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Bashir Ebrahim is the Manager of Rehabilitation Services for Guide Dogs for the Blind Association of Queensland (Guide Dogs Queensland, GDQ) He has worked in the field of Disability Services, Rehabilitation, and Orientation and Mobility for over 20 years. Having begun working in the industry (1988) at the Royal Guide Dogs Training Centre in Melbourne, Victoria, Bashir then moved to Townsville, North Queensland, and later to Brisbane to join Guide Dogs Queensland where he has spent the majority of his career.
Bashir has a Degree in Disability Studies (majoring in Orientation and Mobility), in addition to further qualifications including a Post Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation; Master Class Instructor in the UltraCane (USA); and qualifications in MiniGuide, Sonic Pathfinder and the Mowat Sensor. Being involved with Access for Blind and Vision Impaired travellers for many years, Bashir has a keen interest in the use of Wayfinding and technology, including electronic travel aids (ETAs) that grant the safe, efficient and graceful mobility of people who are vision impaired.
Bashir’s role at GDQ is to continue to develop Rehabilitation Services including Orientation and Mobility, and Rehabilitation Counselling for Queenslanders who are blind or vision impaired. As well as concentrating on Client Services, he also works to explore realistic advances in O&M technologies, such as ETAs and GPS systems. The training and supply of these technologies is becoming increasingly affordable, meaning GDQ is able to meet demand for such equipment.
Bashir is also mentor and tutor to 14 new cadets in the areas of Orientation and Mobility Training and Guide Dog training.
In June 2009 Bashir’s dedicated years of service to the nation’s blind and vision impaired community was recognised with an Order of Australia Medal.
It was his work as an advocate for the blind and vision impaired community beyond GDQ which contributed to the OAM. He is a member of the Queensland Vision Initiative; chairman of QLD’s Vision Impairment Agencies network; consults on a wide range of projects, both here and overseas, and works with a number of vision impairment agencies on low vision clinics and workshops. He also enjoys tandem cycling for the blind and vision impaired on a social and competitive basis.
In his own words: “Guide Dogs Queensland offers services that empower clients to interpret, navigate and overcome the barriers of vision impairment. We improve lives through better mobility, skills and confidence and through doing so, Guide Dogs Queensland also challenges society’s assumptions, attitudes and actions towards people living with vision impairment.”