Attention Nelson Accessible Art Group

Further to discussion at our last session, next month we’ll return to acrylic painting led by Patricia. Please bring along your clay pot/s from our last two sessions – storage is available at Summerset so they can all be fired together once fully dry. Also, don’t forget to bring along your completed acrylic paintings from past sessions so they can feature in Summerset’s Art and Craft Exhibition next month!

Attention Nelson Accessible Art Group

Further to discussion at our last session, next month we’ll return to acrylic painting led by Patricia. Please bring along your clay pot/s from our last two sessions – storage is available at Summerset so they can all be fired together once fully dry. Also, don’t forget to bring along your completed acrylic paintings from past sessions so they can feature in Summerset’s Art and Craft Exhibition next month!
(Note: If you find this too difficult to manage, please bring your clay pots and we will try to arrange pick up of your artwork at a later time.)
Date:
Friday 7th July
Venue:
The Club House Hobby Room at Summerset in the Sun
Time:
9:30am – 11:30am.
Cost:
$3.00 per session for materials.
Plus $5.00 per session if transport is required.
Bring:
• A small container for water to clean brushes.
• An old shirt or apron to protect clothing.
• Your clay pinch pots from last two sessions for firing (don’t forget they’re brittle so ‘handle with care’!).
• Your artwork for the August exhibition.

The Nelson Accessible Art Group is supported by Blind Citizens NZ in collaboration with the Blind Foundation. Meetings are held on the first Friday of each month. If you would like your name added to a short-list to join any of our sessions, please contact:
The Blind Foundation Stoke Office, 03 547 6616, (Mon to Fri 8:30am – 2:30pm).

Blind Citizens NZ Nelson Branch General Meeting
Held on Saturday 20th May 2017 at 2.00pm at Church of Christ Hall,
Richmond

Mike Stevens (National Councillor), standing in for Amanda (Chair) Welcomed all to the Meeting

Present: Mike Stevens, Kaye Halkett, John Monk, Beryl Stansbury, Andrea Kepes, Betty Hodda, Ruth Chignell, Gill Clayton, Kathy Harris, Judy Campbell, Beryl Spencer, Valeria Alford, Elizabeth Raaijen, Mavis Ducray, David McNamara, Joan Davidsen, Susie Diserens, Ann Taylor, Ruth Nicholson, Shane Mead, and Jenny Meadows (acting Secretary)

Blind Citizens NZ Nelson Branch General Meeting
Held on Saturday 20th May 2017 at 2.00pm at Church of Christ Hall,
Richmond

Mike Stevens (National Councillor), standing in for Amanda (Chair) Welcomed all to the Meeting

Present: Mike Stevens, Kaye Halkett, John Monk, Beryl Stansbury, Andrea Kepes, Betty Hodda, Ruth Chignell, Gill Clayton, Kathy Harris, Judy Campbell, Beryl Spencer, Valeria Alford, Elizabeth Raaijen, Mavis Ducray, David McNamara, Joan Davidsen, Susie Diserens, Ann Taylor, Ruth Nicholson, Shane Mead, and Jenny Meadows (acting Secretary)

Apologies: Noreen Cater, Amanda Stevens, Sue Maxton-Massey, Claudette Pow, Tess Grooby, Maureen Bettany, Chrissy Fern, and Lennane Kent. Irene Merrilees said she’s moving to Tauranga and is grateful for our friendship. And Joan Raynor, now 94, says she can’t go to everything, has enjoyed us but now must ration things.

Minutes of the Previous General Meeting – accepted by all as true and correct

Matters Arising:
Queen Street upgrade – Changes on a daily basis. Road cones are around the street, footpaths are open. The bus stop is outside Warehouse. For the most up-to-date information, call Chris Forman, 0800 000 413, and ask for the current status. Chris is the community liaison person with Downer, who is doing the upgrade.

Accessibility for All:
Tasman District Council walkabout – Councillors and Council staff (mostly engineers), and Mayor Kempthorne joined us. Kempthorne and the other councillors were walking with glasses that simulated vision impairment, or they were in wheelchairs, on crutches, wearing earplugs, or breathing through a straw to simulate asthma and emphysema. Some highlights were their recognition of the inconsistency of crossing places and the general lack of safety in carparks. We had a good conversation with the engineers about safety. It was a windy day, so shop owners had placed the sandwich boards where they wouldn’t get blown over. It created a slalom course. Inside Council buildings, the toilet was difficult to access because of heavy doors. And the handles were silver-grey, like at the Suter. Feedback from the Councillors was that they found it tiring walking around with their various impairments and negotiating the barriers in the inadequate environment.
The next Accessibility for All meeting is 9 June.

Proposed speed limit on Queen Street:
It is currently reduced to 30k/hour during the upgrade, and the proposal is to permanently reduce it to 30k/hour after the upgrade is completed. Kaye has put in a submission on Blind Citizens NZ’s behalf, taking your comments as supporting evidence. On the walkabout, the mayor and the Councillors also supported the reduction. Amanda is going to speak to our submission in chambers on 12th June at 1:20pm. Members’ support is welcome

National Councillor’s Report:
Blind Citizens NZ’s Management Committee has been determining how best to use the bequest to us nationally for the benefit of us all of $130,000. One way is to upgrade the equipment in the head office, like copiers and such. The auditors have also been determined by the Board for this annual cycle. The Work Plan with the Blind Foundation has also been agreed. More details available from National Office on 0800 222 694.

Memo 9 Access Alliance:
aims to persuade all political parties to commit to introducing accessibility legislation, as part of their election commitments in the lead up to 23 Sept 2017 general election.
Blind Citizens NZ, being representative of its members and listening to your voices through remits at Conference, is part of the Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO) Coalition. Those Disabled Persons Organisations who have signed up to the Access Alliance include:
• Blind Citizens NZ
• Deaf Aotearoa
• Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA)

Complementary organisations include:
• Blind Foundation
• CCS Disability Action
• Auckland Disability Law
• Parents of Vision Impaired New Zealanders

Your Board, from your comments, believes the work of The Access Alliance is complementary to Blind Citizens NZ’s work programme and links to the Disability Action Plan and the NZ Disability Strategy. We need to persuade our MPs and candidates going into the election that access and participation in so many areas matters to us, and we want, at the very least, the minimum standards. Some of us contributed to the Strategy last year. Please contact National Office on 0800 222 694 if you have any further questions.

Memo 8:
Concerning the proposal that children up to age 12 and people over 65 be allowed to ride cycles on footpaths. Blind Citizens NZ has expressed strong opposition to this and has released a position statement which has been and will be used when speaking to both Councils and the Accessibility for All forum in relation to Health and Safety on pavements.

2017 dates:
Accessible Art Group:
Friday, 2nd June, at the hobby room in Summerset, in collaboration with Blind Foundation and volunteers. The cost is never more than $8 per sessions. We’re doing hand modelling and hand-making mosaic tiles. Contact Gill Clayton for more information.

Next Coffee & Chat:
Friday, 9th June, 10 am, McCashin’s Brewery in Stoke
If interested, just turn up, or contact Chrissy Fern 027-295-3331, or contact the Blind Foundation in Stoke.

Mid-Winter Lunch
This will be on Wednesday, 21 June at The Playhouse in Mapua. A coach and driver will take us there. The building and toilet facilities are accessible. Cost is $23, with 3 courses to choose from. Send your response to Ann Taylor by 13th June. Pickup pointes are Miller’s Acre at 10:30am, then on to Stoke by the tennis courts. A place in Richmond will be determined, depending on who opts to go. If you have difficulty getting to a pickup point, let Ann know.

Extra Touch Award:
Nominations close 30th June.

Membership subs are due 1st July.

Remits to National Office:
10th July is the closing date. Please bring your remits for the AGM to the June General Meeting.

Nelson AGM:
15th July, 2 pm, Church of Christ Hall in Richmond

Audio-described opera in Christchurch:
The opera is Carmen, which will be audio-described in Christchurch on 18th July. Gill told about her previous experience with Madame Butterfly. Before the rest of the audience will be allowed in, Blind Citizens will go on stage and get to touch the props and costumes. We will get a description of the set design. Once we’re back in our seats, we will get a headset. The audio description comes between the songs.
If you are interested, contact the Blind Foundation. If a group goes, transportation and accommodation would be shared.
Ruth Nicholson, Kaye Halkett, Ruth Chignell, Gill Clayton, and Jenny Meadows expressed interest in going.

Museum Visit:
Friday, 11th August, 11 am. $8. DaVinci Robots and Machines. Guided by the education team at the museum. Jenny Meadows has already seen this exhibition and was fascinated to discover how many things we use today were created by DaVinci 600 years ago. Many of the displays are hands-on.

Guide-dog Handlers’ Forum:
Wednesday and Thursday, 11th and 12th October, in conjunction with and just prior to this year’s national AGM and Conference in Invercargill. The forum is for current handlers, those who aspire to be one, and members who have been a handler but don’t have a guide dog at present. The Forum will provide an opportunity for handlers from around the country to contribute to or benefit from peer-to-peer support. The Board has allocated funds from BCNZ’s leadership fund and will be providing some financial support. Ideally, attendees from the Forum will stay for BCNZ’s AGM and Conference.
Expressions of interest close at National Office at 4pm, Thursday 1st June. Contact Puti Rutene, Administrative Support: prutene@abcnz.org.nz

National AGM/Conference:
13-15 October in Invercargill.
Door prizes will be used to get people back into the room after breaks in sessions. Do we want to contribute one or more door prizes?

TIS:
This is a valuable source of information. We may have another session in August about using it, so you learn how to get the most value from your telephone.

Transport for Meeting:
Today’s transport has been provided by U3A. Thank you for your service.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 2:55 p.m.

Afternoon tea was served and raffles drawn. Thanks to all who contributed to the many raffle prizes.

Entertainment: Eva McComb with her exquisite all-wood, 11-string lute. After she performed, she took the lute around to every member, letting them feel it and hold it.

Nelson Branch Blind Citizens NZ
Newsletter – November 2016

Dear Member

This newsletter includes updates on what is happening locally in terms of community engagement regarding plans for safe access to the environment and for participation in arts and culture – something our region is renowned for inspiring.

Tasman District Council

Nelson Branch Blind Citizens NZ
Newsletter – November 2016

Dear Member

This newsletter includes updates on what is happening locally in terms of community engagement regarding plans for safe access to the environment and for participation in arts and culture – something our region is renowned for inspiring.

Tasman District Council
Since our last newsletter in April we have continued to collaborate with Tasman District Council on the redevelopment project for Richmond’s Queen Street. At our September General Meeting Jeannie Homesley, Project Manager, attended with specific questions for us on such things as safe and easily navigable access to bus stops and the placement of bicycle racks. She also updated us on the time frame for the reconstruction process and the plans for clear and safe pedestrian access. She is engaged with the idea of regular updates on the Telephone Information Service during the reconstruction period. We were especially pleased to hear about the plan for zebra crossings to replace the courtesy crossings. It was just great that Jeannie came to us this time to consult membership.

Light Nelson
Erin Eyles from the Blind Foundation Recreation Team asked us what we wanted, so we told her: an event that was suitable for the winter, engaged with our local community, and made the most of our local audio describer, Angela Pearson.
We all went at it with enthusiasm and met one Friday afternoon at the Richmond Library for an audio-described spectacle that was Light Nelson. We were delighted that John-Paul, Light Nelson Collective, was there to give us the technical details of how Light Nelson is put together and a short bio-pic of some of the artists. We got to feel parts of some of the installations. I was particularly impressed by a moa feather sculpted from a recycled plastic milk bottle. It felt stiff, like you would expect, but the description of it when lit up was that the feathers looked real and soft.

Chrissy said, “I’d never heard an audio description before and I loved the way it complemented John-Paul’s explanation of the science behind the installations. The how of it came together with the view of it”

Ruth said, “I could handle and touch some of the exhibits. The technology that was involved added to my understanding. It’s also inspiring to be around others who cope. We don’t have to explain or make excuses to each other for our visual impairments. I’ve discovered the sense of humour we share that might not be appreciated or understood by others.”

Petronella from the Blind Foundation sourced the wheels to bring us together. Paul said, “I’ve been through the process of becoming a volunteer, so please ask. I’ve got the time and the wherewithal, so why not? It’s the connection I like and being able to say hello to people later if we come across one another in the local shops”.

Fred said, “It’s something useful we can do for the community we live in. I’d rather people asked. We like the guide dogs, too!” (Note to self – offer to vacuum Fred’s car to remove dog hair.) Not to detract from the main event in the slightest, but the Blind Foundation also organised a delicioso afternoon tea.

Lawn Bowls
On the 15th of September, as organised by the recreation team of the Blind Foundation in conjunction with Blind Citizens NZ Nelson Branch, a group of vision impaired Nelsonians gathered at the Maitai Bowling Club. With coaching and assistance from two enthusiastic Maitai Club members and a truly lovely sunny Nelson day we had a lot of fun.

So far we have had three sessions on a Thursday afternoon being shown the skills of the game of Lawn Bowls. We have been playing on an artificial green but will very soon be exposed to the new challenges of a natural grass green. Some of the group just enjoy the good company and the great weather we have had while others have higher aspirations. Some are aiming for the Blind Bowls National Tournament in New Plymouth late in November. If anyone is interested in joining us at 3:30PM on a fine Thursday contact the Blind Foundation or a Blind Citizens Nelson Branch Committee member for more details. Len and Lex are good coaches and all equipment is provided.

Nelson Accessible Art Group
Blind Citizens NZ, Nelson Branch, is collaborating with the Blind Foundation to support an Accessible Art Group in our area. The group meets from 9:30-11:30am on the first Friday of each month at Summerset in the Sun. This group is going strong! Relationship to inner creativity and to each other is the real artistry here. For further information and cost, please contact Kaye Halkett, 03 544 4096, thehalketts@xtra.co.nz, or Gill Clayton, 03 541 9345, gillclayton@xtra.co.nz

Blind Date
Initiated by the Nelson Arts Council, locally, Blind Citizens NZ and the Blind Foundation locally are collaborating to provide an exhibition of art by blind, visually impaired, and deafblind artists at The Refinery ArtSpace, 3 Halifax Street. This will take place the week beginning 17 October alongside the Nelson Arts Festival.
Part of the exhibition will include a dark room for the touch experience for all, as well as lighted space for visual appreciation of works. My proposal for Clover (my guide dog) to be mounted as a tactile piece was soundly rejected at the first meeting. The beginning of the exhibition comes two days after International White Cane Day on October 15, and we encourage blind, visually impaired, and deafblind in our community to attend and help raise awareness from individual perspectives. An informal session will also be offered by Paul Richardson, Blind Foundation, on best practice for guiding. Most exciting is the passion and inspiration this project is stimulating. Using our creative potential enriches our community.

DAISY Players
A reminder to all talking book machine users – we have five digital players available for use should your machine break down and need to be sent away to be repaired. These machines are located in Takaka, Motueka, Richmond, Stoke, and Nelson. You can contact me (Brian Say) at 03 539 4700, and I will arrange for the person located in your area to contact you.

Upcoming Trips
Check the website and TIS for details of upcoming trips, some of which are still in the planning stage. We intend to be running trips between the last meeting of the year and the first of 2017.

This is also a great opportunity to acknowledge Brian and Stella Say for their contribution of raffle prizes to each General Meeting this year, Lennane Kent (Branch Secretary) for pulling it all together, Jenny Meadows for copyediting this newsletter, and the staff from the Blind Foundation for their willingness to collaborate and their professionalism and humour in doing so. Nelson Branch Committee put in a huge effort on your behalf in organising trips, funding applications, venues, entertainment, nibbles, and, most crucially, engaging with you as membership. We are, after all, a member-driven advocacy organisation, and it is you who give your Board the mandate to speak on your behalf. Keep your input coming!
This newsletter is also available at:
 Telephone Information Service local calling 03 929 5033,
option 4, 6, 1, 7
 If you are outside the Nelson Freephone calling area, the national Freephone number is 0800 36 33 44

You can find more information about trips, advocacy projects, minutes of previous meetings, and agendas on the website and on TIS as above. It’s all there!

Your Committee Contacts, Blind Citizens NZ, Nelson Branch
Amanda Stevens (Chair): 03 538 0364, amanda.stevens824@gmail.com Mike Stevens (National Councillor): 03 548 1528, mikestevens@xtra.co.nz
Lennane Kent (Secretary): 03 545 1671, lennanekent@gmail.com
Steve Richards (Treasurer): sjrichards9@gmail.com
Committee Members:
 Brian Say: 03 539 4700, briansay@xtra.co.nz
 Ruth Chignell: 03 544 7449, ruth.c@hotmail.co.nz
 Anne Taylor: 03 546 9198, otakaro@xtra.co.nz
 Kaye Halkett: 03 544 4096, thehalketts@xtra.co.nz
John Monk: 03 923 2193, johnbmonk@gmail.com