Strengthening Disability Advocacy conference 2014
Champions of change

4 & 5 August @ Melbourne & Olympic Park Convention Centre

Deafblind World & My vote my right


Monday 4th August, 2014: 3:30am - 5:00am


Park A


Deafblind Victoria,

Heather Lawson, Trudy Ryall and Michelle Stevens are founding members of Deafblind Victorians. The group is run by and for people who are Deafblind or who have both vision and hearing impairment. DBV provides the opportunity for people to join together to support each other, share experiences and explore ideas. The group also undertakes advocacy … Continued

Photo of Deafblind Victoria,

Matthew Potocnik, Education and Disability Engagement Officer for the Victorian Electoral Commission

It is Matthew’s job to help dispel myths about voting and people with disability. He has a strong focus on increased participation and developing active citizenship for all people with disability. Matthew was the first Human Rights Ambassador for the Department of Human Services, Disability Accommodation Services. He has experienced first-hand the short-falls in the … Continued

Photo of Matthew Potocnik, Education and Disability Engagement Officer for the Victorian Electoral Commission

Session Summary

This session is split into two 40 minute sessions.


Deafblind world

Back by popular demand, members of DeafBlind Victorians deliver their interactive hands-on presentation DeafBlind World that shows what it is like to be deafblind. The presentation will outline the different types of deafblindness and the different ways that deafblind people communicate, depending on the nature of their condition and whether it was present at birth or acquired later. For example, someone who grew up deaf and experienced vision loss later in life is likely to use sign language, others who grew up blind and later became deaf are more likely to use a tactile mode of their spoken/written language. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.


Audio podcast


My vote, my right

Have you ever heard you are not allowed to vote or maybe that you don’t need to vote? If you’re 18 and over and an Australian citizen, you have the same RIGHT to vote as everyone else. Matthew Potocnik, Education and Disability Engagement Officer at Victorian Electoral Commission explains how easy it is to vote and what help is available to make sure you get your voice heard in this year’s State election.