ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
A local blind man has been asked by the Daroo Street office of Services Australia to complete some simple forms and return them to the organisation before they cut his payments off then ask him to take the D49 trolley bus out to the Kidman Channels, walk out into the lignum and wait patiently on the ground for the Lord to take him to a nicer place.
As well as having impaired vision, Victor Zukauskas doesn’t even know how to use a complete, let alone turn one on. The 59-year-old doesn’t have any family in the wider Diamantina Region and has been living off Centrelink payments for the past ten years.
However, after having the important letter read to him by a neighbour, Victor said he began to panic.
Victor spoke to The Advocate with the help of his 67-year-old, Helen.
“The document said I had to scan, rotate, print, scan then sign a form and return it to Centrelink, otherwise they would cut off my payments,” he said.
“I have no idea what form it is. I cannot get on the old-age pension for another couple of years, perhaps they are asking me to get a job. I would like to get a job but my eyes are fucked [sic] and I don’t know how to use a computer or a phone. Who would employ a blind 59-year-old Lithuanian who can’t use a computer? Exactly,”
“Helen doesn’t know how to use a computer, either. What is the first form you scan? Why not ask me to print first? This is confusing. Perhaps you can help me?”
Our reporter attended the Daroo Street Centrelink this morning and after spending 49 minutes awaiting in a seat next to an empty water cooler, was able to speak to a customer service representative.
The customer service representative confirmed that the first scan would have to be of the computer screen itself.
“Yes, that’s correct. The customer will have to hold the scanner against the screen and press print to scan the document that’s on the screen. Then they will have to rotate the form on their computer and make sure to flip it horizontally so everything is back to front. Then rotate it so the form is upside down. Then we ask them to print the document, then scan it again before using their easy e-signature system in-built in the 1998 edition of Adobe Acrobat to sign it. Note, all other editions of Adobe Acrobat are not accepted,”
“If they’re unable to do that, we have a map of lignum swamps in the office to direct ex-customers to.”
More to come.