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

Ryan Honschooten – Blind Sailor from Perth says:

“Flight booked: its real! I am crewing in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart on board Kayle sailors with disabilities

All thanks to sponsor Irvin Bullbars

Keep track of Ryan and the other members of the crew in the 2015 Rolex Sydney to Hobart hatch race.

To be blind only means you cant see.