About DBWA

DBWA Logo. Map of WA as dots with DBWA as Braille dots and the words Deafblind West Australians under the Braille as white words and images on a Navy background
DBWA Logo. Map of WA as dots with DBWA as Braille dots and the words Deafblind West Australians under the Braille as white words and images on a Navy background.

On this page you will find information about DBWA, our mission, our objectives and our history.

Our Mission

The mission of Deafblind West Australian’s is to ensure that those who are deafblind in Western Australia have meaningful, interesting and fulfilling lives.

Our Objectives

Our group provides four main areas of activity to ensure that the goals in our mission are achieved:

  1. We facilitate social activities for those who are deafblind to interact with others with a similar lived experience so that they have the opportunity to support each other.
  2. We ensure that those who are deafblind have the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions and engage fully in community activities that would normally not be possible for them without support.
  3. We ensure that those who are deafblind have ready access to relevant education and information concerning matters that directly relate to their specific needs and disability conditions. Ensuring that information concerning medical research, available support services and technology advancements are made available to them.
  4. We provide advocacy in the broader community for those who are Deafblind.
Two canoes with 3 people in them and 1 person about to get in a canoe on the Swan River
Swan River Canoeing

Our History

The West Australian Usher syndrome Support Group was founded by Senses Australia in 2007. Usher syndrome is a genetic condition which results in moderate to profound hearing loss at birth and a progressive loss of vision from Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) from late adolescence to early adulthood.

A group of people who are deafblind gathered together to setup the foundations for what is now Deafblind West Australians, we became incorporated as an incorporated association in October 2017. We are a peer led and peer run membership based organisation for and by people who are deafblind.

Since its inception in 2007, the group has continued to grow and thrive. It has provided critical support and contacts for group members and their families.

The group has participated in a variety of activities, recreational, educational and social, including:

  • rock climbing
  • bushwalking
  • archery
  • Christmas lunches
  • therapeutic group sessions
  • music therapy
  • go kart driving
  • workshops on Human Rights
  • assertiveness training
  • genetic counselling
  • cochlear implants
  • new technology
  • guide dogs
  • NDIS information sessions

People in harnesses at Rock Climbing during the 2014 Deafblind Camp

In 2012 Senses Australia hosted its first Deafblind camp. The 2012 camp had 33 deafblind campers and over eighty volunteers to support them. With the overwhelming success of this first camp, the event is now a biannual event, the planned 2020 was delayed until March 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closed WA borders. We had 150 campers including volunteers. People who are deafblind are hoping to have another WA camp in the future with everyone from around Australia.

Drumbeat group in 2012 using African Drums