The Blind Alliance Australia AGM and Inaugural Conference took place over the weekend. We welcome 3 new directors, Paul Hedley, Christine Boutsikakis and Peter Davis. The conference was a great success with attendees from Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia..
A highlight of the conference was the announcement of an annual award for the Blind Alliance Australia, Blind Australian of the Year which recognises a volunteer who is legally blind and has made a significant contribution to the lives of people who are blind or vision impaired. This is the first year of this award and to facilitate the award being presented at our inaugural conference, has been a director’s choice. Nominations will be sought nationally for the 2018 award and will be judged by a panel largely external from the directorship. Due to the prestigious nature of this award, we have been fortunate enough to have attracted a generous sponsor, Alkira Software Pty. Ltd.
Alkira has produced a software package that can overwrite websites so that at the stroke of an up or down arrow, a blind or vision impaired user can successfully and pleasurably navigate even unknown websites in a fraction of the time. The program is called Kira and includes a full voice over. Alkira’s philosophy is to make all websites that are crucial to full social inclusion easily accessible and comprehensible to all users. This philosophy of inclusion is what has attracted Alkira to the associated values of the Blind Alliance Blind Australian of the Year Award. Geoff Munck, the Chief Marketing Officer of Alkira. On behalf of Alkira, Geoff has generously sponsored the Blind Australia of the Year Award 2017 by providing a cash award of $1500.
We believe that such a prize has never before been made to a person who is legally blind in recognition of their longstanding volunteer contribution to improving participation in the everyday activities of people who are blind or vision impaired.
The finalists for the Award – Brian Reynolds from Ballarat, Coral Arnold from Sydney, Peter Greco from Adelaide and Stephen Jolley from Melbourne. We are delighted to advise that the winner was Peter Greco for his many years of volunteering with Radio for the Print Handicapped.
If you are interested in testing a free download of this software, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org