Cinema Captioning - it's not good enough!

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					                                                                                                       May/June 2009 | Communicate Issue 17

Issue 21 Jan/Feb 2010

The newsletter for Victoria’s Deaf
and hard of hearing people

Cinema Captioning – it’s not good enough!
Do you like going to the cinema? If you are a Deaf or hard        •     Ask your local cinema for more captioned movies!
of hearing person, that’s too bad! Chances are, you hardly        •     If you don’t think their response is fair, lodge a
ever get to go.                                                         disability discrimination complaint. It’s easy…just go to
Cinema is the single most popular form of entertainment in              the Australian Human Rights Commission website on
Australia. 65% of Australians report going to the cinema each 
year. However, if you are Deaf or hard of hearing, your chances   •     If you need assistance, contact the Disability
of enjoying Australia’s favourite pastime are very limited.             Discrimination Legal Service at or
                                                                        TTY: 9654 6817, Ph: 9654 8644.
Currently, more than 99% of cinema screenings are not
accessible to people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.             •     Write to your local newspaper or Member of
Even where the technology is in place to provide open                   Parliament and talk to them about your experiences
captions, Deaf and hard of hearing people are excluded            •     Contact your peak organisations and ask how you can
by the cinema industry who restrict captions to an absolute             get involved
                                                                  Most importantly, don’t be disappointed but don’t wait
We all know the impact this exclusion has on individuals,         forever for full access.
their families and partners. Children, parents, couples,
                                                                  Progress is possible…if we work together and harness our
friends have all spoken out about how lack of access has
                                                                  collective energy! What’s needed is social change.
made them feel like second class citizens, unable to
                                                                  Campaigns for social change have lead to many reforms in
experience the social benefits that everybody else has
                                                                  our society, from telecommunications access to interpreting
through participation in popular culture.
                                                                  services. If you want access to cinema, let’s work together
If you want to see for yourself, read the submissions made        to make sure it happens!
by many Deaf and hard of hearing people in response to
                                                                  Veronica Pardo
the cinema chains’ application for exemption from the
                                                                  Chief Executive Officer
Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) on the Australian Human
                                                                  Arts Access Victoria
Rights Commission website
disability_rights/exemptions/cinema/subs.htm                      About Arts Access Victoria
More than 450 individuals have objected to the application        Arts Access Victoria is the state’s leading arts and disability
made by the cinemas (Village, Hoyts, Greater Union and            organisation and has 35 years experience managing
Reading Cinemas) Why? Because if the application is               community cultural development projects. As well as this,
approved, millions of Deaf and hard of hearing Australians        Arts Access Victoria has an Access Program, which
stand to lose their rights to complain about discrimination       advocates for the participation of people with disabilities as
in accessing cinema.                                              audiences to arts and entertainment venues.

In exchange for a 2½-year exemption from the DDA, the   
cinema companies have agreed to roll out captioning to 35
cinemas across Australia. Sounds okay, right? 35 cinemas is
better than nothing, isn’t it? But when you consider that
only a minimum of 3 screenings per week will be
captioned, you soon realise that we are talking about
approximately 0.3% of screenings nationally. In our opinion,
this is not good enough.
What can you do?
• Take action…join the Action on Cinema Access
   community lobby group and find out how to get
   involved. Email              Photo: Deaf People enjoy watching captioned movies.
                                                                  Photo Source: Vicdeaf.

 Gaslight Awards Information - See Page 2
    Communicate Issue 21 | January/February 2010

    Report from the CEO
                          Emergency Preparations and                      to medium term market growth that would make most
                          Communication                                   “corporates” drool in anticipation. I would hope that the
                           It is now 2010 and it’s hot again, you         legal and moral arguments are sufficient but if not which
                           can’t help but think of the danger of          of these companies will be the first to properly service this
                           bushfires. Since the terrible events           market? Who will be the genuine leader in this market,
                           in February last year, Vicdeaf has             the ‘early adapter’, and in doing so will not only keep their
                           continued to support families who              informed shareholders happy, but also fulfill their corporate
                           were affected by the Black Saturday            social responsibility?
                           bushfires. To be better prepared               I wonder if any of the companies involved will have the
                           this year, Vicdeaf has had three new           courage, social responsibility and business nous to break
                           actions taken and they are:                    ranks and demonstrate some genuine leadership that will
    • The CFA ‘FireReady Kit’ (See Communicate issue 20                   benefit many Australians, including their shareholders. Why
         and Vicdeaf website)                                             don’t they show the same leadership and business nous as
                                                                          the major film distributors who have recently committed to
    • The ‘Emergency Alert’ warning system which includes                 make available audio description and English captioning
         text messaging to mobile phones (See Communicate                 on the majority of DVD releases for the future?
         issue 20 and Vicdeaf website)
    • Set up a new procedure and provided equipment for                   Government Inquiries
         staff working in regional Victoria for safer operation           Vicdeaf made a submission to two Senate inquiries. On
    Vicdeaf are now working with the relevant authorities to              Tuesday 8 December 2009, we also appeared as witnesses
    develop new Auslan and captioning resources to improve                before the Senate hearing on ‘Hearing Health’. At the
    information sharing within the Deaf and hard of hearing               hearing, we discussed our written submission in more
    community.                                                            detail. Our submission was considered by the Senators
                                                                          for an hour and they asked many informed questions. The
    Captioning Exemption                                                  submission focused on the three key areas of education,
    Vicdeaf have lodged an objection to the proposed                      employment and technology within the terms of reference
    captioning exemption. Also Vicdeaf hosted a very well                 for the inquiry. We highlighted the need for change in
    attended community meeting in December to discuss the                 Government policy and funding in these areas to genuinely
    exemption. On the front page of this Communicate issue,               improve social justice and equity for Deaf and hard of
    you will see an article about this important issue.                   hearing people.
    You would think that with Australia signing the UN                    The second inquiry related to Migration Treatment of
    Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, such            Disability and Vicdeaf also provided a written submission
    thinking would be getting past its use by date. But even              and will be giving evidence at the Melbourne hearing in
    if the legal and moral arguments don’t carry much weight              February.
    with the companies seeking an exemption in time the                   I hope you and your families have a terrific 2010.
    economic and business argument will be compelling.
    In Australia, one in four people are expected to have a               Regards,
    significant hearing loss by 2050, (Source: Access Economics
    and Vicdeaf 2006) there is an untapped market that needs              Graeme Kelly
    better service than it is getting now as well as a short              Chief Executive Officer

    The Gaslight Award (For Outstanding Service)
    What is it?                                    How will the nomination be                  What will the recipient of the award be
    It is an award which recognises the most       considered?                                 given?
    outstanding contributions made to the          Vicdeaf will set up an Awards Panel who     The recipient will receive an individual
    Victorian Deaf Society in the last 125         will receive all nominations and make       award to keep and also be recorded on
    years.                                         decisions who can receive the award.        the Vicdeaf ‘Roll of Honour’ which will be
                                                   The award will be considered for each       shown at Vicdeaf in East Melbourne.
    Who can receive the award?
                                                   25 year era/period of time over the last
    A person, a group or an organisation                                                       When is the closing date for
                                                   125 years. The Panel may also contact
    can receive the award. The award can be                                                    nominations?
                                                   you for more information regarding the
    made posthumously.                             nomination.                                 The closing date is Friday 26 February
    Can I nominate someone for the award?          How many awards can be made in one
    Yes, you may nominate any person,              year?                                       Where can I find a nomination form?
    group or organisation you feel has made        Because it is an important award, there     The nomination form can be
    an excellent contribution. You will need       may only be one or two awards given in      downloaded from the Vicdeaf website
    a seconder to sign the nomination. You         one year.                                   ( Or you may
    must be 18 or over to complete the                                                         request a form be posted or faxed to
    nomination.                                                                                you, please contact Vicdeaf.

                                                                                                 January/February 2010 | Communicate Issue 21

Editorial                                                                                           Editorial Policy
                      Happy New Year                community and I congratulate Stan               Communicate is published six times
                      and welcome                   for his dedication and achievements.            a year. Reader contributions are
                      to the January/               You will find an article about Stan in          greatly welcomed. Articles must
                      February issue of             this issue of Communicate.                      relate to Deaf and hard of hearing
                      Communicate.                  I strongly encourage you to read the            issues.
                      I trust all our               Video Relay Interpreting (VRI) article          All contribution, once submitted,
                      readers enjoyed               (Page 4), it is a brand new service             becomes the property of
                      the break over                provided by Vicdeaf and OnCall.                 Communicate.
                      the festive                   Because of this technology, Auslan
                      season.                       interpreters are now more available             The editor reserve the right not
Many thanks to the readers who                      than before, especially for people in           to publish, or to edit, any article
provided excellent feedback                         regional areas.
                                                                                                    submitted for publication. All
regarding the last issue of                         Please be aware that VRI is different           editing shall strive to remain true to
Communicate which was a special                     to Video Relay Service (VRS) provided           the spirit of the original article.
newspaper edition. It was certainly                 by Australian Communication
a challenge and one that I enjoyed.                 Exchange (see Page 11). The VRS
However we now revert back to the                                                                   Opinions expressed (except in
                                                    is like using a TTY, except you are
magazine style newsletter for the                                                                   articles that are signed in an official
                                                    signing to an interpreter on your
foreseeable future.                                                                                 capacity) are those of the author/s
                                                    computer screen rather than typing
I had the pleasure of interviewing                  to a relay officer.
                                                                                                    and not necessarily endorsed by
Stan Batson in Geelong. It was a                                                                    the editor or by Vicdeaf.
                                                    Enjoy reading Communicate and best
humbling experience to sit before                   wishes for the year ahead.
someone who dedicated 60 YEARS
                                                    Michael Parremore - Editor
as a volunteer to the Geelong Deaf

New Information Services Manager
                          We are very               for the last 14 years. On top of his            committees and was recently
                          pleased to                quantity surveying duties (his most             responsible for delivering the 2008
                          advise that Gavin         prominent project being the MCG                 World Deaf Golf Championships at
                          Balharrie has             Northern Stand Redevelopment) he                Joondalup in Perth (as Tournament
                          been appointed            was also responsible for resources              Director). In addition, Gavin was the
                          to the position           management of 65 on and off site                Assistant Chef de Mission for the
                          of Information            staff. Gavin was also Quality Assurance         Australian Team at the 2009 Taipei
                          Services Manager          Manager with WT Partnership for                 Deaflympic Games.
                          at Vicdeaf. Gavin         two years and responsible for the               He is a strong and passionate member
Photo: Gavin Balharrie at
                          has started his           continuation of their ISO 9000 quality          of the Deaf and hard of hearing
his desk.                 role on Monday 1          assurance system and has completed              community and together with his
Photo Source: Vicdeaf.
                          February 2010.            two degrees in Property, Planning and           professional experience will be a great
Gavin was an Associate of WT                        Design at Melbourne University.                 asset to Vicdeaf and the Information
Partnership (an international quantity              He is currently a member of Deaf                Services team.
surveying firm) where he worked                     Golf Victoria and Deaf Golf Australia

Do you need to book an Auslan Interpreter?
Sign Language Communications Australia (SLC) provides a professional          Email:
interpreting service in different settings throughout Australia. SLC is the   Web:
only interpreting service where all profits are used to provide services
which benefit the Deaf and hard of hearing community.
At SLC VIC, we provide interpreters to many clients each day allocating
the most suitable interpreter for a variety of assignments. Getting an
interpreter when you want one isn’t always easy. To get the interpreter
you want, it is important to book ahead.
We have created an information card for you. Simply peel it off and
place it in your purse/wallet. Whenever you need an interpreter, you will
always have the contact details with you.
If you need more information or assistance, you can always contact the
SLC VIC Booking Office.
Ph: (03) 9473 1117/8     TTY: (03) 9473 1122      SMS: 0401 775 383
    Communicate Issue 21 | January/February 2010

             Human Services
             Video Relay Interpreting Service

                                                                             > quality communication
                                                                                       > access to services

    Try the new Video Relay Interpreter service (VRI) using video technology and broadband services, now available
    in regional and rural areas across Victoria for both sign and spoken languages. The Auslan interpreter assists
    communication between the Deaf and hearing persons via remote video link (see picture below).

                                           How does VRI Work?

    1. A hearing person talks (voice) to the Deaf person and the    3. The Deaf person signs his/her response to the hearing
       video interpreter (VI) listens.                                 person and the VI ‘listens’.
    2. The VI will translate from voice to sign language (Auslan)   4. The VI will translate sign language to voice for the hearing
       for the Deaf person.                                            person.

                                                   Types of VRI calls
         •   DHS family & children support meetings                      •   Aged Care meetings
         •   Counselling                                                 •   Court cases
         •   Public housing enquiries                                    •   Police meetings
         •   Alcohol & Drugs support meetings                            •   Centrelink appointments
         •   Community Health appointments                               •   Palliative care meeting
         •   Job Interviews & Training sessions                          •   Other

             Regional VRI rooms are now located in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Morwell.

                       SLC VIC – or
                                 by phone on 1300 123 752 or TTY 9473 1143

                       ONCALL – or by phone on 9867 3788

                                                                                             January/February 2010 | Communicate Issue 21

Tinnitus Management for Deaf People
Recently, the Rehabilitation team at Vicdeaf started                 what causes this stress and, if possible, help to
researching about tinnitus in Deaf people. There                     reduce what causes the stress.
has been very little research in this area. From our           •     Distraction techniques – learn to ignore your
experience, we know that there are Deaf people who                   tinnitus by focusing on other activities.
experience tinnitus and for some people the tinnitus is
                                                               •     Managing hearing loss – for some people the use
not a problem, however for other people, tinnitus can
                                                                     of hearing aids helps to reduce the awareness of
be quite annoying.
                                                                     tinnitus, but this is not always an option for Deaf
You may be reading this and wondering ‘What is                       people.
tinnitus?’ To answer that question; tinnitus is any sound,
                                                               •     Sound therapy – tinnitus can seem louder in a quiet
that is from inside the body, that you can hear in one or
                                                                     environment and having another sound around
both ears or in your head. For each person, the sound
                                                                     you can make the tinnitus less noticeable. As part
can be different but the most common sounds are
                                                                     of our research we will be investigating other ways
ringing, buzzing, hissing or a whooshing type of sound.
                                                                     for Deaf people that include other senses (such as
Professionals think tinnitus is a symptom of change in
                                                                     smell or touch).
the hearing system, and this includes the way the brain
processes sound.                                               •     Sleep management – use of sound to make
                                                                     your tinnitus less noticeable and reduce stress
About 18% of the Australian population experience
                                                                     associated with going to bed.
tinnitus at some time in their lives. Tinnitus is invisible,
does not damage the ears or hearing and does not               Tinnitus affects around 1 in 6 Australians but you can get
cause pain.                                                    support and advice about how to manage your tinnitus.
                                                               If you would like further information, please contact the
Vicdeaf will be working with professors from North
                                                               Rehabilitation team on Ph: 1300 302 031 or
America and hope to work with Gallaudet University
                                                               TTY: (03) 9567 0422.
to find out how many Deaf people experience tinnitus.
We would like to compare results in Victoria with the
U.S.A. We want to add to research in this area so that
we can share our experiences with others. Please check
the Vicdeaf website or eNews in the future as we will be
doing a survey and we would like you to participate in
the survey.

How to manage your tinnitus?
You can learn to live with your tinnitus without it
bothering you. This can take time and you can practice
different ways to help you manage your tinnitus. Below
are some examples that are used, but not all examples
work for everyone. You need to be supported by
someone who understands tinnitus and your situation,
so that you can work out what suits you:
•    Understanding your tinnitus and concerns about
     your tinnitus – describe your tinnitus and how you
     feel about it. When you learn how the ear works
     and how the brain’s processing is involved - this
     can help you manage your tinnitus better.
•    Stress management and relaxation – stress can             Photo: A person practises relaxation techniques to help reduce tinnitus.
     make the tinnitus seem louder. We can find out            Photo Source: Vicdeaf.

Vicdeaf Board Profile
Adam Brooks                                                    Investment, Governance and Risk
Adam is a partner in the law firm Herbert Geer Lawyers         Adam is also a member of the
and has served on the Vicdeaf Board for six years - this is    Investment Subcommittee
his second year as Vice President.                             and the Audit and Finance
Adam was appointed in March 2004 and brings a range            Committee.
of experience to the board including Finance, Legal,

    Communicate Issue 21 | January/February 2010

    Stan Batson Celebrates 60 Years as a Volunteer
                                                This month, Stan                   owned a car, so I went and picked up Deaf people and
                                                Batson celebrates 60               took them to the Social Group and took them home.”
                                                years as volunteer of              Stan worked in the transport industry for a long time
                                                the Geelong Deaf                   under his father’s business, Trans Otway LTD. On top
                                                community                          of his work, Stan regularly visited Deaf people in the
                                                                                   country to provide companionship.
                                           On a warm February
                                           day in 1950, the first                  As the Geelong Deaf Social Group grew in popularity,
                                           task for the new                        the events organised by the Geelong Regional
                                           Secretary of the                        Committee of Adult Deaf and Dumb Society of Victoria
                                           Geelong Regional                        suffered and they had to change. In 1974 the Group
                                           Committee of Adult                      became known as the Jillong Deaf Sports Group. One
                                           Deaf and Dumb                           week, the Group organised a sporting activity and the
                                           Society of Victoria                     next week, a social event and so on. It was popular with
                                           (now Vicdeaf) was to                    the youths in the community. Unfortunately in the late
                                           organise a picnic at                    1980s, the Group had to close due to the low number
                                           a beach in Geelong.                     of people attending. After it closed, the remaining
                                           A young 18 year                         members went to the Geelong Deaf Social Group, the
    Photo: A profile photo of Stan Batson. old Deaf man, Stan                      reason was that Social Group over 60’s preferred day
    Photo Source: Stan Batson.
                                           Batson was that                         outings.
    new Secretary. Now in February 2010, Stan is still an
    active volunteer for the Geelong Deaf community. Stan
    remembers well the slight difficulty in encouraging the
    older finger-spelling Deaf and younger signing Deaf
    to come together at Deaf events. Stan’s philosophy
    was that if a person is Deaf, regardless of their
    communication skills, they are welcome to attend any
    Deaf related events. From 1950 to 2010, his philosophy
    is still the same. Stan
    served as Secretary
    of the Geelong
    Regional Committee
    of Adult Deaf and
    Dumb Society of
    Victoria for 23 years.

    In 1968, the Geelong
    Deaf Social Group
    was formed by
    members of the                                                                 Image: Deaf people at a picnic at a Geelong beach in February 1950.
    Geelong Deaf                                                                   Image Source: Stan Batson.

    community and Stan
    became a member                                                                Stan held Board positions at various organisations
    of the Group and                                                               servicing the Deaf. Stan is in his 18th year as Vice
    completed many                                                                 President of Deafness Foundation Victoria. He was
    voluntary duties.                                                              also the first Deaf president of the Deafness Forum
    Stan never joined                                                              of Australia and held that position for four years, and
    the committee of the                                                           has been a Life Member since 2003. Stan is currently a
    Group but provided                                                             Board director at Australian Communication Exchange
    much-needed                                                                    (ACE). He also received Life Membership of Deafness
    support by ferrying                                                            Foundation and Vicdeaf. Stan also provided valuable
    members to and                                                                 support in setting up the John Pierce Centre (JPC),
    from the monthly                                                               which is based in Prahran. JPC awarded Stan for
    gatherings as well as                                                          Outstanding Service in 2008. In 1998, The Victorian
    assisting with various                                                         Council of Deaf People also awarded Stan with the E.
    tasks such as writing                                                          R. Noble Community Award. Stan is also a two-time
    letters. Stan said, “I                                                         representative of the Victorian Deaf Cricket Team and
    was one of the few        Image: Stan Batson’s recent message in the Geelong
                                                                                   is a supporter of the Geelong Football Club and the St
    Deaf people who           Advertiser.                                          Mary’s Football Club, his local football club in Geelong.
                              Image Source: Stan Batson/Geelong Advertiser.

                                                                                                  January/February 2010 | Communicate Issue 21

In September this year, Stan and his wife Myra will                   medal winning athletes at Deaflympics Games have
celebrate 55 years of marriage. Stan describes his wife               come from Geelong. Stan says the Geelong Deaf
as ‘my greatest soulmate’ and acknowledges Myra for                   community is excited about the upcoming Games.
her wonderful support to him over the years, especially               Stan wants to congratulate Deaf Sports Australia for
when Stan has to leave home to perform various                        choosing Geelong as the host city and believes it will be
volunteer duties. Stan and Myra have four children,                   a fantastic event.
they are Carmel, Anne, Andrew and David. Carmel is a
lecturer living in Alice Springs and she does a variety of
community work for the indigenous people as well as
for CODA Australia. Stan sometimes visits Carmel and
provides Auslan support to the local Deaf community.

Stan is proud that the Geelong Deaf Social Group is
still going strong and nearly 100 people attended the
41st Christmas Luncheon in December 2009, where
the Group presented Stan with a ‘Wonderful Support
Care to the Geelong Deaf Community over many years’
award. President, Charles Claxton recognises Myra and
Stan’s valuable contribution to the Social Group. Charles
said “Stan has been very supportive over the years, even
when the Group wasn’t doing so well, Stan was always
there”. Charles also said that Stan is “a lovely man who
will look after everyone”. Stan believes it is important
for the Social Group to continue to provide Deaf people
the opportunity to get together and communicate in
their own language and feel comfortable.

Last year, Deaf Sports Australia announced that
Geelong will host the Australian Deaf Games in January
2012. Many deaf people will get to see Stan Batson
perform various volunteer duties at the Games. Many
                                                                      Image: Another newspaper clipping about the 2012 Australian Deaf Games.
                                                                      Image Source: Stan Batson.

Maureen Davey Releases an Autobiography
                                 There is a new book out now          beings who can
                                 written by Maureen Davey called      make a valuable
                                 ‘Beyond Sight and Sound’.            contribution to
                                 Maureen recently turned 63 and       society.”
                                 lives in Ballarat and she is fully
                                 blind and hearing impaired.          Maureen is a
                                 Maureen was born in Ballarat         founding member
                                 but spent her days growing up        of the Ballarat Deaf
                                 at Miners Rest before moving         Social Club and
                                 back to Ballarat. She has lived      also a life member.
                                 independently for 32 years and       While she does
Image: Maureen Davey’s new book.
                                 is proud of it, she said “A lot of   not visit often, she
Image Source: Lisa Taylor.       people criticised me when they       made sure some
                                 found out I was living on my         of the proceeds of Photo: A portrait of Maureen Davey.
                                                                                            Photo Source: Lisa Taylor.
own, they thought I should be looked after, but I proved              her book went to
them wrong”.                                                          Ballarat Deaf Social
                                                                      Club as well as Vision Australia. Maureen is proud of the
Maureen has done voluntary work for Vision Australia                  book and hopes that people will enjoy reading them.
for 42.5 years. A few people encouraged Maureen to
write an autobiography. So Maureen set about writing                  To buy a copy for $15, contact Vision Australia,
a book in 2007. About her book, she said, “I hope                     on Ph: 1300 84 74 66 and ask for Ballarat or
readers will begin to understand people with blindness                post to PO Box 169, Wendouree VIC 3355.
and hearing impairment, that they are ordinary human
    Communicate Issue 21 | January/February 2010

    Paul Jacobs Autobiography Review
                                       Paul Jacobs, Ph.D., is the   a deaf individual describing the experience of growing
                                       author of ‘Neither-Nor:      up deaf; rather it is a true story with multiple levels
                                       A Young Australian’s         and perspectives.”, “I wish that I had read this book 40
                                       Experience with              years ago.” and “I recommend it to all those who work
                                       Deafness.’ It is a story     with deaf individuals including teachers, audiologists,
                                       about Paul’s life growing    researchers, and therapists. Deaf individuals themselves
                                       up after losing his          will enjoy it for the thought provoking expressions and
                                       hearing at the age of 5.     the incisive description of similar experiences.”

                                    Paul has received               Paul currently works as a researcher for the Institute of
                                    excellent reviews about         Social Participation at La Trobe University in Bundoora.
                                    the book, one review            Paul is also publishing articles about social themes that
                                    came from Jack Spear,           allow Deaf people to maximize their potential. The
                                    a Deaf psychologist             articles are published in the Volta Voices magazines in
                                    from Chicago, he                Washington DC. Visit the website:
                                    said “Paul’s book,              NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=505
                                    ‘Neither-Nor: A Young
    Image: Paul Jacob’s book cover.
                                    Australian’s Experience         You can order Paul’s book from Gallaudet University
    Image Source: Paul Jacobs.
                                    with Deafness’ is an            Press, visit the website:
    autobiographical novel. It is not simply another book by        bookpage/NNbookpage.html

    Are you being ripped off?
    Unfortunately, many people in Australia are being                    cannot explain, report it to your credit union or bank
    ripped off or scammed every year. Some scams are                     immediately.
    very easy to spot and other scams may appear to be
    genuine offers or bargains. Most scams need you to do           •    Keep your credit and ATM cards safe. Do not share
    something before they can work, however some scams                   your PIN number with anyone. Do not keep any
    can even take place without you doing anything at all.               written copy of your PIN with the card.

    If you think you are being scammed, you can take action         •    You can contact your local Office of Fair Trading,
    straight away to reduce the damage. You should also                  Australian Securities and Investments Commission
    report the scam to the correct government agency. They               (ASIC) or the Australian Competition and Consumer
    will be able to identify the scammers and warn other                 Commission (ACCC) for assistance.
    people. You should also warn your family and friends            The website provides
    about the scam as well. If you share your story, you are        information about what to do if you feel you have been
    helping to fight back against the scammers.                     scammed. It is provided by the Australian Competition
    Below is some handy advice you may need to follow to            and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
    avoid being scammed:

    •   Be careful: the offer may be a scam.

    •   Always get expert advice if an offer involves a lot of
        money, time or commitment.

    •   Remember there are no ways to get rich quick: the
        only people who make money are the scammers.

    •   Do not agree to offers or deals straight away: tell
        the person that you are not interested or that you
        want to get some expert advice before making a

    •   Never send money or give credit card or online
        account details to anyone you do not know and

    •   Check your bank account and credit card statements
        when you get them. If you see a transaction you             Image: The Scamwatch website.
                                                                    Image Source:

                                                                              January/February 2010 | Communicate Issue 21

More captioned DVD movies on the way
On Tuesday 12 January 2010, the CEO of the Australian       Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures Video
Visual Software Distributors Association (AVDSA)            and Warner Home Video. The AVSDA Accessibility
Simon Bush released a statement that all the major film     Framework for the Home Entertainment Film Industry
distributors and some smaller Australian independents       and labelling standards can be viewed at www.avsda.
have committed to make available the English      
captioning (and audio description) on the majority of       You can send an email to AVDSA to show your
movies when released on DVD. This is as a result of         appreciation for this commitment at
intense lobbying from disability organisations such as
Deafness Forum for a commitment from distributors to        Kate Locke of Deafness Forum said, “This is a step
improve media access features on DVDs. It is also as a      forward but not the end, and real show of commitment
result of the development of the AVDSA ‘Accessibility       from the distributors that they understand what it is
Framework’ for the home entertainment film industry         like to be left out of accessible media as a Deaf or
and labelling standards developed in conjunction with       blind person.” Sadly one distributor hasn’t agreed to
the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission           the commitment to increase captioning and audio
(HREOC) in 2007.                                            description. Kate said “21st Century Pictures are not
                                                            interested in captioning or audio description, they won’t
Simon Bush said, “This will ensure that the vast majority   change anything unless they think people want captions
of Australian theatrical titles when sold on DVD format     and audio description.” Kate would like to ask people
will contain media access features to benefit the           to write them a letter and ask them why they do not
vision and hearing impaired communities who have            support captions and audio description on the majority
been asking AVSDA for this commitment”. AVDSA               of their new releases. She hopes the number of letters
represents the home entertainment film and TV industry      they receive will force them to consider their position
and the distributors making this commitment include:        regarding improving media access features on DVDs.
Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Hopscotch
Entertainment, Madman Entertainment, Paramount              You can write or fax to the Marketing Manager at 21st
Home Entertainment, Roadshow Entertainment, Sony            Century Pictures, 449 Darling Street, Balmain, NSW,
Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth-Century              2041 or Fax (02) 9555 7322.

About the Victorian Council of Deaf People
The Victorian Council of Deaf People (VCOD) is a state-     VCOD organises several community events for the Deaf
wide advocacy and information provider representing         Community. National Week of Deaf People is one of our
the Deaf community in areas such as, education,             major community events.
employment and community access. It aims to provide
                                                            VCOD is one of five state branches of Deaf Australia.
awareness and educate the wider community and
businesses alike, to increase access for the Deaf and       VCOD contact details are:
hard of hearing members of the community and in terms
                                                            Postal: 597 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
of strengthening community participation and quality of
                                                            TTY: 03 9521 2466
life for Deaf and hard of hearing Victorians.
                                                            Fax: 03 9525 2595
                                                            Email: or
VCOD advocates on behalf of Deaf people to increase
access to service, to represent and provide leadership.
We also provide information and workshops especially
‘Deaf Deaf World’ workshops to the wider community.

Are you Eligible for the Smoke Alarm
Subsidy Initiative?
The Smoke Alarm Subsidy is a scheme supported by the
Victorian State Government that assists people who are
profoundly deaf to acquire a visual and vibrating smoke
alarm at a reduced cost of $50 (normally the Bellman
Visit Flash, smoke alarm & vibrating pad retails for
around $450). Eligibility requirements and application      the smoke alarm subsidy link at:
forms are available from the Vicdeaf website, under
     Communicate Issue 21 | January/February 2010

     Vicdeaf Fundraising Report                                                             Australian Theatre
     Great Conclusion to 125th                      Foundation and Commonwealth             of the Deaf
     Anniversary Year
     The Christmas Rally (Sunday 6
                                                    Bank Staff Community Fund for
                                                    their sponsorship of the school’s       Celebrates 30 Years
                                                    education component. We will
     December 2009), Art Exhibition                                                         The Australian Theatre of the Deaf
                                                    keep you informed of the progress
     by Peter Adams and Christmas                                                           (ATOD) celebrated their 30th birthday
                                                    throughout the year.
     Wrapping activities provided the                                                       on Thursday 26 November 2009 at
     perfect opportunity to complete a              We have also received financial         Redfern Town Hall, near Sydney. It was
     very exciting year.                            support from a number of bequests       a huge success with nearly 200 people
                                                    in recent months. This is a very        turning up for the event. Past and
     Whether it was the Gala Ball,
                                                    special way of supporting the           present actors, performers, directors,
     the special flight of the DC3 at
                                                    work of Vicdeaf and a lasting           production crews and office staff
     Tullamarine or the Garden Party
                                                    acknowledgement of the life of that     helped celebrate ATOD’s contribution
     at Government House, all of our
                                                    person. We are grateful to the late     to Deaf performing arts in Australia.
     special activities were well attended
                                                    Ivy S. Glenie who was a benefactor
     and enjoyed by many people                                                             A showreel screened on the night
                                                    through her estate to Vicdeaf and
     from the Deaf and hard of hearing                                                      showing pictures and performances
                                                    a number of other charities. Her
     community.                                                                             tracing the production history since
                                                    legacy will directly assist our work
                                                                                            1979 was a huge hit – the hairstyles,
     We have also had excellent financial           both now and into the future.
                                                                                            outfits and moustaches deserve a
     support from many individual donors
                                                    We would also like to acknowledge       particular mention! The night was
     as well as trusts and foundations to
                                                    the many people who support the         filled with laughter, reminiscing
     help us develop and deliver a range
                                                    work of Vicdeaf financially and our     and memories (good, funny and
     of services to Deaf and hard of
                                                    wonderful group of volunteers.          embarrassing!). If anyone would like
     hearing people across Victoria.
                                                    hank you so much for assisting with     a DVD copy of the showreel they can
     The ‘HEAR here’ project is focused             our various projects.                   be purchased for $25 which includes
     on providing information to people                                                     postage within Australia.
                                                    If you would like to know more
     living in more isolated and remote
                                                    about the exciting activities planned   Visit the ATOD website for more
     communities. In February we will be
                                                    for 2010 or wish to support our work    information and contact details.
     taking a team to Echuca to deliver
                                                    through a donation or as a volunteer,
     the first of these programs. We will                                         
                                                    please contact the Community
     also visit East Gippsland, Western
                                                    Relations and Development team
     Victoria (from Geelong through
                                                    by TTY, email, fax, telephone or in
     to Warrnambool), the Grampians
                                                    person through the contact details
     including Ararat and possibly Nhill,
                                                    provided on the back page of
     and there is a possibility of visiting
     some towns around Mildura.
                                                    David Oliver
     The response from our planning has
     been very encouraging, and we are
                                                    Community Relations and
     grateful to the Helen Macpherson                                                       Photo: Past and present actors, performers, directors,
                                                    Development                             production crews and office staff celebrate ATOD’s 30th
     Smith Trust for their financial support                                                birthday.
     for this project and the Deafness                                                      Photo Source: Australian Theatre of the Deaf.


     Communicate is a bi-monthly print newsletter. It is a               eNews is a monthly electronic newsletter. It is an
     source of news and information relating to Deaf and                 excellent source of upcoming events and important
     hard of hearing issues. Want to receive Communicate?                information. Want to receive eNews (via email only)?
     Please fill in your details and post to us.                         Please fill in your details and post to us:

     Name:                                                               Name:
     Postal Address:                                                     Email Address:

     Post to: Vicdeaf Communication Coordinator, Level 4, 340 Albert Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002 or you can
     subscribe over the internet. Simply go to and subscribe.

                                                                                          January/February 2010 | Communicate Issue 21

Video Relay Service
– Great for Your Workplace
Video Relay a key technology for Australian workplaces       employees in 2010 and hope to set up VRS in a number of
                                                             significant organisations around Australia.
Communication flow is an important part in everyday
life and particularly in the workplace. Australian           We believe this service provides the functional equivalent
Communication Exchange (ACE) is currently funding            of the standard telephone and should be accessible
a new technology, Video Relay Service (VRS) which            to all Deaf employees in Australia. VRS means Deaf
improves communication for Deaf Australians.                 people can make telephone calls quickly and easily like
                                                             hearing people do. It provides a more natural and faster
The technology was developed so a Deaf person can
                                                             conversation and allows Deaf people to use Auslan with
use Skype to connect to an Interpreter at ACE and make
                                                             facial expression in their conversations. The service is
calls to hearing people. They can also use the same
                                                             open from 10am-5pm Monday to Friday (AEST).
technology to have short meetings where they need easy
access to interpreting services.                             For more information on VRS, visit the Australian
                                                             Communication Exchange website (ACE) at www.aceinfo.
ACE is also working to improve the access of
                                                    . If you would like to register for VRS click here or
communication technologies in workplaces for Deaf
                                                             send us an email at

                                                                                                                  NOTE: This information
                                                                                                                  is provided by Australian
                                                                                                                  Communication Exchange.

hearservice Demonstration Room
At hearservice we stock a variety of Assistive Listening     advice and device to suit your needs, at the same time
Devices that can be used with or without hearing aids.       giving you the opportunity to view and make an informed
These devices can be used in and around the home, when       decision. Booking an appointment is essential and can be
out and about or in work situations.                         made by calling our office on the numbers below.
Types of devices available for demonstration are:            For more information about Assistive Listening Devices,
                                                             visit the hearservice website at or
•   Wireless alert systems for the telephone, smoke
                                                             to make a free 1 hour device appointment please contact
    detector, doorbell and baby cry monitor
                                                             us on Ph: 1300 302 031 or TTY: 9567 0422
•   Telephones with adjustable volume and tone control
•   Mobile phone solutions
•   Television headsets with independent volume control
•   Alarm clocks with volume control, tone, vibration and
    flash alert
•   Personal amplifiers which assist to increase
    environmental sounds and speech
•   And more!
hearservice offer a free one hour demonstration at our
Oakleigh and Box Hill clinics. We will also be opening
up a clinic in late April at East Melbourne. The allocated   Photo: Many devices are on display at hearservice.
appointment time allows you to receive the best possible     Photo Source: Vicdeaf.

     Communicate Issue 21 | January/February 2010

     Sports News
     Silver medal a highlight of
     my tennis career
     By Stephen Swann
     Winning a silver medal at the Taipei Deaflympics
     in the tennis Men’s Doubles was the highlight of
     my tennis career. I was fortunate to be playing
     with Glen Flindell from Perth. Heading to Taipei
     we were confident that we could do well, and
     we hoped to improve on our 3rd placing in
     the World Deaf Tennis Cup in Austria back in
     2003. Our tennis squad was a great group of
     six, including another Victorian in Russell Watts
     My favorite match was our semi-final against
     a pair from Great Britain. We were on centre
     court, with a full set of umpires and ball boys,
     several TV cameras positioned around the
     court, and lots of spectators - and this all took
     some getting used to! We won the first set
     comfortably, and the second set narrowly – final      Photo: P9040308 L-R Joshua Sealy (NSW), John Lui (NSW), Stephen Swann (VIC), Jamie Zafir (QLD), Glen Flindell
                                                           (WA) and Russell Watts - Coach (VIC).
     score was 6-2 7-5. It was a great feeling to know     Photo Source: Stephen Swann.
     that we were through to the final to play off for a
     gold medal!
     In the gold medal match we were the
     underdogs against red-hot favorite France, and
     many people didn’t think we had much chance
     of winning. However we thought we could pull
     off an upset! On the day of the match it was 37
     degrees and humidity was extreme. One of the
     players in the previous match had collapsed at
     the end of the match, so we knew it would be
     tough. Despite the heat many spectators turned
     up to cheer us on, which was great, and their
     enthusiasm was inspiring! The final was a best
     of 5 sets. We narrowly lost the first two sets, and
     fighting tooth and nail for every point we won
     the third set. The fourth set went to a tie break,
     which we lost, so the final score was France 6-4
     6-4 4-6 7-6. It was disappointing not to win, but
     we felt we had done everything we could do to
     prepare and had performed near our best on
     the day, and we were very happy to accept a           Photo: Stephen is a proud silver medallist.
     silver medal for Australia!                           Photo Source: Stephen Swann.

                                              Victorian Deaf Society
                                              Level 4, 340 Albert Street, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002
                                              TTY: (03) 9473 1199; Voice: (03) 9473 1111; Fax: (03) 9473 1122
                                              Toll-free for country people, TTY: 1300 780 235, Voice: 1300 780 225
                                              Vicdeaf office hours: Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5.00pm
                                              Regional offices: Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Sale and Wangaratta
                                              Patrons: Professor David de Krester, AO and Mrs. Jan de Krester

                                              Printed on 100% Recycled Paper