'Representing the Deafblind Community in Victoria'

Posts tagged ‘deafblind’

30 years of the Disability Discrimination Act – a Deafblind perspective

2022 marks the 30-year anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA). To commemorate this occasion, and to reflect on the successes and failures of the DDA, the City of Melbourne put on a forum at the Melbourne Town Hall on 24th Nov. This forum included a presentation by Heather Lawson from Deafblind Victoria on a panel discussion titled 1992 – 2022: What’s Changed?

Heather presented the history of Deafblind Victoria as a self-advocacy group run by Deafblind people, and the gap between grass-roots self-advocacy and laws and regulations. Despite experiencing discrimination almost every day, in all areas of life, Deafblind people are mostly unaware of the DDA and do not use it. We typically have low English literacy, little knowledge of the law, and lack of support to engage with legal processes. This can be addressed by building knowledge and confidence for Deafblind people to become self-advocates, by strengthening the Deafblind community as a place of mutual aid and support, and by including Deafblind people when developing laws and regulations. This other work can make the DDA more effective.

Click for video and transcript of presentation

DBV AGM & Christmas Party 2022

New DBV Committee from left to right: Michelle, Rodney, Trudy, Alex, Heather, and Jasper joining remotely through Messenger on the iPad.

On Wednesday 30th November 2022 Deafblind Victoria ran a combined event with our first AGM and Christmas party to coincide with DBV’s 15-year anniversary! It was held at Richmond Rowing Club and the weather was perfect for a big turnout of over 20 DBV members, along with many commguides, volunteers & interpreters. DBV’s new strategic plan was presented, which shows our goals for the next two years – click here to download a copy.

All the current five DBV committee members will reprise their roles in 2023 and we welcome our newest committee member, Rodney Baskett!

Prizes were handed out for best-dressed, we had Kris Kringle gift exchange, and a guest appearance by Santa. We all sung happy birthday in Auslan for DBV’s 15th anniversary. DBV received some great feedback from members on the day. We wish to thank all of our members for attending and voting in the AGM, and the Auslan interpreters for your wonderful work.

Merry Christmas from DBV!

Click for photos and testimonials

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.

DBV AGM & Xmas Celebration announcement

“Hello, its Michelle speaking. I would like to welcome you all to our combined AGM & Christmas celebration. This will be held at Richmond Rowing Club on Wednesday 30th Nov 12pm to 4pm. The AGM will run for one hour. We welcome you to join us! Maybe we will have a visit from Father Christmas?”

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

DBV visit Ceres Community Environment Park

DBV members socialise over lunch at Ceres centre

For September, DBV combined our Recreation Program with our Craft Day activity with a visit to Ceres Community Environment Park in Brunswick! Twelve of our DBV members along with their supports got to enjoy the beautiful sunny weather catching up with friends over a yummy lunch and exploring the grounds for exciting craft ideas on how to reuse, recycle, repurpose and rehome around the house more which is better for the environment.

We had a fun day and want to say thank you to everyone! We look forward to seeing you at the next Rec day in October.

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??

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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