Glenbrook resident, Fiona Woods, has been elected president of Blind Citizens Australia (BCA), the national organisation of Australians who are blind or vision impaired.
Blind Citizens Australia's mission is to inform, connect and empower people who are blind or vision impaired and the broader community.
Woods said that she wanted to become president because the organisation has made a huge difference to the lives of herself and other Australians who are blind or vision impaired.
"[BCA's] work has given me and others who are blind or vision impaired audible traffic signals, tactile ground surface indicators, accessible voting and audio description on some of my favourite programs on ABC and SBS," she said.
Woods' vision as president is for BCA to broaden its range of membership and connections, noting that most people who are blind or vision impaired become so later in their life.
"Most Australians who are blind or vision impaired have differing degrees of sight loss rather than being totally blind,, she said.
"Society needs to ensure that everyone's needs are considered, regardless of technological ability. For example, the Blue Mountains Gazette is available each week online in text and audio format from the Vision Australia Library. For people who do not have the opportunity, capacity or desire to learn to use the internet, it is also read on to CD by local volunteers".
Woods is also an active member of Blue Mountains community, having raised her family and been a resident of Glenbrook for 25 years.
"I've gained such a vital sense of belonging from the Blue Mountains community", she said.
"Locally, I've been involved with the Australian Breastfeeding Association, including as a breastfeeding counsellor and group leader of the Lower Blue Mountains group. I've also had the benefit of meeting friends, finding crucial support and fun through playgroups, Scouts, book club and local school communities."
Woods believes people with disability have a lot to give as leaders within the community. Having worked hard to gain the necessary skills and experience, she felt that, with the support of the BCA board, staff and members, she will lead BCA into an exciting future.
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