'Representing the Deafblind Community in Victoria'

Posts tagged ‘deafblind’

Member story – Fish finger

Hi, I’m Heather.

I want to introduce you to my little friend Fish Finger!

Whenever my fingers get tired of reading braille, my darling friend Fish Finger helps me lighten the mood. He’s much more clever than I am, and very good at reading braille!

I learned braille over 35 years ago, and it has given me more independence. I use braille to stay in touch with friends and family, to access apps and websites, email, and access to support services like interpreting.

Member story – Robert & photography


My name is Robert Lokmer .

I love taking photos! The bright LCD display on my camera makes it hard to see, so I changed the background to a black colour. I use the Zoom function to make the image closer. I’ll show you.

I enjoy taking photos at Deafblind Victoria activities, such as the DBV Café, craft group, and the recreation program.

I upload the photos to my computer and Facebook using the cloud.


DBV Connect is supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Go to www.dss.gov.au for more information.  

Deafblind World workshop for Auslan Community


Deafblind Victoria presents a training workshop, run by people who are deafblind to raise awareness for the Auslan community in Victoria, including Deaf, hearing, CODAs and Auslan students.

Topics include: integrating activities, deafblind communication, technology, barriers & access, demonstration of guiding and more.

When: Saturday, 22nd April 2023.

Time: 10am to 1pm (arrive at 9:45am for registration & payment).

Morning tea provided.

Where: Level 4, Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Limit: 30 participants

RSVP: deafblindworld@gmail.com by Thursday, 13th April. Please include your communication preferences in your RSVP.

Auslan Interpreters provided.

Cost: $25 full price, $15 concession. Pay on the day with cash or bank transfer.

Any questions? Please feel free to email us on deafblindworld@gmail.com.

Video above has the workshop information in Auslan. In the video, Heather is a deafblind woman with brown/grey shoulder length hair, blue eyes and a fringe. She is wearing a mauve V-neck t-shirt, sitting in front of a charcoal grey wall.

Deafblind guest speaker Jael from USA

Today 15th Feb 2023 at Deafblind Café, 15 Deafblind people were introduced to new member Jael, who is also Deafblind and has moved to Melbourne from Texas, USA.

Jael talked about the services available for Deafblind community in the States. Funding for supports in America varies, depending on which state you live in. Jael worked at Boeing as a machinist with other Deafblind machinists. One of the work stations was set up with a braille display for blind staff! However, Jael saw more opportunities for herself here in Australia. She is busy learning tactile Auslan.

There were many questions from DBV members and a lively discussion. We wish to extend a warm welcome to Jael to the Deafblind community in Victoria, and we look forward to getting to know her more. Welcome Jael, and thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

Click for photos

Joe’s Exhibition and Time Out café

On 8th Feb 2023, 15 Deafblind Victorians with supports went to Time Out café to share lunch and see Deafblind artist Joe Monteleone’s exhibition. 31 people attended, including commguides, DBV volunteers and a couple of Deaf guests from interstate.

Joe is a DBV member and currently has his second art exhibition at Federation Square. It’s a beautiful image lino cut and screen printed in 12 panels that combine to make one large picture of Flinders Street station. The exhibition runs until 5th March; be sure to check it out!

Joe described the process and answered questions, with an Auslan interpreter provided by DBV. DBV member Michelle Stevens printed braille visual descriptions and Joe’s biography. There is also braille signage, and Joe’s videos in Auslan can be viewed by scanning QR codes. Joe brought and handed around a piece of vinyl for DBV members to feel the textures of his lino-cut carving work.

We look forward to seeing you all again at the next DBV craft group event!

The Deafblind Community – Growing Together project is supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Go to www.dss.gov.au for more information.

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 Connect is supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Go to www.dss.gov.au for more information.  

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