New South Wales
Adam has devoted many years to the helpful provision of information, ongoing support and assistance to many blind and low vision Australians through his monthly telephone conferences providing up to date information on new products, together with updates on service provision. He has been involved in the Blind Citizens Computer Users group for over 20 years. Adam is responsible for many email lists, which provide useful links to assistive products and services, thus allowing an exchange of information between blind and low vision people, on such products as iPhones, Android phones, mobility aids, screen reading packages, various assistive products and services etc. Adam is quite unique in his employment behind the scenes at a Pizza shop.
Robin advocates to ensure business and school systems areinclusive.
He is exceptional at using and applying adaptive technology and he teaches and inspires students to gain independence through the use of technology.
Robin is paving the way for young people from all backgrounds and abilities and can be found working all around Tasmania and the mainland, always networking and learning so that he can offer his students everything they need to succeed.
In his spare time he is an administrator of a website and chatroom that is a resource for people who are vision impaired.
He spends hours offering support to those who require it, helping create the next generation of independent, adaptable people not just with vision impairment but anyone with differing abilities.
David had to stop work as a senior clinician and academic in 2009, a gradual deterioration to sight and hearing has seen him become severely impaired. His journey has progressed from White Cane to Guide Dog to Human care support. During that time, he has focused on using his experience and knowledge to help represent and advocate for people facing vision loss and other disabilities at local council, State Government, Federal Government and organization levels. and has had a huge impact in South Australia. He undertakes most of the advocacy and has a dedicated supportive team on the committee.
David is currently on the SA Ambulance Clinical Governance, Advisory Committee (Disability Representative), and SA Government Web Accessibility Advisory member for vision disability.
Martin Stewart was born blind and in 2002 after an horrific public transport accident lost an arm and a leg.
Despite this, Martin through his work as President of the Blind Workers Union reviewed the Victorian Prototype trains, where he systematically went through the train, discovering major faults. Then tenaciously campaigning to have his concerns rectified, including spaces under priority seats for guide dogs, removing obstacle poles in the first and last carriages, increasing the doors’ button audio feedback and what he fought the hardest for a gangway gap creating a more equitable and safe environment for blind or vision impaired people.
He is currently working with a chemist, the C/W bank, Aus. radio and major sports bodies to develop accessible apps
Rebecca Maxwell trained as a teacher at a time when it was very difficult for a blind person to qualify for teacher training and to achieve success in her field as a linguist and teacher of English, French and Latin, using Braille as her medium.
Rebecca invented “BUOC”(Braille – User-oriented Code”) BUOC uses the existing Braille code but conceives of it in terms of the joy and comfort of touch and highly abbreviates it for reduction of bulk, ease of speed reading and note taking.
Recognised as a poet and a writer, Rebecca has shared her knowledge and skill with many through her participation in women’s writers’ forums.
Peter has been involved on a voluntary basis as a presenter on Radio for the Print handicapped. He is a South Australian who has undertaken this role for over 20 years, and has been instrumental in bringing to the Blind and Vision Impaired community, public information and promotion of activities which benefit the lives of people who are blind or vision impaired throughout Australia. Peter has interviewed many politicians, service providers and advocates with relevant topical discussions and has highlighted the perspective of people who are blind or vision impaired and all people with disabilities.
He has been an active interviewer and sought to speak to a diverse range of people – acting as a conduit for information to the audience. He is an articulate and passionate interviewer with an outstanding commitment to his work. Simply put, Peter is an exemplary individual who has provided listening enjoyment to people who are blind or vision impaired across our nation.
Enlightening Social Attitudes
The national profiling of the award recipient and finalists, provides encouragement and inspiration to the blind and low sight, and inspires positive encounters within our communities. Crucially, it also breaks through stereotypes and highlights to the community at large, the scope and capacity for the achievements our Australians who are blind are capable of.
Informing Social Policies
The stories of excellence derived from the nominations, provide an important national insight into the matters that are valued by the blind and low vision, their family, carers, friends, and community contacts, and creates not only an impelling national platform for change and advancement of these issues, but also, an important archive of information that can be used to inform and influence decision makers and leaders.
The information reflected in the nominations provides critical data for researchers to reflect and report on the evolving relationships of the blind and low vision within communities throughout Australia. It will remain a valuable annual and definitive social commentary on the needs, activities, and aspirations of the blind and low vision community.