo Deaf Hub and Deaf Victoria

Deafblind Victoria members Joe & Heather with interpreters

On Thursday 25th November 2021 Deafblind Victoria ran their first regional Deafblind World workshop with Bendigo Deaf Hub (BDH) online via zoom.

Due to lockdown restrictions between regional Victoria and Melbourne area, Deafblind Victoria had to postpone their visit to the Bendigo Deaf Hub for many months unfortunately.

However with regular meetings between DBV and BDH online through facetime, zoom and emails, we were all very determined to work together on still having the Deafblind Workshop and decided to try deliver it online via Zoom.

Participants attending the workshop online via Zoom

At DBV we created our first ever Deafblind Experience Kit with some props such as blindfolds and earplugs, activity sheets and resources which we posted out to the participants before the workshop for them to experience deafblindness from home on the day of the workshop. If we couldn’t meet in person for the workshop we wanted to try bring the experience to them instead.

We are always trying new things like this at DBV.

Of the 15 participants that attended we had a mix of Deaf, Hard of hearing, and hearing people including interpreters, occupational therapists, counsellors, teachers and staff members from Bendigo Deaf Hub and Deaf Victoria.

The workshop was presented by two Deafblind Victoria members, Heather Lawson and Joe Montelone, sharing  various life experiences, information, running activities and answering many questions.

DBV members Joe & Heather presenting online with interpreters nearby

Here is some of the feedback we got from Bendigo Deaf Hub:

“A huge thank you for today’s workshop, it was amazing! It was a massive logistical effort by you all.

The Bendigo Deaf Hub team learnt so much from it and all the feedback we have got from participants has been really positive too. We really enjoyed learning about what it is like to experience deafblindness from both Heather and Joe”

Thank you to the Auslan interpreters who worked with DBV for this Deafblind World workshop, often not an easy task when on working online but in the end it really was a great success!

Also thanks to Ntennis and Justin for their support such as with the technology for the Zoom workshops.

-Heather and the team at Deafblind Victoria.

DeafBlind tips #6: QR code cards by Heather Lawson

Photo description: Laminated white card with large black print that says “I am deafblind. I can’t photo QR code. Please add my details to the written list: Mary Poppins, M:0394838171 sms only”

I created the card called QR code card. I tested it by showing staff who work in shops, café, supermarket. They took the card from me for them to read while writing in the QR book or typing on QR device for me and gave the card back to me. I know they did it.

Why I use the QR code card? I am blind. I cannot see where the QR screen are at any shops so I can’t scan it by my iPhone. Only way I could try at the shop counters showing the lamination card I keep in my bag or coat pocket.

I feel more in control to use the QR card. No matter if I go out with Commguides or friends or on my own. I have the control to do this independently.

You may want to try yourself in different ways of communication needs. It depends if you have or not have the iPhone or your iPhone may not work well. It’s best to have back up  to use card. I have the message in my iPhone voice mail saying

“hello Heather here. I am deafblind, I can’t hear you talking on the phone so please SMS me and I can read your text  by using my braille device thank you”

See photo and text description of a sample of QR code card to the right hand side of text:

Here is a short video of Heather demonstrating how to use the QR card in a Melbourne café.

By Heather Lawson – email: dbvheather@gmail.com

Assistive Technology – lunch and learn workshop by Guide Dogs Victoria

Deafblind Victoria attended the Lunch and Learn online workshop held by Guide Dogs Victoria on Tuesday the 7th of September, 2021.

Presenter Glen Morrow discussed the new Apple iOS15 for iPhones and iPads, as well as various accessibility settings like individual app settings for high-contrast, dark background with white large text, adding descriptions to photos as well as using dictation on Samsung smart phones.

Every month, Guide Dogs Victoria will have regular half-hour workshops covering many different topics relating to accessibility and technology for people with low vision needs.

Here is a short video of Deafblind Victoria member Andrew Howard talking about the assistive technology workshop he attended in Auslan.

Translation of video :

“Hello DBV!

They explained about AT (assistive technology) on mobile phones and iPads, and using apps on them. If the app’s background is white, it can be hard to read. You can change the background to black. That’s good! You can set it for any app.

The second thing was photos. There is a VoiceOver description for photos. It connects to braille so you can read it in braille too. That works for any app.

The third thing is… ummm…. dogs, shopping, technology… [Andrew tries to remember]

iOS 15 will be released soon – some time in the next few weeks. That’s all. Bye!”

Deafblind tips #5: Raised dots and braille labels for appliances

For many years I have used a microwave oven to cook or heat up food. I stick raised dots on to the screen of the microwave on top of the stop and start button. This helps me to feel which dots to press for restart or to stop cooking. Also when travelling anywhere and staying at any accommodation such as motel, hotel or at friends, where there are no raised dots, I find ways to be independent. I bring my own blue tack and make small dots to stick on temporarily. It works well. Your choice whether you prefer to have raised dot or braille labels for your microwave oven. You can buy raised dots or braille labels from the Vision Australia shop through your NDIS funds.

Heather Lawson – dbvheather@gmail.com

NDIA awareness training workshop

On Tuesday 3rd August, Deafblind Australia (DBA) and Deafblind Victoria ran a Deafblind awareness workshop for NDIS workers in metro Melbourne.

The workshop was delivered online from Ross House due to Covid-19 restrictions. This was the first time that DBV held a workshop for NDIA staff online. Four Deafblind presenters presented information about the Deafblind community, culture, language, barriers and technology.

Image descriptions:

1. Heather sitting with a tactile Auslan interpreter. Attendees and interpreters stand nearby. Another interpreter stands by Heather’s shoulder using haptic interpreting

2. Joe presenting in Auslan with Heather sitting nearby with a tactile interpreter.

3. Alex presenting with an Auslan interpreter standing by his left side. Michelle is sitting nearby with a tactile Auslan interpreter

4. Michelle seated at a tactile interpreting table demonstrating her Braille display to access her smartphone.

We hope this training will improve the experience that Deafblind Victorians have with the NDIS.

We wish to thank Deafblind Australia for working with DBV for this workshop.

We would also like to thank the four Deafblind presenters – Heather Lawson, Joe Monteleone, Alex Sar, and Michelle Stevens – along with the interpreters and commguides.

Thank you everyone for making this a successful day!

DBV met with NDIA CEO & self-advocacy groups

DBV members sit with SARU and Martin Hoffman

On Wednesday the 17th March, disability self-advocacy groups met with the CEO of the NDIA, Martin Hoffman. The meeting was arranged by SARU. It was a hybrid meeting with some in person and some online.

People with disability shared their experiences of abuse and isolation in institutions and the community. They talked about how self-advocacy gives people a sense of belonging and pride.

Trudy Ryall attended for DBV. Trudy invited Martin to a DBV café event to learn more about our unique Deafblind community.

Trudy with interpreter and a video screen with Zoom attendees

We hope that meetings like this will help the NDIA to have a better understanding of the Deafblind community and self advocacy groups.