Hello Bulletin subscriber,

Welcome to issue 16 (2018) of The Bulletin!

Inside This Issue
Here's what you'll find:
  • From SVRC: Dates for Your Diary, , Support Skills Try Day, SVRC Writing Competition
  • PD: Round Table Conference, SPEVI Conference, What's My Story: Inclusion
  • Technology: VoiceOver Basics Videos, Tech Training Sites
  • Activities & Recreation: VA's Further Education Bursary, Snack Attack with GDV, SKILLZ with Circus Oz, Space Camp
  • Feature Articles: In Their Shoes AND Teaching the Joys of Reading Music
Check updated The Bulletin archive for back issues!

Dates for Your Diary – Term 4 2018

Here is a list of our planned PD and other activities:

Dot Power: 30 October (for Foundation/Prep)
Dot Power: 13 November (for Year 1 to 3s)
Support Skills Try Day: Friday 16 November (information below)
Dot Power: 20 November (for Pre-school/Kinder) ** new date
Technology Expo: Tuesday 27 November
Christmas Morning Tea: PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE!! For the first time in living memory, we will hold this celebration on a TUESDAY – 4 December. (We are running out of Wednesdays which we need for EVAC clinics!). Please RSVP and come along at 11am.
Note: Programs, registration & online payment are available on the SVRC website!
If you can't find the PD you need, please contact Lea Nagel or Marion Blazé to request a session.

Free Online Learning Sessions About Cortical Vision Impairment

Cortical Vision Impairment is commonly associated with brain injuries, such as insufficiency of oxygen at birth, head injuries, hydrocephalus, or developmental brain anomalies, or infections such as encephalitis or meningitis. Children with cerebral palsy may experience CVI.

SVRC will present two one-hour online learning opportunities about Cortical Vision Impairment. Annette Godfrey-Magee, Deb Davidson and Marion Blazé will take you through the implications of CVI, which are very different from an ocular vision loss, the three "Phases" in functional vision proposed by Dr Christine Roman, and considerations for working with children with CVI. Each one-hour session will include question time.

Note: Different material will be covered in each session
3pm Monday October 22, 2018 and
3pm Monday October 29, 2018

Register online at

Round Table Conference 2019

When: Saturday, 4 May to Tuesday, 7 May 2019
Where: Rydges South Bank Brisbane, Cnr Grey & Glenelg Streets, South Bank Queensland
Theme: The Changing Landscape for Accessible Information
Web address:

SPEVI Conference 2020

When: 12 to 15 January 2020
Where: Adelaide
Theme: Creating a clear vision for the future

VoiceOver Basics Videos

Glen Morrow conducted a number of online learning opportunities last term. The content has been uploaded to web and can be found at the following links:

VoiceOver Basics video:

VoiceOver Gestures:

VoiceOver Settings:

VoiceOver Basics Chapter 1 – Introduction

VoiceOver Basics Chapter 2 - Typing and Editing

VoiceOver Basics Chapter 3 – Mail

VoiceOver Basics Chapter 4 – Settings

Tech Training Sites
The Vermont Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Vermont DBVI) has a

Technology Training page with links including:


Vision Australia's Further Education Bursary

The Vision Australia bursaries provide adaptive technology to assist students with vision impairments fully participate and succeed in their chosen studies.
Applications close on 31st October 2018.

Snack Attack!

Snack Attack! This fun school holiday program will support teenagers to develop basic meal preparation skills for after school snacks. Students will practice preparing a smoothie, making a toasted sandwich and baking. This will help to develop their skills in: Cutting Using heated appliances Measuring Kneading and mixing Reading and following a recipe Skills in identifying fresh produce
DETAILS 10am–3pm, Tuesday, 22 January 2019 11–18 year olds (school aged) Arnold Cook House, Guide Dogs Victoria Kew Campus
Staffed by Occupational Therapist & staff from the Guide Dogs Victoria children’s team.
COSTS The program will be delivered at no direct cost to our clients due to the contributions of the Shine On Foundation. Where possible we will access fee for service funding (NDIS) to support the service delivery of OT, O&M and Orthoptist skills during the program. $145.55
BOOKING Please call Guide Dogs Victoria on 1800 804 805 to book your child's place
in the ‘Snack Attack!’ program. Places are limited.In Their Shoes

In Their Shoes

The reflection below was written by Zuzana Gower, an Integration Aide at Richmond High School:

What is it like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes? I would like to share with you my experience from today’s experiment with no sight for an art session. To simulate the loss of sight I blindfolded myself during an art class to experience how Anna and Shana work and feel at our school and in the classroom environment.

I sat in the art class between the girls, the task was to create items of nature out of air drying clay, but as soon as I got blindfolded I realized how much louder the classroom became. I was able to pick up conversations other people were having with more clarity but found it very hard to communicate with anyone. I discovered that in order to communicate I rely on visual signals that people are listening and engaged, I had no way to confirm the attention was given so would rely on an arm touch with my close partners only get their attention. I started to feel lonely and isolated very quickly as I did not feel confident to reach out to other students arms, so would become further introverted. I was surprised how quickly my body language changed, my posture became more slouched, I stopped being aware of my facial expression as I sat there with my mouth half open without even noticing.

Finding my way around the school unaided was scary and frustrating. I walked to the bathroom, I couldn’t lock the door for a while and then couldn’t find the toilet roll. I also heard someone come in when I was searching for the sink, I asked if I’m nearly by the sink but the person ignored me and left. I then attempted to find my way back to the classroom following the walls. I was offered guidance by a student he offered to take me back to my seat. His leading skills were great and I felt safe and grateful to be led rather than finding my own way.

I have managed one session being blindfolded and by the end of it I felt exhausted, and frustrated. The urge to remove the blindfold was overwhelming at times, especially moving around the school and checking the state of the toilet.

I have learnt a valuable lesson on how different the world feels with having a visual impairment. I feel I can better empathize and will definitely consider the experience before being critical.

I would recommend the experience to anyone who interacts with the visually impaired as it has opened my eyes to the difficulties of everyday school life. I have the benefit of having seen the layout of the school and the items we were sculpting. My appreciation of the flower Anna made has been greatly increased by the experience.

By Zuzana Gower

SKILLZ with Circus Oz!

Source: Katrina Gill, Participation Manager, Circus Oz
Circus Oz is seeking Expressions of Interest from school groups to attend an audio described performance of SKILLZ, the 2018 education show.
When (audio described show): Monday 12 November workshop at 11.30 and show at 1pm [the show will be open from 7-12 November]
Where: Melba at Circus Oz

Cost: show only $10 per head; show and workshop $20 per head
About the show: An education show and workshop for students in foundation – Grade 4 SKILLZ is a new 50 minute Circus Oz education show for early to middle primary students that draws on Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships teaching materials mapped to the Victorian Curriculum. Embracing the core Circus Oz values of community, diversity, humanity and hilarity, SKILLZ reaches new heights in its exploration of friendship and team work through breathtaking acrobatic feats and serious fun.

Hannah is strong and can hold up the sky. Reece is brave and can leap over the highest obstacle. And Sam is always dependable and ready with a joke.
To complement the learning experience, schools can participate in an all abilities circus workshop - facilitated by experienced Circus Oz trainers - either before or after the show.

The workshop introduces basic circus skills through a series of fun, non-competitive activities and embodies themes from the performance such as: cooperation, safe physical interaction and respect.

Enquiries: Katrina Gill (03) 9676 0345 or

Dot Power: Teaching the Joys of Reading Music to All Kids

Extract (text and images) from an article by the ABC:

The ABC visited Melbourne’s Statewide Vision Resource Centre to see how children with vision impairment read braille sheet music.

Composer and academic Dan Golding (above) visited a classroom and interviewed braille trainer and educator Lea Nagel at the Statewide Vision Resource Centre.
So why is it important to get kids who can’t see or have reduced vision to engage with braille music?

Lea Nagel: “The question I’d throw back at you is why would you teach print music notation to anyone – print music is a way of being able to represent music that somebody else has composed, you can also understand the dynamics and what the nuances of music are if you’re reading the details of the music.
It’s a really super code – anything that you can see on your print, gets represented in the braille. If you cannot see the only way you can find out about stuff is by touching so these kids look with their fingers.

I like to get the kids to hear music and to touch the instruments that are making music and then they can go away, understanding what it is that makes those sounds that come through their radio.”

Jordie on keyboard, Ed on drums and Lea on vocals.
Braille music has helped Jordie Howell, a classical soprano singer and braille teacher, find a successful career in music.

Jordie Howell: “I’ve used braille music all my life – I sing as a soloist for oratorios and as a chorister so I use it to keep track of my own part and to count bars rest when I’m not singing. I also teach and use it to read the music from and for my students.”
So what does braille music give you that recordings and just copying off the recordings doesn’t?

Jordie: “It gives me dynamics, articulation, staccatos, accents, tenutos, louds and softs. It gives me the ability to be independent rather than learning by rote what someone else’s interpretation of something is. I can interpret rather than just learning from a recording that may not be quite accurate. It also gives me the ability to learn something at the last minute sometimes. I can certainly participate fully in that way, in a mainstream setting.”

The video is part of the episode "Do you need to read music to play it?" from triple j and iview’s new music show What is Music. Hosted by triplej’s Linda Marigliano and composer Dan Golding, it’s a 15-part series centred around questions like "Why do we sing?", "What does a DJ actually do?" and "Is image more important than music?".
The show is a mix of humour, experiments, challenges, and interviews, think Vox Explainers meets Mythbusters.


Link to the full episode:

Full series:

Space Camp 2018

The Space Campers 2018 made it home safely, despite almost missing a connecting flight to Melbourne! Phew!!!

We look forward to some stories in the next issue of The Bulletin, but right is a photo of one of the Victorian students loving the Pamper Pole.

Support Skills Try Day: 16 November

Enrolments for the 2018 Support Skills Try Day are still open (Friday 16 November). If you would like to find out about this program and whether it would be suitable for your student/child, please see the information in Bulletin 14 or contact Garry Stinchcombe Support Skills Program Coordinator or Marion Blazé SVRC Manager.
Registration is essential.

SVRC’s Annual Writing Competition, 2018: "My Dream App"

Describe an app (or, if you like, a piece of technology) that would tick all the boxes for you.
  • What would it do?
  • How would it work?
  • What problem would it solve?
  • You can be constructive and/or creative.
There will be prizes in each age category and certificates for every entry.
Submissions should be no more than 500 words, in whatever format you prefer (braille, email, recorded voice with or without sound effects, print with or without pictures).
Submissions are due November 7 (after Cup Day), 2018.
Please include your name, school, year level and contact details so we can send you a prize.

Send to Marion Blazé, SVRC, PO Box 201, Nunawading 3131 or

Better still, if you attend our SVRC Expo on November 27, 2018, we will present your prize!

3D Printing for Accessibility

The ARC Linkage Project investigating 3D printing for accessibility has launched. Monash is partnering with the Department of Education Victoria, Round Table, RIDBC, RSB and Guide Dogs Victoria. One of the first work packages, to be conducted from October 2018 to March 2020, investigates the use of 3D prints to teach tactile literacy. We will be working on this area most closely with RIDBC and SVRC. More information as it comes to hand!


Alternative format update: We have now received many booklists, books and pdfs for work for 2019! Keep up the great work VTs and schools!!!
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