Rose Wilkinson Chief Executive
The life of our organisational 2021-2023 Strategic Plan (Plan) is nearing an end. This work has been on the Board’s radar for some time noting the Plan is considered in some way at every scheduled Board meeting. At its November meeting, the Board set time aside to reflect on the entirety of the current Plan. Its initial thinking on this occasion is that incremental as opposed to major change is required. However, the Board wants, and needs to hear from members, Branches and Networks before it makes any decisions.
The current Strategic Plan is included in this Focus issue for your reference. The Board is asking if this was to be refreshed, what are the areas you would see needing to be addressed? Alternatively, if you feel an entirely new Plan is the way to go, the Board needs to hear reasons for this approach and suggestions as to what would be included in a new Plan.
The Board is setting time aside at its March 2023 meeting to receive and consider feedback, and determine its approach. Timing is everything! To be considered by the Board at its March meeting, all feedback must reach Blind Citizens NZ’s National Office no later than 9am, Wednesday 1 March 2023.
Aside from the usual feedback mechanisms (details below), there will be two ZOOM hui where members can join in and share their feedback. If you are interested in joining one of these ZOOM hui, contact our National Office and let us know. You do not need to have a computer or mobile (smart) phone to use ZOOM. A landline phone works just as well. The dates the ZOOM hui will be held are:
- Thursday 16 February, 4pm-5pm; and
- Tuesday 21 February, 6pm-7pm.
Feedback can also be provided and is welcomed via any of the following options:
- Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Phone: 0800 222 694, selecting option 1;
- Post: PO Box 7144, Newtown, Wellington 6242.
Here now is the Strategic Plan 2021-2023…
Blind Citizens NZ Strategic Plan, 2021-2023
Implemented 1 July 2020
Blind Citizens NZ exists to give voice to the aspirations and lived experiences of blind, deafblind, low vision, and vision-impaired people living in New Zealand.
Every blind, deafblind, low vision, and vision-impaired person is choosing the life they live.
In the context of this document, the word “blind” encompasses all those who are blind, deafblind, low vision, or vision-impaired, or who use any other blindness term that describes them, who can identify with our goals.
- respect for the different ways each of us responds to the challenges of blindness;
- the shared learning and support received from the lived experiences of others;
- adherence to democratic principles that ensure our representations are broadly based;
- commitment to sustained effort in our advocacy;
- constructive, cooperative and mutually supportive relationships with other disability organisations;
- the principles and opportunities afforded by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the New Zealand Disability Strategy;
- our history and the role we have played in the lives of blind people since 1945.
Goal 1: Blind people live in an accessible, equitable and inclusive society.
- We will advocate on the grounds of human rights and equity to those whose laws, regulations, operations, activities, attitudes or products create barriers to our full participation in society.
Goal 2: The community’s response to blindness is reflected in affirmative actions and attitudes.
- We will create greater community awareness and education around the abilities and capabilities of blind people to participate fully in society;
- We will always portray blind people in a positive light.
Goal 3: Blind people advocate on both a personal and systemic level.
- We will provide and support advocacy training;
- We will demonstrate through collective action, how blind people can improve their life, and the lives of others.
Goal 4: Blind people receive the services they need to approach everyday life with independence, confidence and dignity.
- We will assess blindness and disability services to ensure they are meeting the needs and expectations of blind people;
- We will advocate for a better experience for blind people using publicly available services;
- We will advocate for improvement in both quantity and quality of service where there is evidence of unmet need.
Goal 5: Blind Citizens NZ is recognised for its leadership in the blind community, and as a leading Disabled People’s Organisation.
- We will work with Government and our disability sector partners (including the Disabled People’s Organisations Coalition) to translate the rights conferred under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Disability Strategy and the Disability Action Plan into tangible and practical outcomes;
- We will actively support like-minded international organisations that advance the cause of blind people throughout the world (including the World Blind Union).
Goal 6: Blind Citizens NZ is a listening, receptive and responsive organisation that encourages people to belong.
- We will maintain a consistent flow of information to the blind community, and seek every opportunity to engage with them about the impact of blindness on their lives;
- We will promote and provide a safe and welcoming environment within our branches and networks for activities that encourage social interaction, peer support and the sharing of information and advice.
Goal 7: Blind Citizens NZ is recognised for what it adds to the blind community and society.
- We will actively promote the benefits of joining our organisation to the blind community;
- We will demonstrate that we are a dynamic and constructive Disabled People’s Organisation worthy of everyone’s support.