About

Blind Citizens WA Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation run by and for people who are blind or vision impaired in Western Australia.  Blind Citizens WA is a peer led, peer support organisation.

Blind Citizens WA’s mission is to ensure that Western Australians who are blind or vision impaired have full participation in the community.

Membership

Blind Citizens WA has over 250 members and we welcome new members. Benefits of membership include:

  • Updates on the issues that matter most to people who are blind or vision impaired, including public transport, the introduction of the NDIS and WA NDIS, and new technology.
  • Opportunities to meet with other people who are blind or vision impaired to find solutions to common challenges and to share ideas, including meetings with guest speakers, our annual state forum, Christmas Party, Quiz Night and swish (blind table tennis)
  • Blind Citizens WA arranges Swish (blind table tennis) in Maylands.

For more information about becoming a member of Blind Citizens WA, please download our BCWA-Membership-Form

Executive Committee

As a member-driven not-for-profit, Blind Citizens WA has an Executive Committee elected by members at our Annual General Meeting. Our Executive Committee consists of –

President – Deanne Ferris
Senior Vice President – Zeliha Iscel
Junior Vice President – Mary-Anne Wallace
Treasurer – Greg Madson
Secretary – Gloria Worgan
Committee Members – Annabelle Waller and Jean Stott

Our History

Blind Citizens WA has represented people who are blind or vision impaired in Western Australia for over 50 years. Our very first employee, Josephine Nicholson, gave us the challenge of finding New Horizons for people who are blind or vision impaired – greater opportunities in employment and education, and greater participation in civic and community life.

Blind Citizens WA (formed in 1961) is a branch of Blind Citizens Australia (formed in 1975).

Funding

Blind Citizens WA relies on fundraising and donations to continue our work, conducting a Street Appeal in the Perth CBD, a quiz night, and a sausage sizzle each year.

An Australia Post Our Neighbourhood Community Grant will support Blind Citizens WA to extend our peer support network to people who are blind or vision impaired living in Mandurah in 2016/17.

In 2015/16, Blind Citizens WA received a small grant from People With Disabilities WA (PWDWA) through its Releasing Our Capacity project in 2015/16. The grant has allowed us to strengthen our peer support networks and to share information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Blind Citizens WA also received funding from Disability Services Commission to provide  individual and systemic advocacy until March 2016. Diagnostic-specific services such as ours are no longer funded to provide advocacy.

Much-needed computer and adaptive technology, including screen reading software, screen magnification software, and a Braille embosser, were purchased in 2014/15 thanks to a Lotterywest grant. Lotterywest also supported Blind Citizens WA to stream content from the 2015 Blind Citizens Australia Convention to members unable to attend in person.

Blind Citizens WA gratefully acknowledges the support of Visability in providing meeting space and our auditors PKF Mack.