Here you’ll find a selection of links to blindness related consumer and service provider organisations, New Zealand government departments and agencies, generic disability organisations and blindness organisations based outside New Zealand.
NZ Blindness-Related Organisations
- Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ (BLENNZ): provides education and support services to blind and low vision students throughout New Zealand.
- Blind Sailing New Zealand Inc.: Since 1988, sailing opportunities have been offered to blind and vision impaired people in New Zealand through the New Zealand Council for Sailing for the Blind and Vision Impaired Inc.
- Blind Sport New Zealand Inc.: is the National Sporting Organisation for blind sport. Blind Sport New Zealand is recognised by Government and SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) as the governing body for blind sport.
- The Braille Authority of New Zealand Aotearoa Trust (BANZAT): sets standards and makes rulings on braille code usage within New Zealand, maintains awareness and consistency with current international developments in all braille codes, accredits practitioners involved in braille production, promotes braille as the prime literacy medium for blind people and promotes best practice in teaching, acquisition and distribution of braille.
- Ngāti Kāpo o Aotearoa Inc.: Ngāti Kāpo was founded in 1983 upon the vision of self-determination (Mana Kāpo) and improving the quality of life of kāpo Māori and their whānau. The society in the 21st century is a national Māori health and disability service provider that is driven by and for Māori disabled consumers and their families – kāpo Māori and their whānau.
- Parents of Vision Impaired NZ Inc. (PVI): is a consumer group that supports parents who have blind or vision impaired children.
- Retina New Zealand Inc.: is committed to finding the cause, prevention and treatment of retinal degenerative disorders.
- Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB): is New Zealand’s primary provider of blindness-related services to blind, deafblind and vision-impaired people.
NZ Government Departments and Agencies
- Ministry of Education – Special Education: an overview of special education policies and resources for children and young people with special needs.
- New Zealand Disability Strategy: the NZ Disability Strategy is vital to the well-being of the one-in-five New Zealanders who identify that they have a long-term impairment. By implementing the Strategy, New Zealand will become a more inclusive society, eliminating the barriers to people with disabilities participating in and contributing to society.
- New Zealand Government Online: find out all that you need to know about everything that Government has to offer. From drivers’ licences to dog licences, tax issues to health issues, starting a family to starting a business.
- Office for Disability Issues (ODI): is responsible for ensuring government keeps faith with the New Zealand Disability Strategy, by promoting the participation and inclusion of disabled people in our society.
Disability Information and Organisations
- The Banking Ombudsman: works to resolve disagreements between banks and their customers. The Banking Ombudsman is publishing quick guides giving consumers helpful information in a user-friendly format. The Banking Ombudsman is aware of the Voluntary guidelines to assist banks to meet the needs of older and disabled customers, facilitated by the New Zealand Banker’s Association. The ABC NZ contributed to these guidelines.
- Be. Accessible: “enriches the lives of all people, by inspiring and enabling greater accessibility for all. See the possibility, seize the opportunity and Be. the change.” The website aims to list accessible locations and services throughout New Zealand.
- Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ): is a not-for-profit organisation which promotes Deaf culture, New Zealand Sign Language and the interests of the Deaf community. It works with Deaf New Zealanders to make sure they can access the information and services they need to live independently, take part in our vibrant Deaf communities and to follow their dreams.
- Disabled Persons Assembly (New Zealand) Incorporated (DPA): is the collective voice of people with disabilities in New Zealand based on principles of human rights and equal value of life.
- Health and Disability Commissioner: champions of consumers’ rights in the health and disability sector.
- Human Rights Commission: works for a fair, safe and just society, where diversity is valued and human rights are respected.
- The National Foundation for the Deaf (NFD): is a non-profit, non-government organisation which works with its member groups to support New Zealanders with hearing loss, encourage hearing preservation and promote good sound.
- Television New Zealand Access Services: gives information about audio description and captioning services available through TVNZ. Information includes programme listings and how to access these services.
- Weka: New Zealand’s generic disability information web site, for people with disabilities, their families and health professionals.
International Blindness-Related Organisations
- American Council of the Blind (ACB): a blindness consumer group founded in 1961, “the American Council of the Blind strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life, for all blind and visually-impaired people”.
- Blind Citizens Australia (BCA): The largest blindness consumer group in Australia.
- The DAISY Consortium: envisions a world where people with print disabilities have equal access to information and knowledge without delay or additional expense. The DAISY Consortium develops, maintains and promotes international DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) Standards. Talking books produced by the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind conform to DAISY standards.
- International Council on English Braille (ICEB): develops and maintains international standards and rules for braille used in English speaking countries. ICEB developed the Unified English Braille code which was adopted for use in New Zealand in 2005.
- Media Access Australia: “is Australia’s only independent not-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with disabilities”. Among its several services is its database of audio described DVDs, which are also generally available in New Zealand.
- National Federation of the Blind (NFB): founded in 1940, NFB is the largest blindness consumer group in the United States.
- Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities (Round Table): an Australian and New Zealand association that promotes accessibility of information to people with print reading disabilities, by bringing together organisations involved in the production and distribution of information in accessible formats with teachers and users.
- Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB): the largest blindness service provider in the United Kingdom.
- Vision Australia: the largest blindness service provider in Australia.
- World Blind Union (WBU): founded in 1984 the WBU brings together blindness service providers and consumer groups around the world to advocate internationally so blind people can participate fully and with equality in society.