Talking Vision Episode 374 31st May 2017

June 1, 2017

The Vision Australia Awards are given to individuals who have made a significant or exceptional contribution to the blind and low vision community.

We speak with a 2016 recipient Cliff Jackson. Cliff, aged 90 is an active volunteer with 20 years of service. Cliff first began volunteering in June 1996 with the Royal Blind Society Enfield, now Vision Australia. He has consistently volunteered since, devoting four days a week to Vision Australia clients and services. This is the second Vision Australia award Cliff has received.  In 2006, he was awarded the Client Service Award for his service as a dedicated volunteer and a strong believer in peer support. Ten years on, Cliff’s Vision Impaired Persons Support Group has more than 22 groups and over 500 members. He also gives presentations on Vision Australia’s behalf to businesses and community groups and provides tours of our head office in Sydney.

Also on the program, Bruce Maguire who is the Lead Policy Advisor at Vision Australia chats to us about the challenges of using technology when you are blind. and the proliferation of the touch screen. 


Talking Vision Episode 373 24th May 2017

May 25, 2017

This week we focus on Macular Degeneration Week, an annual event to raise awareness of the disease. One in seven Australians over 50 has some evidence of macular degeneration with the likelihood increasing with age.

Thelma Dowell lost her vision while on a ski trip 17 years ago. She speaks with Stella about the early days of living with vision loss and the period of adjustment and acceptance that followed. 

We speak with orthoptist Andy Tao about what macular degeneration is, its intricacies, how it might present itself and the best possible outcomes for someone after diagnosis.

Also on the program, an extended reader recommended with Frances Keyland.


Talking Vision Episode 372 17th May 2017

May 18, 2017

This week’s guest is Ramona Mandy who was recently awarded the Tammy Axelson Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Print Disability sector at the Roundtable (on Information Access for People with Print Disability, held in Perth.

Ramona has a major commitment to the blindness sector, starting work in the community as a braille instructor, teaching adults how to access and use braille-related technology. She then worked for the global technology company Humanware as a blindness product specialist, assisting trainers to match people with the right technology.

During this time, she served on the national executive for the Australian braille authority  and chaired the Victorian sub-committee.

She chats with Stella about her passion for all things braille and print access-related and about the legacy of print disability advocate and administrator Tammy Axelson.

Also on the program

  • Content maker Glen Morrow reports back on the presentations from the Roundtable
  • Frances Keyland presents a reader recommended

Talking Vision Episode 371 10th May 2017

May 11, 2017

May 8 to the 14 is National Volunteer week.  

Many people who are blind or have low vision rely on the support of volunteers  to assist them in day-to-day life. This can include recreational and leisure activities, at home, in the work place and in school or further education.

We speak with Cassie Hassel, Volunteer Program Consultant, about the difference a volunteer can make, how people who are blind or have low vision can volunteer themselves and what motivates people to volunteer.

We also chat with Alison Davies a volunteer reader at Vision Australia radio.


Talking Vision Episode 370 3rd May 2017

May 4, 2017

A special Talking Vision this week as we celebrate Mothers’ Day.

Kate Begley hosts the program and speaks with Fiona Woods and Carmela Carey. They discuss the joys and challenges of being a mother when you are blind or have low vision.

Some of their children also make a visit to the program and share  insights and special stories of living with parent with a parent who is blind.

Also on the program, France Keyland with a reader recommended.


Talking Vision Episode 369 26th April 2017

April 27, 2017

Joan Solaga became an athlete as a way of addressing her balance issues after sight loss. Now at the age of 90 she is competing in the Masters Games in a number of events including javelin, shot-put and walking.

Joan discusses the importance of having a goal and the tactics she will use to navigate her way through the events as a person with vision loss.

Also on the program, Executive Officer of Blind Citizens Australia Emma Bennison talks about the Onkyo Braille Essay – a contest that promotes braille literacy, the organisation’s national conference taking place in October and her appearance in the recent ABC program You Can’t Ask That.


Talking Vision Episode 368 19th April 2017

April 20, 2017

This week Stella chats with Sandra Knight, who is heading off to Spain as part of a five person Australian blind tennis team for the International Friendlies Tournament.

The results from the tournament will determine the sport’s first world rankings.

Sandra is an all-round sports woman and participates in 10 pin bowling and hiking, but she only ever dreamed of participating in tennis. Until now.

Also on the program, Scott Jacobs, Government Relations Advisor at  Vision Australia, reports back on the Australian Blindness Forum (ABF) summit. The summit, recently held in Melbourne, featured a wide range of organisations and consumers in attendance, including the Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield, who made an exciting announcement in relation to audio description.

And, Julie Scott from the Vision Shop is on the program talking about talking microwaves.


Talking Vision Episode 367 12th April 2017

April 13, 2017

Lyndel Wischer is an arts curator and the judge for submissions to Vision Australia’s 2018 large print calendar. She believes that art can enrich life and provide enjoyment for people not matter their circumstance.

Lyndel speaks with Stella about how people with a vision impairment can approach art for the first time and what type of painting or drawing might be suitable for the calendar.

Also on the program, David Dopel CEO of the film distribution company Demand Film discussing up-coming titles of interest to the blindness and low vision community. 


Talking Vision Episode 366 5th April 2017

April 6, 2017

This week, Stella chats to Paul Mugambi,  a Kenyan student and activist who is in the third month of a two-year scholarship at Australia National University in Canberra. He speaks about what life is like in Kenya for a person is blind - where poverty, misunderstanding from the general public about what blindness is and a lack of basic human rights can take its toll.

Paul began his career in advocacy and policy by chance after a university professor complained that his braille machine was too noisy. Paul spoke up and has never looked back.

He is proud of all of his affirmative action achievements but thinks his greatest legacy is establishing the first sports and activity club for students with disability. Until that time, students with disability were excluded from all sports and activities.

Also on the program, Michael Simpson, General Manager of Client Services  at Vision Australia, discusses the upcoming print disability review and how you can get involved.


Talking Vision Episode 365 29th March 2016

March 29, 2017

Stella speaks with Chris Edwards manager of Inclusion at Vision Australia about the new Careers in Focus initiative, a Linkedin group designed to bring together people who are blind or have low vision to assist and mentor each other on how to take that next step in their career.

Also on the program, Quality Living coordinator Cameron Algie highlights some of the positive transformation stories he has encountered within the groups and Frances Keyland brings us another Reader Recommended.