Welcome to the Be My Guide community!

Hello all

Welcome to the Be My Guide community!

My name is Paul, and I was part of the team at Senses Australia involved in developing Be My Guide. As our community grows, I wanted to acknowledge and thank each of you. I hope that Be My Guide has helped you in one way or another already, and I look forward to supporting you on your journey towards greater independence.

In my day-to-day work, I am an Orientation and Mobility Specialist. I am fortunate to assist blind, deafblind, and vision-impaired people to live a full and independent life. In particular, I teach skills in navigating the environment – knowing where you are (orientation), and getting where you need to go (mobility).

Be My Guide was created to encourage you to increase your confidence and independence in the community. Using video-calling technology, we link you with your most reliable supports – your friends and family, who describe your surroundings in real time, allowing you do what you need to do.

Go here to learn more about how Be My Guide could assist you: Be My Guide YouTube Clip

Senses Australia’s dedicated Sensory Services team supports people who are deaf, blind, or deafblind. Our team of specialists is available to help you or someone you know to develop important life skills and connect with others. Contact us to find out more about how we can support you to feel safe and confident in your community.

I truly hope that Be My Guide has made a difference to you and your family. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, I would be more than happy to assist you to achieve your full potential!

Paul Garwood
Senior Orientation Mobility Instructor
Therapy Services
M: 0413 543 815
E: paul.garwood@senses.org.au

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)


For over 13 years Travel Tree has designed and escorted a Vision Impaired tour to the most interesting & exotic destinations.

In 2020 we will be travelling to the ‘Island of the God’s’ – Bali, Indonesia.

Offering an overload to the senses with sounds of vibrant street life, smells of incense from local offerings, the touch of ethnic textiles at a local market stop and tastes of the many culinary delights this 7 day itinerary will be sure to offer something to all.

All the tours have been escorted by George Booth who will once again travel with the group for one last time in 2020.

6 Nights /7 Days

Departing Australia Monday 11th May Returning 17th May 2020

Package Pricing

per person twin share

Package Inclusions

  • Return economy class flights flying Garuda Indonesia ex Perth, Sydney & Melbourne
  • Return economy class flights flying Virgin Australia ex Brisbane
  • Current airport taxes and charges
  • 6 nights’ accommodation at the Bali Mandira Hotel (Deluxe Cottage)
  • Airport transfers & land transportation on tours
  • Full daily breakfasts and other meals as featured in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing as featured in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees and Services of your escort Mr George Booth from Travel Tree

Not Included

  • Meals other than featured
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure i.e. telephone calls, alcohol etc


For Vision Impaired persons it is necessary to have a sighted guide companion for the duration of the tour.

Travel Insurance is compulsory

A valid Australian passports at least 6 months validity is required.

Ex Perth from $2,670 AUD

Ex East Coast from $2,895 AUD

Booking Conditions

A deposit of $350.00 per person is required within 7 days of confirmation with the balance due by the 9th March 2020.

Prices are based on minimum tour numbers met. Tour Escort on tour (subject to minimum 16 persons on tour).

Flights are based on promotional airfares valid as at 21 November 2019. These services remain subject to availability and price fluctuation.

For the full itinerary go to: Bali 2020

For bookings and information contact Chris Dagostino on 08 9382 5011 or chrisd@traveltree.com.au

Travel Tree (Australasia) Pty Ltd ABN 12 009 028 004

Introducing Voice Control on Mac and iOS (with Audio Descriptions)

The link below will take you to a Youtube clip outlining the new Voice Control feature on iPhones, iPads and Macs.

New Voice Control feature

results of the 2019 web aim survey into the use of adaptive technology

The below link contains the results of the latest web aim survey into the use of adaptive technology .

Some notable findings, are that NVDA has moved ahead of JAWS and many screen reader users are moving to google chrome.