Thank you from the bottom of my paws. PAWGUST 2022 raised a total of $1.05 million for future Guide Dogs in Australia. Thank you to all my supporters – every little bit helps. Let’s look forward to PAWGUST 2023 together.
Lindy went on a few short trips in the last few months. I was able to accompany her for most of them except two cycle trips, one for Gears and Beers in Wagga and the other the Bowral Cycle Classic. I was very happy to stay home with Aunty Polly while Lindy went on those trips.
These are some of our outings since my last newsletter:
– winery visits with Canberra Blind Society
– Canberra Symphony and RMC Band concerts
– Canberra Theatre musical and play with audio description
– fun run at Dubbo zoo – I went on a play date with Clooney at a friend’s house as dogs are not allowed in the zoo.
– visit with the Canberra Blind Society to Floriade in Commonwealth Park.
Sensory Tourism Conference
This is the one that I enjoyed the most. Held on the Central Coast of NSW in September, the conference was attended by over 50 vision impaired travellers and about 20 tour guides and helpers who came from as far away as Cairns and Adelaide.
There were 14 Guide Dogs among all the attendees, and we certainly made a mark as we toured around the Central Coast.
Day one and three were conference style with various speakers who shared their travel experience with us. They also shared tips and tools that can improve our travel.
Among all the speakers, Tony Giles gave an impressive personal account about his travel. He is a blind author and independent traveller from the UK who has travelled to 130 countries across all seven continents. It was great to hear how he experiences travel through senses other than sight – the tastes, smells, hearing and just interacting with people across the globe. All my Guide Dogs mates could have told them that is how we experience travel, especially the smell and taste!
For day 2, Lindy & I chose the classic tour. In the morning we did an Aboriginal walk and learnt about the oldest living culture on earth.
In the afternoon, we visited a pearl and oyster farm. The description provided by the pearl farm owner was excellent. Lindy got to touch the different types of pearls while I along with other Guide Dogs got to watch them taste the oysters! I would have preferred the oyster instead of the doggie treat Lindy gave me. Oh! I was supposed to be on duty.
Cocky Guides certainly lived up to their reputation of being “Australia’s leading small group tour operator for blind and low vision travellers. The Trip Leaders work closely with local communities to deliver the most fun and engaging adventures.”
Their friendly and supportive environment ensured that Lindy & I will join future tours. You can find out more about Cocky Guides and their tours through the website: https://www.cockyguides.com.au
Lindy completed the Professional Certificate for Web Accessibility course. The course was very useful and covered the guidelines, how to create accessible websites and how to audit websites to ensure websites are accessible for all, especially for people like Lindy who require screen reading software to help them navigate websites so that everyone has the same opportunity to access digital information.
Unfortunately, the platform that the online course was delivered on was not fully accessible. I missed out on a few walks while Lindy got help getting around the learning platform. The effort in identifying this accessibility issue should make future learning more accessible.
Inclusive design is the foundation for an accessible and equitable world
This is the tail of Lindy’s Comet