Archive for April, 2015

Friday DS Link Round Up!

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Happy Friday blog followers!

Here are some links to take you through the weekend.

And the must read story of this week…
I am his hands, he is my eyes – we are good partners.” beautiful story in cooperation and friendship.


Blind Greek-Aussie tennis player Christos Cypreou chases stardom

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

There’s been a number of Greek-Australian tennis players on the scene this year, but few have confronted the challenges facing Christos Cypreou.

“After I lost my sight I thought a lot of things would not work out for me because of the sight difficulties but coming to blind sports has really changed my life,” he said.

Chris lost most of his sight in 1999, a complication from a chronic illness. He had to quit playing Australian rules football, and he says he became so withdrawn at one stage he feared leaving the house on his own. But after discovering blind tennis, he says his confidence returned and so did his desire of becoming a professional sportsman.

“I would love to play internationally, I would love to play professionally blind tennis I want to get to that international level, I’m working really hard at that.”

Blind tennis is a relatively new sport in Australia. Various tennis programs have a general disability category, with scope for blind players. Blind Sports Australia runs the only internationally recognised league for the vision impaired. Organisers are working towards holding Australia’s first blind tennis open with Japan next year. Blind Sports’ Ray Fitzgerald says the goal is to eventually push for a category in the Paralympics.

“They’re hoping to have it go there in 2030. However to do that you have to have your own local tournaments and an international tournament as well so we’re working in that direction,” he said.

It’s an exciting prospect for vision impaired athletes. Blind Sports Victoria’s Maurice Gleeson says sport participation for blind and vision impaired people can be limited.

“Your opportunity to be involved in sport and recreation is minimal, having a tennis program like this has given them a whole new way of life, a challenge they excel at something new they love and have a passion for.”

Blind tennis differs from regular tennis in that players warn each other when the ball has been served, and – depending on the vision capabilities of the player – more bounces are allowed before the ball is returned. Some players use a shorter raquet and the ball is larger and made from foam, with a bell or noise maker inside.

But Christos Cypreou says the game is just as competitive.

“You got to watch out for other balls too coming for other courts but it does get pretty competitive but I enjoy it. That’s why I do it for the competitiveness and the fun.”


Applications closing soon for paid internships in Melbourne – Telstra, Australia Post, and Coles!

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Are you a student with disability who wants to:

  • Gain paid work experience in a leading organisation?
  • Build a network of contacts?
  • Develop valuable skills and experience?

Stepping Into is a paid internship program designed specifically for university students with disability who want to gain some paid hands-on work experience.

There are opportunities available with the following organisations over winter 2015:

Australia Post
Opportunities in other cities

The program will run over the university holidays in July, allowing students to accommodate their studies and other commitments. Placements are for a minimum 152 hours. These hours can be worked either full time or part time depending on your requirements for workplace adjustments.

Students must be in their penultimate or final year of study to participate in Steppingg Into, and must be registered with Disability Services at their university.

For full details on eligibility requirements, please click here.
To apply for one or more of the above positions, visit our website and follow the application instructions.

If you are a first year student, or you are not in your penultimate or final year, you may be interested in a mentoring opportunity through PACE Mentoring which gives students with disability the opportunity to develop skills and confidence in a workplace setting, can assist in planning career goals, as well as aiding personal and professional development.

DS Friday Link Round Up!

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Happy Friday! A short list of links today.

Happy weekend, every body!

Government Funding for Disability Conferences

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Organisations that support Australians with disability will benefit from a $250,000 Abbott Government investment into disability-related conferences. Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield, said 25 groups were receiving Government support to maximise the participation of people with disability at conferences this financial year.

“This funding has been provided to support conference organisers to increase participation of people with disability at disability-related conferences.”
“The funding will help to facilitate the open discussion of important issues facing people with disability and the organisations that support them, particularly as we transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” Minister Fifield said.

Minister Fifield said the funding will assist organisations with the expenses such as the costs of conference fees, accommodation and travel for people with disability, and the provision of Auslan interpreters.

“Support for these national conferences demonstrates the Government’s commitment to backing organisations that are working to improve the lives of people with disability,” Minster Fifield said. “It’s important that people with disability and disability support organisations have the opportunity to come together to learn, to impart knowledge and skills, and to chart the way forward for their organisations.”

Minister Fifield said the funding for disability conferences builds on the Government’s commitment to supporting vital social services in communities across Australia through the DSS grant process.

“The funding is being delivered under the Department of Social Services New Way of Working for Grants, which has seen 18 grant programmes consolidated into seven, and substantial funding committed across these programmes for new and existing services,” Minister Fifield said.

Further information on the new way of working for grants is available at

DS Friday Link Round Up!

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Happy Friday (again!) – these long weekends and short weeks can stay! Here are some links to take you through:


Education System Failing Students with Autism

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Monash Alumni and CEO (Chief Enabling officer of I CAN Network, an organisation empowering young Australians with autism with an “I CAN” attitude, has written an article on the way in which the education system  could better support students with autism by turning their attention to individual strengths.

“I have met kids on the spectrum across 140 schools. I have seen some great practice and some terrible practice. I have found that the strengths of students with autism include our intense focus, memory retention, attention to detail and, for some, visual/linguistic perception. Often, these strengths are specialised around certain subjects. When I was nine, I had no care for my brother’s interest in AFL, but I could tell you everything about Europe’s royal families”

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Sydney Opera House lit blue on April 2, 2015, the United Nations' World Autism Awareness Day. Photo: Christopher Pearce

The Sydney Opera House lit blue on April 2, 2015, the United Nations' World Autism Awareness Day. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Stepping Into PwC Internships – Applications closing soon!

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015



Stepping Into… is a paid internship program specifically designed for students with a disability, who want paid, hands-on work experience that is relevant to their degree and chosen field of study. We have been successfully assisting students to obtain paid internships since 2005.

Australian Network on Disability (AND) are partnering with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to attract successful candidates who want to gain meaningful work experience within a range of disciplines next summer. PwC are pioneers within their field and are taking a leadership role in providing internship opportunities to students with disabilities.

  • Internship opportunities with PwC are available in the following business and services groups:
  • Assurance – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth
  • Tax and Legal, Corporate Tax – Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane
  • Consulting – National

To be eligible:

  • Be in your penultimate or final year of study;
  • Be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident;
  • Be registered with Disability Services at your university.

How to apply:

Complete and submit the Application Form, along with all of the required documents, via email to

Applications close at 11:59pm AEST Monday 6 April 2015 (Late applications will not be considered)

Speld Vic’s Adult Support Group

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Do you have a learning difficulty such as dyslexia? Are you interested in meeting other adults who are similar to you?

Speld Vic’s Adult Support Group provides adults with learning difficulties the opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals, share experiences and build-up a social network. Speld’s Patron and notable dyslexic, Keith Houghton will be the driving force behind the Adult Support Group, where people can share their experiences and stories.

“If you are dyslexic you are not alone. You may not want to come out but you are not alone.”

Register your attendance here.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

SPELD Victoria Inc.
60 High Street
Preston, VIC 3072

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Disability Services Friday Link Round Up

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

It’s been a really busy couple of weeks, but here are some disability related link to take you through the long weekend.