Welcome to Zest - a place for youth, by youth.

Competition winner


As a prize for completing our Zest survey we were offering up one Google Home from our Vision store to the most creative response to the question “what would your ideal online blind or low vision forum look like”

Congratulations to Nic from NSW who won with the response:


“The platform would have: * have simple and effective search (– )so that I can simply type in or say what I'm interested in and the site would return relevant
Results); * notify me of new content relevant to my interests (by allowing me to subscribe to particular topics or keywords by email or RSS or within a
Designated app with push notification support) * provide reviews about the accessibility of venues, products and services; * provide guides/tips/workarounds
For using inaccessible or partially accessible products/services; * allow users to request reviews of particular venues, products or services so that those
Who have used them (or have the means/inclination to do so) can provide a review, informing decisions; * provide a space and a method for young people
To organise, advocate and lobby on for issues of interest to young people with vision impairment; * work on all Apple platforms like Mac, iOS and Apple
Watch.”

Survey results


Recent posts



Zest 101

If you're a first time visitor, welcome! If you're a regular Zest reader or contributor, welcome back. Here's a quick snapshot of Zest.

Zest is an online space for people around the ages of 18 to 35 who live with blindness or low vision. Whether it’s talking about dating, socialising, travelling, your studies, working or simply useful things to do when you are chilling in your own time, we want this to be the place where you can ask questions and interact with others who have similar experiences to yourself. Zest is your community, and we hope you introduce yourself and share. Don’t be shy.


Quick Links

Note: some links will display a new page, others will update sections further down this page.
Sign Up Log in Guest Book and Introductions Forums News Feed Useful Links

Subscribe for updates!

We put together a short newsletter every couple of weeks to summarise the latest Zest topics, conversations and news.

Subscribe to the mailing list by entering your email address in the text box on this page. Y ou can do this by pressing the letter E on your keyboard or navigating via headings by pressing H.


Check out our audio guide on navigating Zest or our tips on navigating Zest with a screenreader

The Zest team welcomes suggestions and ideas to improve the site. To contact us or make a suggestion simply email: zest@visionaustralia.org


While we try to ensure the Zest pages have accurate information and resources, Zest is a place for people to share personal experiences and solutions. The information on these pages is not meant to be a substitute for professional assistance or advice.

Competition winner


As a prize for completing our Zest survey we were offering up one Google Home from our Vision store to the most creative response to the question “what would your ideal online blind or low vision forum look like”

Congratulations to Nic from NSW who won with the response:


“The platform would have: * have simple and effective search (– )so that I can simply type in or say what I'm interested in and the site would return relevant
Results); * notify me of new content relevant to my interests (by allowing me to subscribe to particular topics or keywords by email or RSS or within a
Designated app with push notification support) * provide reviews about the accessibility of venues, products and services; * provide guides/tips/workarounds
For using inaccessible or partially accessible products/services; * allow users to request reviews of particular venues, products or services so that those
Who have used them (or have the means/inclination to do so) can provide a review, informing decisions; * provide a space and a method for young people
To organise, advocate and lobby on for issues of interest to young people with vision impairment; * work on all Apple platforms like Mac, iOS and Apple
Watch.”

Survey results


Recent posts



Zest 101

If you're a first time visitor, welcome! If you're a regular Zest reader or contributor, welcome back. Here's a quick snapshot of Zest.

Zest is an online space for people around the ages of 18 to 35 who live with blindness or low vision. Whether it’s talking about dating, socialising, travelling, your studies, working or simply useful things to do when you are chilling in your own time, we want this to be the place where you can ask questions and interact with others who have similar experiences to yourself. Zest is your community, and we hope you introduce yourself and share. Don’t be shy.


Quick Links

Note: some links will display a new page, others will update sections further down this page.
Sign Up Log in Guest Book and Introductions Forums News Feed Useful Links

Subscribe for updates!

We put together a short newsletter every couple of weeks to summarise the latest Zest topics, conversations and news.

Subscribe to the mailing list by entering your email address in the text box on this page. Y ou can do this by pressing the letter E on your keyboard or navigating via headings by pressing H.


Check out our audio guide on navigating Zest or our tips on navigating Zest with a screenreader

The Zest team welcomes suggestions and ideas to improve the site. To contact us or make a suggestion simply email: zest@visionaustralia.org


While we try to ensure the Zest pages have accurate information and resources, Zest is a place for people to share personal experiences and solutions. The information on these pages is not meant to be a substitute for professional assistance or advice.

Discussions: All (22) Open (22)
  • You need to be signed in to add your comment.

    Has anyone heard about or used Soundscape App yet? I'd be curious to know.

    Soundscape is a free app developed by Microsoft for people who are blind or low vision. It is somewhat similar to Blindsquare but instead of clock directions to pointout landmarks you hear the direction of the landmark  through headphones. You can also plot your own locations and becons and name them so you aren't just relying on information already entered into the map about your local area. It is my understanding that a lot of people are using it with bone conducting headphones like aftershocks to ensure...

    Has anyone heard about or used Soundscape App yet? I'd be curious to know.

    Soundscape is a free app developed by Microsoft for people who are blind or low vision. It is somewhat similar to Blindsquare but instead of clock directions to pointout landmarks you hear the direction of the landmark  through headphones. You can also plot your own locations and becons and name them so you aren't just relying on information already entered into the map about your local area. It is my understanding that a lot of people are using it with bone conducting headphones like aftershocks to ensure it doesn't  create issues to hearing traffic and the like. Would be most interested to hear people's experiences if you have used it. if it is good, if it is bad etc.

    Soundscape! a map delivered in 3d sound- YouTube




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    We've all got them - stories about someone doing or saying something profoundly stupid, or times when you've put your elbow in the butter ... perhaps literally. Everyone needs a good chuckle from time to time.

    I'll start. When I was young, my mother got a babysitter for my sister and I from 3-5pm so she could still work. This babysitter, Karen, had an outrageous American accent, wore aviators indoors, and seemed there mostly to lord it over me.

    Sometimes Karen would ask me where my sister was, and I would respond that I thought she was outside, I'll go...

    We've all got them - stories about someone doing or saying something profoundly stupid, or times when you've put your elbow in the butter ... perhaps literally. Everyone needs a good chuckle from time to time.

    I'll start. When I was young, my mother got a babysitter for my sister and I from 3-5pm so she could still work. This babysitter, Karen, had an outrageous American accent, wore aviators indoors, and seemed there mostly to lord it over me.

    Sometimes Karen would ask me where my sister was, and I would respond that I thought she was outside, I'll go check. Moments later I found my sister outside, and out of breath. Heading back inside, I would find Karen again, also mysteriously out of breath.

    My trusting (oblivious) nature meant it took several weeks of Karen bossing me around, and the two of them never being in the same room for me to realize what was going on.

    The fake accent really should have tipped me off. I figured it out eventually, and when I did I think I was just happy to be included in something, so I let the farce continue for a good 6 months or so before my mother found out and put a stop to it.

    Still, it makes for an interesting story.

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    Has anyone used Air tasker much before? I used it for the first time this weekend and found it to be very good. I hired a guy to install a wall mount into my wall so I could put my new TV on it. I ended up getting it done for almost $200 less than I was quoted by an installation company I was directed to when I bought it. Essentially for anyone who doesn’t know about Air Tasker. It is an app and website that allows you to post tasks you need done. It could be, I...

    Has anyone used Air tasker much before? I used it for the first time this weekend and found it to be very good. I hired a guy to install a wall mount into my wall so I could put my new TV on it. I ended up getting it done for almost $200 less than I was quoted by an installation company I was directed to when I bought it. Essentially for anyone who doesn’t know about Air Tasker. It is an app and website that allows you to post tasks you need done. It could be, I need a gardener on Sunday and I want to pay 100 bucks for it. It goes up on the site and people get in touch with you who are willing to do it and you can see their ratings and reviews from others, just like an eBay or uber rating system. The app is fully accessible and very easy. They also have insurance to cover all parties involved if there are any issues. Make sure you do your research but the next time I need something done around the house I will definitely be looking at Air Tasker. I think it could potentially be very useful for those little tasks that can be tricky if you are blind or low vision.






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    I got my first smart TV this week and I love it. It is a main stream Samsung 32 inch full HD TV and best of all it comes with built in accessibility features. It has a feature called “voice guide” which is essentially the same as voice over and it allows you to access all the features without having to remember how many clicks of a button it is to change something etc. It now allows me to be able to record, view the TV guide, connect apple TV and browse the internet should I wish. I...

    I got my first smart TV this week and I love it. It is a main stream Samsung 32 inch full HD TV and best of all it comes with built in accessibility features. It has a feature called “voice guide” which is essentially the same as voice over and it allows you to access all the features without having to remember how many clicks of a button it is to change something etc. It now allows me to be able to record, view the TV guide, connect apple TV and browse the internet should I wish. I also like that the remote control is smart too so it will automatically configure and double as your apple tv remote as well so you only need one remote to do everything. The set-up process is fully accessible by just hitting a button. Do others know about any similar TV’s and what brands they are? Would be good to know.






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    Thought this was a funny list. Some of which I get and some of which I have never ever ever come across. Also the comments aren't mine haha. What are your thoughts?

    10  Really? You can work a computer?
    Yes, it is not 1950 out there. Assistive technology has gone mainstream. I can even work an iPhone too!

    9. When I am with someone people will ask that person questions about me when I am right there.
    That’s right blind people can speak for themselves. Believe it or not we can even order food for ourselves when in a restaurant!...

    Thought this was a funny list. Some of which I get and some of which I have never ever ever come across. Also the comments aren't mine haha. What are your thoughts?

    10  Really? You can work a computer?
    Yes, it is not 1950 out there. Assistive technology has gone mainstream. I can even work an iPhone too!

    9. When I am with someone people will ask that person questions about me when I am right there.
    That’s right blind people can speak for themselves. Believe it or not we can even order food for ourselves when in a restaurant!

    8. How do you live?
    In an apartment by myself. That’s right, jealous much? I get to do what I want whenever I want, and I don’t ever have to turn any lights on to do it.

    7. People who start talking louder when around me.
    Really, you do realise I am blind not deaf? Seriously you went to college and could not figure that out?

    6. People who grab you and say “Let me help.”
    Whoa easy there tough guy. What do you think is going to happen if you walk up on the street and grab a sighted person you do not know? You are probably
    going to get punched. The same thing will happen if you grab a blind guy without asking first. Believe it or not, blind people do not like to be grabbed
    by strangers on the street. Always ask first before touching…

    5. Guess who it is?
    For some reason it is always someone I have met once or twice who says this. Yes, blind people do not have everyone they have ever met voice committed
    to memory. Sorry to disappoint. Even if we do know you, do not come up as if it is a game to guess who you are, it is not a game to us.

    4. For those of us who walk with a white cane and have it folded up “Nice pool cue.”
    Leave the comedy to us professionals. Would you say to someone in a wheelchair nice Go-Kart? I do not think so.

    3. This conversation:
    “Are you training that dog?”
    “No I am blind.”
    “Really? You don’t look blind.”
    Seriously what does a blind person look like? Believe it or not blind people come in all races, religions, height, weight, sex, and nationalities…

    2. You’re my hero!
    Really, you barely know me. My typical response cannot be published here but put it this way, blind people can be sociopaths too.

     1. On Halloween: “What a brilliant costume – a blind guy.”
    No, this is my everyday look and why I never leave the apartment on Halloween anymore…

    Taken from the following article but the website isn't easily accessible
    Top 10 things not to say to a blind person-article



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    This is pretty neat. There has been tests done on making AFL accessible and blind/ low vision friendly to play. It is my understanding that it involves an audio ball that beeps or jingles in some way and goals that do also. Please check out the following link for more info. Who'd be game for it? has anyone been part of the test so far?


    Blind AFL- AFL Victoria

    This is pretty neat. There has been tests done on making AFL accessible and blind/ low vision friendly to play. It is my understanding that it involves an audio ball that beeps or jingles in some way and goals that do also. Please check out the following link for more info. Who'd be game for it? has anyone been part of the test so far?


    Blind AFL- AFL Victoria

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    Since going self-managed on the NDIS I have found the entire thing to be a much more pleasant beast to deal with. I have also seen how the NDIS can directly help me, quickly, in a way that I choose without causing me some of the same pain as when I was NDIA managed.

    Defining terms

    NDIA managed means that when you need something that your plan funding covers that you have assessments. These assessments by Vision Australia get drawn up after an interview with you, sent to the NDIA; they review and hopefully approve it. They then will send...

    Since going self-managed on the NDIS I have found the entire thing to be a much more pleasant beast to deal with. I have also seen how the NDIS can directly help me, quickly, in a way that I choose without causing me some of the same pain as when I was NDIA managed.

    Defining terms

    NDIA managed means that when you need something that your plan funding covers that you have assessments. These assessments by Vision Australia get drawn up after an interview with you, sent to the NDIA; they review and hopefully approve it. They then will send the confirmation to Vision Australia and give authorization for the product to be purchased and handed over to you.

    Self-managed means that the responsibility for the administrative stuff is in your hands. This means that you go to the service provider and get the service and sort out the funding/ billing yourself between Vision Australia and the NDIA.

    Summary

    NDIA managed means that the NDIA and your service provider take care of the admin and billing between themselves.
    Self-managed means I take care of the admin and billing between the NDIA and my service provider.

    NDIA managed example

    If I needed pen friend labels from the Vision Australia shop, If I was NDIA managed the following would happen. I would let an occupational therapist or adaptive technology staff member know, they would then need to access my plan, write a report, send it off to the NDIA who would review it, hopefully approve it. Then the NDIA would let that staff member within Vision Australia know that it is okay to purchase the pen friend labels for me and hand them over. This is a lot of work for a 40 dollar product and definitely time consuming.

    Self-managed example

    If I was self-managed I would do the following. I would go to the Vision Australia shop and buy the penfriend labels with my own money. I keep the receipt and go home. When I get home I log onto MyGov website. Within the NDIS page I should have linked there I will go to my payment requests and create a new request. I enter the date I purchased the labels, the amount the labels were purchased for and select what category on my plan to assign the cost to. In this case I would assign it to consumables. 40 dollars gets deduced from my consumables budget and I keep the receipt I got from Vision Australia in a safe place should the NDIA ever come knocking. This is to ensure that the date and price you entered into the system match the receipt from Vision Australia so the money is accounted for. Assuming I have my bank account details entered into MyGov the 40 dollars I spent of my own money will be reimbursed into my bank account within a day or 2 so I am not out of pocket.

    I now do this for everything NDIS related except for assistive technology. This is because assistive tech items are expensive and a higher risk so assessments need to be conducted to ensure the correct device is being purchased for the right needs and the expense is justified.

    Self- managed also means that you aren’t restricted to only use NDIS approved providers.  You can use any business as long as it is legitimate and has an ABN [Australian business number].

    Example:
    If I live alone and have difficulties maintaining my garden or grass because of my blindness I can hire a gardener. I can either use an NDIA registered gardening service, or any gardening service that is a registered business. I would pay the gardener for their work, receive an invoice ore receipt, and enter a payment request into MyGov with the date of the service, the amount and which category on my plan it was in relation to. In this case it would be daily activity/ core support. I would then keep the receipt in a safe place should the NDIA come knocking and within a day or 2 I should be reimbursed the cost of the gardener into my bank account.

    Examples of service where I self-manage

    If I buy anything from the Vision Australia shop
    If I have an orientation and mobility session
    If I have an occupational therapy session
    If I have an adaptive technology session
    If I hire a 3rd party support worker to help me go shopping, go to a concert, go to the swimming pool.

    Note

    It is also worth remembering that different types of management options serve different purposes and exist to provide flexibility across disabilities and differing life circumstances and family dynamics. Self-management works for me, it does not mean it works for everyone.
    The following page will give you more information:
    Your questions answered- managing your plan and participant information


    You'll also see a more official guide I found from the NDIS below to download should you wish.

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    Thought this was worth a share. I got a new app on my Iphone called SongShift. Essentially it works by allowing you to move playlists across music services. For example:

    I made a killer playlist on my spotify, For whatever reason I may want it on my apple music app. SongShift allows me to move the playlist over without having to create the same playlist all over again. Best thing it's fully accessible and fairly intuitive to use. Hope that is useful information to someone out there.

    Thought this was worth a share. I got a new app on my Iphone called SongShift. Essentially it works by allowing you to move playlists across music services. For example:

    I made a killer playlist on my spotify, For whatever reason I may want it on my apple music app. SongShift allows me to move the playlist over without having to create the same playlist all over again. Best thing it's fully accessible and fairly intuitive to use. Hope that is useful information to someone out there.

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    The following link is to an article written by a woman who is blind about her experiences. I think she has some really good insights. What do you think?
    Are blind people denied their sexuality? [article]


    The following link is to an article written by a woman who is blind about her experiences. I think she has some really good insights. What do you think?
    Are blind people denied their sexuality? [article]


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    I tried Blind soccer or Football as I like to call it for the first time this weekend. Was awesome. Very competitive, challenging and freeing. I used to play when I was younger and could still see. What other sports do people play and how do they work? cheers



    I tried Blind soccer or Football as I like to call it for the first time this weekend. Was awesome. Very competitive, challenging and freeing. I used to play when I was younger and could still see. What other sports do people play and how do they work? cheers



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