In November, DBV gave two Deafblind World workshops to students in the Auslan course at Melbourne Polytechnic. Although we prefer to run the workshops face to face, that wasn’t possible due to lockdown. Their teacher, Fiona Goldab, organised for them to join us on Zoom instead. It is the first time we have run the workshops through video conferencing, and we think it was a great success. The students were wonderful and made their own blindfolds – many drew funny faces on them. They learned about the experience of Deafblind people, tips for guiding and communication, and tried to do some activities blindfolds on at their home. We hope some of them will become interpreters and comm guides in the future and work in the Deafblind community.
The first Deafblind World workshop for 2020 was on Tuesday 10th March. The DBV team were proud to make our first trip to Geelong by mini bus along with commguides. Three Deafblind members ran a special workshop to the ILC Branch of the NDIA in Geelong. The ILC team run part of the NDIS, so it was a great opportunity to raise Deafblind awareness in the NDIS. There were 30 participants who attended. As usual we ran activities for the participants to do wearing pinhole goggles, blindfolds and earplugs. We shared stories and information about our Deafblind life, Deafblind technology, support from interpreters and commguides, DBV’s peer support program and how Deafblind persons can succeed in their lives. We received so many questions from the participants. They could see how interpreters work together with Deafblind presenters in a workshop, including tactile sign. Feedback was very positive. Participants found the activities confronting as they tried to communicate and move around without vision or hearing, and they learned a lot about deafblindness and what it feels like to be Deafblind. Here are three comments from evaluations:
- It was very powerful. Keep it up!
- Understanding the challenges from people with lived experience is much more rewarding for me, and makes me appreciate how I can make a difference better.
- I learnt about inspiration, resilience, courage and hope.