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

World Braille Day, 4th January 2020

The International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) joins the United Nations and global disability community in celebrating World Braille Day on Saturday 4th January 2020. This day marks the 211th anniversary of Louis Braille’s birth and his creation at age 15 of a tactile reading and writing system that is called Braille in his honour.

World Braille Day was established by the United Nations in 2019 to raise awareness of the importance of braille in the context of education, freedom of expression and opinion, and social inclusion – see https://www.un.org/en/observances/braille-day The UN emphasises the provision of braille and other accessible forms of communication in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, 2006, Articles 2, 9, 21 and 24).

ICEVI, in partnership with the World Blind Union (WBU), released a Braille Literacy Position Statement in 2016, in recognition of the importance placed on braille in the United Nations CRPD. ICEVI and WBU highlight that “Braille represents competency, independence, and equality…learning to read and write in braille can make a dramatic difference in the life of a visually impaired child or adult”. WBU and ICEVI set out the following four recommendations in the Braille Literacy Position Statement:

  1. We strongly recommend that all blind and severely partially-sighted children be given the opportunity to learn and become proficient in braille reading and writing skills and that they must receive instruction from those who are thoroughly trained and qualified to teach braille.
  2. We strongly recommend that all blind persons have access to a variety of books and publications in braille that are up-to-date and include such materials as textbooks, education support materials, leisure reading materials and materials that support their full and active participation in community life.
  3. While advances in technology enable faster and more efficient production and use of Braille, we recommend that technology should be used to enhance the use of Braille, not to replace it.
  4. We recommend that all governments should ratify the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty which allows for copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for visually impaired persons and for the import and export of such materials across national boundaries.

On behalf of ICEVI, I invite you to join us in celebrating World Braille Day on 4th January, and in promoting braille as an essential means of communication and social and educational inclusion for persons with visual impairment.

Dr Frances Gentle, President, ICEVI
AO, PhD, D. Litt. Honoris Causa
Conjoint Lecturer, RIDBC Renwick Centre;
President, International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI);
and Co-President, South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (SPEVI)

OZeWAI national accessibility conference coming to Perth in February 2020

OZeWAI, Australia’s national digital accessibility conference, has announced that it will be holding its next gathering in Perth, Western Australia and co-locating with the Perth Web Accessibility Camp (PWAC). The camp will be held 11-13 February 2020.

In an e-mail announcement, it was stated that:

“OzeWAI is partnering with the Perth Web Accessibility Camp (PWAC) to host the Australian Accessibility Conference. Our conference aim is to enhance the professional understanding of accessibility across Australia through networking, education and industry certification.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about and contribute to the future direction of accessibility.
  • Collaborate in the accessibility ‘Shark Tank’
  • Undertake internationally recognised industry certification exams
  • Celebrate achievements in accessibility”

The OZeWAI conference has been running for over 20 years with this marking its first time being held in Perth. By co-locating with the seventh Perth Web Accessibility Camp the move ensures that attendees will be supported whether they are just starting out on the accessibility journey or are seasoned digital access professionals.

Additional information can be found on the OZeWAI website You can also view a selection of PWAC 2019 highlights

Australian Accessibility Conference in 2020 in Perth, Western Australia.

Australian Accessibility Conference (OZeWAI and PWAC)
11th – 13th February 2020 at VisAbility at Victoria Park.

Australian Accessibility Conference

OZeWAI is the Australian Web Accessibility Initiative and PWAC is the Perth Web Accessibility Camp, these two events have joined together with the Centre for Accessibility to create the Australian Accessibility Conference.

17th Deafblind International World Conference 2019 Conference Program Available

Earlybird closes end February.

Have you booked your ticket yet? The conference program for the 17th Deafblind International World Conference has now been released! If you want to secure your place at the conference and learn more about accessibility, communication and technology for those who are deafblind, make sure to register.

View program

The Deafblind International conference offers a rich and engaging program featuring worldwide perspectives on accessibility, communication and technology to empower the deafblind community.

The program also includes a family forum covering a range of topics including the experience of family life when one parent has deafblindness, to parents of young adults with deafblindness describing their children’s health behaviours over time.

The Global Report on Deafblindness will also be presented at the 2019 Conference.

Register now!

Earlybird closes 28 February 2019.

Deafblind International and Able Australia invite you to register for the 17th Deafblind International World Conference 2019.

The conference theme is:
Sharing the knowledge to ACT: Accessibility. Communication. Technology. “Now is your time to ACT”

In keeping with this theme, we aim to showcase research, experiences and best practices that are shaping the world for those who are deafblind. This conference is not only for academics and professionals working in the field of deafblindness, but also professional interpreters and communication guides, people who are deafblind, together with families of people with both acquired and congenital deafblindness.

For registration costs and inclusions, please go here: dbi 2019 registration