Professor Ron McCallum says that if people were asked who he is, they would describe him as 'that blind labour law academic'. When you listen to Ron 'tell his story' in the YouTube video "My Insight Into The Blind Reading Revolution", you will realize that he is much, much more than that. Professor McCallum is an advocate for accessible information, and for Vision Australia where he is the Deputy Board Chair. He has dedicated his life and career to fighting for social justice and for the rights of people unable to fight for themselves.
In 2011 Ron McCallum was named the Senior Australian of the Year. In the video on the award site in which Gerard Menses, former CEO of Vision Australia, Professor Mary Crock (Ron's wife) and Professor McCallum are featured, we learn that in his childhood Ron faced monumental challenges in addition to being blind – his family was poor and his father was a mentally ill alcoholic; after his parents' marriage collapsed, his mom raised him and his two brothers on a pension … a traumatic childhood for anyone.
"It seemed to me that justice is central, that we should use social justice to ensure that everybody is treated fairly."
"This isn't a dress rehearsal for our life some time in the future, this is it."
[Professor Ron McCallum, Senior Australian of the Year 2011 website]
Professor McCallum has been named the 2013 Patron for International Day of People with Disability which will take place December 3. He has significant experience as the inaugural member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and is currently serving as its Vice Chair.
A former dean at the University of Sydney Law School (where he is now an Emeritus Professor) Ron McCallum has been blind since birth. In his talk "My Insight Into The Blind Reading Revolution" at the Sydney Opera House on May 4, he shares with the audience of 2200 people the importance of technology and how it has changed his life and the lives of others. Professor McCallum also talks about the importance of the WIPO Treaty and the need, particularly in developing countries, for international exchange of accessible reading materials. He takes us back in time with humour and humility; he is a moving, enthusiastic speaker. No further introduction is needed – hear Professor McCallum tell his 'story' in My Insight Into The Blind Reading Revolution.
Sources & Additional Videos
- Vision Australia News
- Ron McCallum talks about Vision Australia library (video)
- Persons with disabilities share the same human rights(video)
- Senior Australian of the Year 2011 website (article and video)