About GAM Industries

GAM Industries was set-up in 2013 as a company created and operated by Greg Madson to disseminate information on accessibility for people who are blind or have low vision.

GAM Logo

GAM Logo

Making up the logo of the company – the image that appears as seen above is a representation of the word gam in braille.

If you are looking for a website builder with experience in design for Accessibility , assistive technology training, or advice on how to make your website accessible to people with a disability, I can assist.

Being Their Eyes

BY HARRIET FLINN ON AUGUST 5, 2021

https://westernindependent.com.au/2021/08/05/being-their-eyes/

Blind citizens of WA are saying a new app is helping them with their everyday lives, and igniting conversation around the disability.

Be My Eyes website: https://www.bemyeyes.com/

Released in 2015, Be My Eyes is a free mobile app that assists the lives of blind and low-sighted people around the world, providing them with a new pair of virtual eyes.

Video link: https://youtu.be/6GRfFuWsjNU

The app is designed around the use of a video call, where blind and low-sighted individuals are connected with their sighted volunteer counterparts, essentially acting as their eyes, and helping them with everyday tasks.

Grace King has been blind since birth, and says the app has had a significant impact on her life. “It has definitely raised awareness and offered people who can see, a glimpse into the lives of people who are blind.”

she says.

Grace King talks about her experiences with Be My Eyes. Video: Harriet Flinn https://videopress.com/v/xDFfwxed

The app has almost five million volunteers in over 150 different countries.

Savanna Kileff has been a Be My Eyes volunteer for almost one year, and has answered a number of calls, helping out blind app users from around the world.

“I actually first found out about the app on TikTok, and thought it was so amazing that I went straight to the app store to download it” she says.

“I remember waiting patiently for my first call and when my phone finally rung, it was someone in their house, who was struggling to figure out the flavour of their cider bottles.”

She says she felt extremely helpful after picking up that first phone call, and says so many of us take vision for granted.

Greg Madson is a senior consultant at GAM Industries, and has been helping create assistive disability technology for over eight years. He says the Be My Eyes app has been a huge step in the right direction.

“When you’re blind, you’re home and you’re by yourself, Be My Eyes acts as a voice of reason for so many blind people around the world.” “I have been working with vision impairment technology since 2013, and the app has definitely worked to create a more inclusive and accessible environment,” he says.

“Creating easy-to-use and adaptive technology for visually impaired people is so important in our new-age tech-world, so this app is definitely helping to raise the standard for disability communication.”

Western Independent – STORIES FROM CURTIN UNIVERSITY’S JOURNALISM STUDENTS

Paw-fect improvements at Perth Airport

Two new Service Animal Relief Areas, one in Terminal 1 and one in Terminal 4, are now making it easier for passengers travelling with an assistance animals.

Perth Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer Kate Holsgrove said Perth Airport was committed to making travel more accessible for all passengers and that these new facilities would improve their travel experience significantly.

“We’re continually looking at opportunities to improve access for people travelling with a disability and the new facilities are part of our commitment to making our airport more accessible for all.

“When people with service animals travel, they are obviously keen to ensure that their animal is cared for in the best possible way, whether that be pre or post flight”

“The locations of the new facilities have been chosen to allow quick and easy access, particularly while waiting on baggage or following the check-in process” Ms Holsgrove said.

Perth Airport’s Access and Inclusion Customer Reference Group has provided valuable feedback and advice on the travel experience and suggested improvements which could be made to infrastructure and operations at Perth Airport.

“The purpose of the Perth Airport Access and Inclusion Customer Reference Group is to advocate for accessibility, discuss barriers to inclusion and improve the customer experience for people with disabilities”

“The group has allowed us to work together to create a more inclusive airport for Western Australia. We thank everyone involved who has helped us with this project, in particular VisAbility, Blind Citizens WA, and People with Disabilities WA”

“We are committed to continuing these consultative forums to discuss the issues and barriers that people with disability experience while travelling,” Ms Holsgrove said.

David Voscanos, Accessibility Specialist at VisAbility, said that the new areas provide passengers with service animals a more private and fit for purpose facility which will improve the travel experience for people with disability.

“It has been great working with the Perth Airport team on this initiative and we look forward to participating in other future projects to improve access for all at our airport,” said Erica Webb from Blind Citizens WA.

Greg Madson from People with Disabilities WA said that the new areas were a great initiative and provide some additional certainty that his service animal Memphis will be more comfortable and happier on his journey when he travels to and from Perth.

Memphis the dog also gave his “woof” of approval today when trialling the new facilities.

In addition to a number of customers, the following organisations are represented on Access and Inclusion Customer Reference Group:

  • Department of Communities
  • National Disability Services
  • Melissa Northcott, Ability Centre Australasia LtdBoard Director
  • VisAbility
  • Muscular Dystrophy WA
  • People With Disabilities (WA)
  • Blind Citizens WA
  • Autism WA
  • Council on the Ageing
  • The design elements of the new service animal relief areas include”:

    • Wall mounted water bowl
    • Signage (including braille)
    • Distress assistance/ cleaning assistance call button connected to the Airport Control Centre
    • Paper towel dispenser and waste receptacle
    • Accessible wash basin with shroud and mixer
    • Wall mounted soap dispenser
    • Audio instructions activated by a push button
    • Surface mounted waste receptacle
    • Wall mounted dog waste bag dispenser
    • Non-slip, removable astro-turf
    • Slip resistant floor finish
    • Retractable wall mounted hose unit

    MEDIA CONTACT:
    Corporate Affairs
    Perth Airport
    E: media@perthairport.com.au

Dog Guide Handlers Australia 2021 National Conference

In 2021 Dog Guide Handlers Australia (DGHA) held its National Bi-Annual conference online via Zoom on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th June.

You can listen to the audio or read the transcriptions of the 2 days here: Dog Guide Handlers Australia Conferences page

Deafblind Camp 2021 in Western Australia

Due to COVID-19 the 2020 Western Australian Deafblind Camp has had to be postponed until March 2021, see details below.

“Glitz & Glamour on the Red Carpet”
NEW DATE: Friday the 12th of March to Monday the 15th of March, 2021
Woodman Point, Coogee South of Fremantle, Western Australia.

For more information about the Deafblind Camp 2021, please go to our Deafblind Camp 2021 page

WA Deafblind Camp 2021 Auslan Video

Below is a link to a Auslan video with information on the WA Deafblind camp 2021

WA Deafblind camp Auslan Video

Video Transcript:

Hello. My name is Eddie Szczepanik from Perth, WA. Hello to all Deafblind campers and volunteers. We wanted to give you the latest update about the WA Deafblind camp.

The camp will now be held on March 2021. Thank you all for your patience in waiting for this announcement in relation to the WA Deafblind camp. We had hoped that the COVID-19 situation would have been resolved by November of this year. If that turned out to be the case then the camp could have still gone ahead but because of what is happening in Victoria, unfortunately the camp cannot go ahead in November.

We did not want the camp to go ahead without our eastern state friends having the opportunity to attend. So, we requested for an extension for the funding to run the camp. The funding body approved this request and allowed the extension to use the funds by April 2021. That means the money to run the camp must be spent by that time.

We checked with the camp site for availability and have now made a booking for the camp to be held on the following dates: Friday 12th March to Monday 15th March, 2021.

This video announcement is to advise that everything to do with the camp is basically the same for the full four days. Only the date has been changed from November 2020, to March of 2021.

The camp will still be run at Woodman Point, Coogee, the same camp site as last time. Activities at the camp will go ahead as originally planned. The Planning Committee has been working hard to make sure that everyone understands the changes and can still proceed with their plans to attend the camp, here in WA.

Flights will need to be booked or changed and if you plan to bring your own Comm-guide, their availability will need to be confirmed for the new dates. An invoice will be sent out to all Deafblind campers for $150, by the end of November so that you will be able to pay for camp. We will be in touch with all individuals to confirm that you are still able to attend the camp in March.

Hopefully, the quarantine restrictions will be lifted by then and everyone can come to Perth. If for some reason, that doesn’t happen and restrictions are still in place, we unfortunately will not be able to extend the camp date again and the camp will go ahead as scheduled for those who are able to get here. If you have paid for the camp and are unable to attend, refunds will be made available. If people are unable to attend for that reason, it would be a major disappointment for all of us. So, fingers crossed the government keeps on top of the COVID-19 situation and controls the spread of the virus, and hopefully the borders will be open again soon enough.

We are trying our best to make sure that all the national Deafblind community have the opportunity to come to this important event. But, as you know, some things are out of our control. So, be positive that everything will turn out for the best. And please, please let us know if you have any concerns or questions. We will be in touch again soon in regard to what will happen next. See you all in March! Love you guys! Bye for now.

ONKYO BRAILLE ESSAY COMPETITION 2020

The World Blind Union Asia Pacific Onkyo Braille Essay competition is now open for entries. If you or someone you know is a writer who uses braille, please read the information below and share with your networks. We look forward to receiving your entries by 15 May 2020.
Should you have any questions, please contact Samantha Marsh on 1800 033 660.

About the Contest:

This Braille Essay Contest is made possible through the courtesy and generous financial support of The Onkyo Corporation Ltd. of Japan, a leading manufacturer of quality audio-visual equipment. The Contest is managed by the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific (WBUAP). The Contest is open to all blind and vision-impaired persons from the ages of 14 years and above in the WBUAP Region. However, the Otsuki winners of 2018 and 2019 are not eligible to participate.

The purpose of the contest is to promote Braille literacy and encourage the reading and writing of Braille; and to encourage cultural and social interaction among blind and vision impaired persons through their writings. The top 5 entries will be sent to the WBUAP Onkyo Selection Committee for final consideration, and any winning Australian entries will be published in Blind Citizens News.

This is an annual competition, with cash prizes awarded to the best seven entries received from within the WBU Asia Pacific Region. The main prize, “the Otsuki Prize” is $US 1000. Other prizes are for “Excellent Works” ($US 500) and “Fine Works” (either $US 300 or $US 200) depending on the age group.

Participation in the contest is open to people from 14 years of age, living in the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific Region. Entries are divided into two age groups: persons between the ages of 14 and 25 years; and persons from the age of 26 years upwards.

Essay topics:

  • If Braille is still relevant for the blind today, how and what measures ought to be taken to promote its usage?
  • The people/organisations who have helped me to overcome my blindness and be a useful person.
  • If you were to be given three wishes, what would they be and why?
  • The magic of music and what it means to me.

Closing date is 15 May 2020. Winners will be notified in November 2020.

Essays must be between 700 and 1,000 words and presented in hard copy Braille or in computerized Braille if you can provide proof of your Braille literacy. This can be in the form of a letter from your Braille instructor, teacher or other professional who can vouch for your skills.

When submitting your essay to BCA, you must also provide:
An electronic photo of yourself, a cover letter stating your full name, address, and contact details, your date of birth, your status ie. student, home maker, worker. If a student state what school you are from including the name, address and email contact for your school.

Please submit entries to BCA by 15th May 2020 at:

Attention: Samantha Marsh
Samantha.marsh@bca.org.au
Blind Citizens Australia
Ross House
Level 3, 247-251 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000