Hello Bulletin subscriber,

Welcome to issue 7 of our fortnightly newsletter, The Bulletin.

Inside This Issue

Here's what you'll find:
  • From SVRC & VTs: Dates for Your Diary
  • Technology: Around the Round Table, Curtains Please... & Practise Your Gestures
  • PD: 2018 Blind and Low Vision Education Conference, Inclusive Education Grants Initiative – Study for a Masters in VI
  • Recreation and Activities: Space Camp 2018, Camp Mittagundi 2018
Check updated The Bulletin archive for back issues!

Dates for Your Diary – 2018

Here is a list of our planned PD and other activities for the remainder of 2018:
  • 2018 Blind and Low Vision Education Conference: 12 June
  • Dot Power: 19 June (new date for Year 1 to 3s)
  • [Braille Music Camp: 30 June to 7 July in NSW]
  • Dot Power: 7 August (for pre-school and Foundation/Prep)
  • Educational Support for Students who have Low Vision: Tuesday 14 August
  • Dot Power: 11 September (new date for Year 1 to 3s)
  • [Space Camp: September-October in USA]
  • Dot Power: 30 October (for pre-school and Foundation/Prep)
  • Dot Power: 13 November (new date for Year 1 to 3s)
  • Technology Expo: Tuesday 27 November
  • Christmas Morning Tea: Wednesday 5 December [no need to register – just come at 11am!
Programs and registration are available on the SVRC website! Online payment is also available!
If you can't find the PD you need, please contact Lea Nagel to request a session.

2018 Blind and Low Vision Education Conference

Registrations now open!

The Department of Education and Training’s 2018 Blind and Low Vision Education Conference is being held on Tuesday 12th June and registrations are now open. This day will bring together Visiting Teachers and other professionals for a day of engaging, insightful and practical professional learning from leading state and national experts in blind and low vision education support. The conference is being generously hosted at Vision Australia’s centre in Kooyong and is being coordinated by the Statewide Vision Resource Centre.

Attendance at this event is open to all professionals working in blind and low vision education (both within and outside DET). Registration is required and numbers are strictly limited. The registration cost is free for all participants, as it is being fully covered by the Department of Education and Training.

For more information and to register to attend this event, please click here.

Inclusive Education Postgraduate Scholarship Program

Apply now!

Applications for the first round of scholarships under the Inclusive Education Grants initiative are now open to all Victorian government school teachers. The initiative provides support for teachers who wish to undertake postgraduate study in special needs education, including a focus on vision impairment.

Scholarship applications are open to all current teachers in Victorian government schools. Applicants need to demonstrate how completing their chosen course will support inclusive practices in their classroom and their school more broadly. Applicants require principal endorsement of their application.

Scholarships are available to support tuition fees and a contribution toward casual relief teaching costs for the following courses:
  • Master of Specialist Inclusive Education, Deakin University
  • Master of Education – Inclusive & Special Education, Monash University
  • Master of Special Education, La Trobe University
  • Master of Learning Intervention, University of Melbourne
  • Master of Special and Inclusive Education, University of Newcastle Master of Disability Studies – Education: Vision Impairment (RIDBC/Renwick Centre through Macquarie University)
Applicants are advised to read the application guidelines and frequently asked questions prior to applying.

Inclusive Education Grants: Guidelines – Scholarships (Semester 2, 2018) - WORD

Applications should be made online via the Smarty Grants system before Sunday 3 June 2018; see Inclusive Education Grants – Scholarships – Semester 2, 2018

For any enquiries, please email:

Space Camp 2018

Planning for Space Camp 2018 is moving along. Chaperones Gayle, Hilary and Peter met with most of the interested students and family members recently to talk about the itinerary, fundraising and the SCIVIS program itself. The following students are interested:
  • Boedhi (VT Jeni Blake) – Year 8 (travelling on a Space Camp scholarship)
  • Corey (VT Jeni Blake) – Year 10 (travelling on a Lighthouse Scholarship)
  • Kelly (VT Myriam Ash) – Year 10
  • Konna (VT Gabriela Thompson) – Year 9
  • Luke (VT Gayle Skinner) – Year 8
  • Matthew (VT Gayle Skinner) – Year 10
  • Yuto Kawai (VT Sally Fathers) – Year 10 (travelling on a Lighthouse Scholarship)
More space Camp news as it comes to hand!

Camp Mittagundi 2018


The 10-day program sees groups of up to 24 young people, accompanied by two clydesdale horses, walk away from electricity and modern comforts, through the Victorian High Country and into the 400 acre pioneer-style property, that is Mittagundi.

They spend time working together on the farm, fencing, growing food, milking cows, working with wood, steel and wool. Then embark on adventures rafting the Mitta Mitta River and abseiling off a local cliff face before walking back through the mountains and returning to civilisation.

The atmosphere at Mittagundi is simple, honest and happy. There are no watches, no timetables and no money. Instead there is an opportunity for young people to live and work together with others in an environment where people matter more than anything else.

School-aged students from the age of 14 are invited to attend one of the 10-day programs. Camp Mittagundi is keen for students with vision impairments to be involved.

Upcoming dates:
Girls #461: Friday 21st September - Sunday 30th September (Vic School Holidays)
Boys #462: Friday 12th October - Sunday 21st October
Girls #463: Friday 2nd November - Sunday 11th November (Cup Weekend Victoria)
Boys #464: Friday 16th November - Sunday 25th November
Mixed #465: Friday 30th November - Sunday 9th December. (Full – waiting list only)

Around the Round Table

May 5-8 was the annual Round Table conference on Print Accessibility for People with a Print Disability. The theme for this year's conference was "Advances in Information Access – Opportunities, Applications and Technologies."

SVRC's Deb Lewis (Production Manager), Matt Trotter (Transition Manager) and Glen Morrow (Communications/Content Development) were all there.

Inclusion Deisgn Technology Specialist Greg Alchin presented on the topic of technology, discussing how far we have come since the development of the iPhone, iOS, touch screens and inclusive design. Greg will present at our 1 day conference on June 12 (see above for more info).

We heard from web accessibility expert Andrew Arch about the new WCAG 2.1 guidelines, currently in beta but coming soon to a web browser near you. The new guidelines focus on web content accessibility, they cover meaningful sequences of content, contrast, text appearance and how text flows, how audio and video works and plays and much much more. The guidelines are in beta and hoping for final release in June. You can find out more here.

Wendy Voorn of Royal Dutch Visio presented her research and development into the world of accessible graphing and maths for students who are blind or vision impaired. Her app uses a combination of haptics (those little vibrations you feel in your device when it gives you alerts) and 3D audio to orient students around graphs. Look out for more from Wendy and her team, we're very excited about what she is up to!

Phia of Sonokids fame hopped up on stage to showcase her latest offerings - a new app to assist younger kids to learn to code. Keep an eye - or maybe an ear out for Code 'n Wheelie, coming to an iOS device near you soon. The app is self voicing, uses iOS gestures and will help students learn to code by teaching simple concepts and presenting engaging content.

It was an action packed program, lots of great sessions - we'll bring you more highlights in the next issue of The Bulletin. Stay tuned.

Curtains Please...

So here's the situation. The screen of your iOS device is completely black. You know it's charged and ... it was working just a few minutes ago. Is it broken? Well, you know it could be the screen curtain has been turned on (this is a VoiceOver feature). You can quickly check by either triple pressing your Home button, or holding the Home button in and saying to Siri 'Turn VoiceOver off' - if the screen comes back to life - then you've just saved yourself a trip to the Genius Bar.

So what's the gesture that turns this screen curtain thing on and off? Well that's a 3 finger triple tap. Oh and by the way, a 3 finger double tap disables the voice in VoiceOver. Both are toggles, meaning that repeating the gesture will turn that feature on or off.

Practise Your Gestures

While on the subject of gestures, you can fine tune your gesture skills, all those flicks, taps, scrubs and more by using a help feature. Just do a four finger double tap - it turns help on. Then practise your gestures, swipe left, right, up and down. Do a two finger double tap, try a scrub. Maybe you'll discover gestures you didn't know existed.

Then once you've had enough finger dancing on your screen, you can turn help off by doing a four finger double tap again, or press the Home button.

Staff News

We'd like to welcome Sarah, our newest staff member here at SVRC. Sarah takes on an admin role and will be tasked with assisting us with our equipment library. A big job, but she's up to the challenge - welcome Sarah!


Stay warm and we'll catch you in the next issue of The Bulletin!
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