We’re three quarters of the way through 2023, where did that go? Aotearoa celebrated Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori the week of 11 September. I was thinking how much I appreciate the growing number of audio resources which make learning te reo, and learning about the connected foundations like tikanga, the country’s history of colonisation and Te Tiriti o Waitangi much more accessible for many in our community. I’d like to delve into these in a future edition so if you have recommendations or would like to write something on this kaupapa please email focus.abcnz@gmail.com.

In the middle of October, two events of high interest to us happen pretty much on top of each other, those being the Blind Citizens NZ national AGM and Conference and the 2023 General Election.

Regarding the former, it’s not too late to register for the AGM and Conference. Ways to do this and participate are in this Focus edition.

As for the latter, your Focus Editor is heavily enmeshed in politics and has strong opinions about which parties measure up on disability and genuinely care about people. But all I’ll say here is that this election is on a knife edge between two very different-looking government make- ups so your vote really is consequential. If you go to policy.nz and do a word search for “community and inclusion”, you’ll find summaries of the Parties’ disability policies under that category. And don’t miss the article in this edition from Blind Citizens NZ’s Chief Executive about the organisation’s ongoing work for us to have an independent vote, and how to register for Telephone Dictation Voting.

This edition also delves into representations of blind people in service provider communications, attitudes to accessibility and more. Enjoy!

Email me at focus.abcnz@gmail.com, or get in touch with the full Focus committee (Board Member Paula Waby, Chief Executive Rose Wilkinson and me) by emailing focus@blindcitizensnz.org.nz