This biennial two days conference is designed for educators, school support staff, therapists and stakeholders who support students who are blind or have low vision.


  • Thursday , 7 September & Friday, 8 Spetember
    Thursday, 7 September, 2017 - Friday, 8 September, 2017
    9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Course Code:   CPE17VSCN

Course Information

This biennial two days conference is designed for educators, school support staff, therapists and stakeholders who support students who are blind or have low vision.

The keynote presenter will be Dr Joy Zabala. Joy is a general and special educator who has spent many years conducting professional development and training for students, families, education agencies, organizations, companies, and others across the U.S.A. and abroad to expand the use of assistive technology (AT) as a means to increase the communication, participation and productivity of people with disabilities.

Dr. Zabala is currently the Director of Technical Assistance at CAST where she also directs the technical assistance efforts of the National Centre on Accessible Instructional Materials and serves as the evaluator of the NIMAS Development Centre.

Presentations will include the following topics:
* Accessibility
* Curriculum Access and Adjustments
* Orientation and Mobility
* Technology
* Teaching Methodology and good practice

2017 VISCON Program


Thursday 7 September


Time Event Presenter
8:15-8:45 Registration
8.45-9.00 Welcome and Housekeeping
9:00 – 10.45 Accessibility Joy Zabala
10:45-11:15 Morning tea and Trade Displays









Learning Media Profile in the Digital Age Michelle Knight


Linking Social Inclusion and Self-Determination in High School Students with Vision Impairments Glenda Jessup


Wearable Technology – A new era for Information Access Tim Connell


12.45-1.30pm Lunch and Trade Displays


1:30 - 2:00


2:00 - 2:30



2:30 - 3:00



3.00 - 3.30


3.30 – 4.00

Prodji Connect 12 Louie Tan


Principles, Best Practice and Professional Standards for Education of Learners with VI in Australia, NZ and Pacific Island Carly Turnbull


Childhood vision impairment in Australia in 2017 – the findings from the Australian Childhood Vision Impairment Register Sue Silveira


Unpacking the Toolbox Mike Corrigan


Using a new evidence-based learning progression as the basis for the assessment of digital literacy in students with vision impairment and additional learning needs Emily White



4.00 Close


6:00 Conference Dinner



Friday 8 September


Time Event Presenter
8:15-8:45 Registration



9.30 – 10.00


 Is there another way to assess a child? Sue Silveira


Investigations for Vision Impairment Caroline Catt

10:00 – 10.30 Morning Tea and Trade Displays






11.00 – 11.30



11.30 – 12.00



12.00 – 12.30

Developing Phonological Awareness Skills in Children with VI and additional disabilities – approaches, considerations and challenges for educations and health professionals Beth Foale


Students advocating for students: Making movies that change expectations Debra Goodsir


Developing pre-braille and social skills through Reach and match Mandy Lau


Update in genetics and genomics Zoe Prichard

12:30-1.15 Lunch and Trade Displays





1.45 – 2.15






2.45 – 3.15


3.15 – 4.00


4.00 – 4.20

Ready for work”?  Views of students, families and vision support teachers Natalie Kaine


Supporting children and young adults who are blind or have low vision in learning the gestures and concepts of voice over on an Apple IOs touch device Phia Damsa


Building Capacity - Pacific Braille Repair Project Ben Clare


Braille Reading Outcomes Tricia d’Apice


Parent Panel


Lucky Prize Draw and Wrap- Up




361-365 North Rocks Road, North Rocks, New South Wales, 2151, Australia


North Rocks, Sydney, Australia

Sydney is located on Australia’s south-east coast. With an approximate population of 4.5 million in the Sydney metropolitan area the city is the largest municipality in Australia. Sydney is easily accessible by air, rail and road networks from other Australian cities.

Located approximately 26 km north-west of the city centre, Renwick Centre is accessible via private and public transport to metropolitan areas such as Epping, Parramatta, Hornsby and the city.

North Rocks is a suburban area of Sydney and is the home of the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children since 1961.

Public Transport

There are several public transport options for getting to and from the Renwick Centre within the Sydney metropolitan area.


Cityrail train stations are located in Epping (6 km away) and Parramatta (7km away) and have connecting bus services (refer to Buses section below) to the Centre.

Epping train station is on the Northern, Newcastle and Central Coast lines with a journey time of approximately 30 minutes to the city (Central, Town Hall and Wynyard stations) and 20 minutes to Strathfield or Hornsby stations.

Parramatta train station offers frequent services to the city (about 40 minutes of travel time) and is located on the Western, Cumberland and Blue Mountains lines.

Both stations are wheelchair accessible.


There is a bus stop directly outside the RIDBC campus – services to Epping and Macquarie Centre – and another across the road outside the Westfield Shopping Centre for services to Parramatta and Blacktown. For latest info on these routes, please visit the Sydney Buses website.

Route Destination Wheelchair Accessible
549 Epping Most
546 Epping via Carlingford Most
546/549 Parramatta Most
630 Macquarie Centre No
630 Blacktown No
610/619* City Few
610/619* Rouse Hill Few

* Access to these bus services is from the M2 motorway at Barclay Road bus stop, a 20 minute walk (1.4 km) from the Centre.

Sydney Airport

Sydney Airport has domestic and international terminals and is approximately 35 km south-east of the Renwick Centre.

Cityrail train stations are located within the domestic and international terminals. To get to the centre, you will need to change trains at Central to an Epping or Parramatta service and then either take a taxi or bus the remaining distance to the centre. Journey time by public transport is approximately 90-120 minutes.


Companies providing a taxi service in the Sydney area include Premier Cabs (Phone: 13 10 17), Silver Service (Phone: 133 100), Taxis Combined (Phone: 8332 8888) and RSL Cabs (Phone: 132 211).


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