This week, Stella interviews Bryan Bashin, the CEO of The Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, based in San Francisco.
Bryan tells Stella his compelling story about his early working life in journalism, “coming out of the closet” as a blind person, and the career path that led him to the top of The Lighthouse, northern California’s largest and most prominent agency for people with blindness and low vision.
He also discusses the blind-positive philosophy of The Lighthouse, and his hopes for the future of the blind and low vision community around the world.
Also on the program, Frances Keyland presents a special Reader Recommended for Library Lovers Day with a vignette on the joy and pleasure that a library can offer.
This week on the program, Janine Sadhu president of the Women’s Branch of Blind Citizens Australia. The branch provides peer support for women who are blind or have low vision and hosts a range of events and seminars throughout the year including telephone support networks.
Janine speaks with Stella about the positive impact the branch serves for women and how you can get involved.
Also on the program, Maurice Gleeson from Blind Sports Victoria talking about the great range of activities available, from yachting and tennis to comradely walking groups.
And Julie Scott is on the program to discuss what’s new in the Vision Shop.
January 26th is Australia Day, a day that is marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards, and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new members of the Australian community.
Michael Abjoujundi was welcomed as an Australian citizen six years after fleeing his worn torn country of Syria.
Michael has Stargardt’s disease and he recalls arriving in Australia with ‘no English, no family and no vision.’ His story is one of great courage and over-coming adversity both as an asylum seeker and a person with low vision.
He speaks with Stella Glorie about his life in Syria, his journey and settlement into Australian life as and his life at present and his plans for the future.
This week we replay one of the most popular programs of 2016 an extended conversation with advocate Maryanne Diamond. At the time of this interview (September 2016) Maryanne had just been awarded the Louis Braille Medal. This most prestigious award is granted to individuals who have made a substantial and outstanding contribution to the World Blind Union (WBU) over a long period of time.
Maryanne is a former president of the WBU, former Executive Officer of Blind Citizens Australia, the founding Executive Officer of Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) and former General Manager of Advocacy and Engagement at Vision Australia. She is currently the General Manager for the NDIA’s Media, Communications and Engagement.
Her work has included developing training workshops in Mongolia on leadership for women who are blind and establishing a PNG blind union and to provide leadership and advocacy training to people who are blind or have low vision in PNG. Maryanne has also tirelessly advocated for the Marrakesh Treaty for the Marrakesh Treaty, and for leading World Blind Union’s Right to Read Campaign and the global effort to end the book famine.
She discusses her school and university years and the choices she made that took her through her adventurous career path for the past 20 years.
The Australian Blind Cricket team is heading to India at the end of January for the world T20. We speak to young new recruit Ned Brewer Maiga about the tournament and his predictions on how Australia will fair. Ned lost his vision barely a year ago and up until that time he was a passionate sportsman. While still adjusting to his vision loss he is delighted to find an entire community within blind cricket.
Also on the program, Vision Australia’s upcoming pre-employment program is aimed at high school graduates who blind or vision impaired to assist them in transitioning to full-time work. The program covers all aspects including practical skills of resume writing and interviews and also confidence building. Program coordinator Courtney Mckee talks about how interested young people can get involved.
Frances Keyland brings us Reader Recommended.
Darren Fittler was diagnosed with retinal dystrophy at the age of five and was blind from the age of 13. He is now a lawyer who has worked with the united nations on the International Convention of Rights of Persons with Disability. In 2014 he was the recipient of the 2014 Human Rights Commission Law Award.
He sits on the NSW Attorney Generals Disability Advisory Council and he also recently joined the board of Vision Australia.
Darren discusses the processes of establishing the convention and what led him to become a lawyer.
Also on the program we wish Louis Braille a happy birthday who was born January 4th in 1809. He was the inventor of the reading and writing system known now as Braille.
Noni Casey is a volunteer book narrator for Vision Australia’s library service. She also is a library member having developed an eye condition in the last decade. Thanks to some simple modifications she is able to contribute to the service she enjoys so much. We talk to Noni about the books she’s narrated and what she enjoys most about her volunteer role.
Also on the program:
- Atreat for young and not so young. Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight takes place Christmas Eve and we present one of the most popular acts on the night High-5
- Frances Keyland also presents reader recommended