DeafBlind Association (NSW)

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2017 - 

2016 - Deafblind Awareness Week Festival at Hensley Park. Deafblind camp at Berry Sport and Rec Camp.

2015 - World Federation of Deafblind Meeting and Deafblind International Conference, Bucharest Romania 22-28 May, attended by Irene McMinn and Janne Bidenko. Able Australia joined DB Forum and it was renamed DB Consultative Forum.

2014 - 10th Helen Keller Conference and 4th World Federation of Deafblind Meeting, Bangkok Philippines 31 Oct - 4 Nov, attended by Irene McMinn and Janne Bidenko, DBA(NSW).

2014 - Organised 9th National Deafblind Conference 7-9 June, Mercure Hotel Sydney hosted by Forsight Foundation together with DBA(NSW). Information brochures printed and sent out to Medical Centres across NSW to try to identify where Deafblind people are.

2013 - Continued involvement with Disability Network Forum (DNF) as well as working with Community Disability Action Hunter (CDAH) to ensure Deafblind people in the launch area of NDIS - Newcastle/Hunter - would receive the services needed and so long overdue. The National Disability Insurance Agency managing this accepted Deafblindness as a profound disability and also ruled that Deafblind people would have longer appointments for assessments and Programs.

2012 - DBA continued with our involvement with Disability Network Forum and were successful in getting Deafblindness included in all literature coming from ADHC, it negotiated with ADBC on attempting to find numbers of Deafbind people in group homes, although this is still a concept which is hard to convince staff of this unique disability. People are still considered to have an intellectual disability without consideration of their hearing and vision loss. 

2011 - DBA was very involved with Systemic Advocacy to advance the interests of Deafblind people in preparation for a National Disability Insurance Scheme. DBA(NSW) was recognised as the peak advocacy organisation for Deafblind people in NSW,  Delegates Irene McMinn (deafblind) and Janne Bidenko were invited to join the newly formed Disability Network Forum, made up of leading Advocacy organisations, to advise ADHC on urgent changes. Began Bunnings Sausage Sizzle fundraising

2010 - DbI meeting on communication in Paris "The Magic of Dialogue", 20-25 June, attended by Mark Hoarau and Janne Bidenko (both self funded).

2010 - Obtained funding from FaHCSIA Submission for fuel reimbursement to Volunteers for one year, but no other service funding. Introduced Deafblind Forums to bring together organisations who gave any service to Deafblind people, to try to improve the lives of Deafblind people.

2010 - 8th National Deafblind Conference 28-30 April, held at Jasper Hotel, Melbourne "New Ideas, Directions and Solutions". Attended by DBA(NSW) members.

2009 - Advanced advocacy issues for Deafblind people and put in Submissions to Foundations and to FaHCSIA for funding. 

2008 - Involvement in PWD (People with Disability) meetings for "UN Convention on Human Rights". Commenced DBA Consultative Forums with organisations involved in giving support to Deafblind people, to work together in improving lives.

2007 - Attended 14th DbI (Deafblind International) Conference in Perth W.A.

2006 - Jeff's walk Read about it here or else go to Jeff's own web site

2005 - DBA(NSW) President gave presentations on deafblind issues at the Itinerant Teachers of Deaf Conference, the Sensory Impairment Winter School, the Tasmanian Council of Deaf and the National CHARGE Conference.

2004 - DBA(NSW) members attended the Seventh National Deafblind Conference entitled 'Disability and Moving On', held in Melbourne in July.

2004 - After DBA's consistent involvement and lobbying for four years at NSW Department of Health meetings, PADP (provision of aids to disabled persons) agreed to include sensory equipment in their funding.

2003 - A deafblind service was born within RBS in October, as a training service with the equivalent of two full time staff, providing training in communication, technology and living skills.

2003 - Obtained ongoing funding from the NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC) and a large donation from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and South Sydney Leagues Club, to enable a Deafblind Service to be set up within Royal Blind Society, who won the tender which had been put out to 4 services. Submission was for a combined initiative of DADHC and the Department of Housing (DOH) to achieve cluster housing for deafblind people to live in close proximity, where they could have communication and contact, to be supported by Home and Community Care employees and interpreters. RBS did not agree with the cluster housing project as they had ceased accommodation services, and DOH could not find suitable land in Sydney's Inner West.

2003 - Craft Group started at RBS with volunteers giving hands-on assistance with tactile craft and other activities.

2002 - Organised and hosted sixth National DeafBlind Conference entitled 'Touching the World' in Sydney. This was well received by representatives from all States.

2001 - Contingent from DBA(NSW) attend Helen Keller Conference and first World Federation of DeafBlind Meeting held in Auckland, New Zealand in October.
         - Contingent from DBA(NSW) attend fifth National Deafblind Conference entitled 'Keeping in Touch Beyond 2000', held in Fremantle in April.

2000 - 'Too Hard Basket' paper given by Janne Bidenko at University of NSW Conference 'Social Relations on Human Rights, Disability and Education'.

1999 - Carleeta Manser (with interpreter) and Trish James spoke on ABC radio progam 'Life Matters' for which presenter Ann Arnold received the radio award at the commendation at Australian Human Rights Awards.

1998 - DBA(NSW) attains charitable status.
         - gains membership with the World Federation of the Deafblind.

1997 - Trip to USA and professional course at Helen Keller National Centre and organised first DeafBlind Awareness Week. Trish James and Janne Bidenko spent February visiting deafblind organisations across the US and in Toronto, Canada.  DBA(NSW) became incorporated. DeafBlind Awareness Week held last week of June, incorporating Helen Keller's birthdate of 27th June.

1996 - Trish James receives Churchill Fellowship. Click here to view the report.
         - 4th National DeafBlind Conference entitled 'Deafblind Facing the Future' held in Melbourne, attended by DBANSW members.

1995 - Submission to NSW Government for funding for a deafblind service. This was rejected and DBA was told that another sensory service would never be funded in NSW.

1995 - DBA(NSW) organised and hosted 3rd National DeafBlind Conference at RBS Auditorium, Enfield Sydney. At this conference more emphasis was placed on Deafblind people than at first two conferences, and the name deafblind was adopted as one word, without a hyphen between.

1994 - DBA(NSW) Organised seminar on deafblindness services presented by Kathryn Raistrick from the USA. 

1993 - 2nd National DeafBlind Conference held in Melbourne, attended by the newly formed NSW DBA committee.

1992 - Newsletter started to convey information of interest and details of monthly outings - 'Rainbow News' chosen by members as the title.

1991 - 1st National Deafblind Conference held in Adelaide, only attended by service organisations

1991 - Trish James became the representative from RBS and Peter Mulham from the Deaf Society. Together with Janne Bidenko they became a self-determining club for deafblind people. The name 'Hand-Over-Hand' Club was chosen by Billie Sinclair along with them, and monthly outings decided by them together with Deafblind people.

1989 - Social Group established by three hearing/sighted people: Janet Milligan from Royal Blind Society (RBS); Paula Crean from the Deaf Society (DS) and Janne Bidenko from Challenge Foundation Hornsby. They realised that deafblind people were 'falling through the cracks' and not receiving support from either deaf or vision services.