Weekly update: 15 March 2024

Kia ora Tatou,

Hello to all of us,

Personally I find there is so much stuff in the world to listen to, to access in different ways, and to hope that, when I do access it, I will be able to hear it. I want to thank Mark for sending me the link to the RNZ National interview with David McAlpine. While it is listed as “Are Noise Cancelling Headphones Safe?” in fact the interview covered many more subjects I found both fascinating and applicable to us identifying with dual sensory impairment.

The query often comes up to me, “but I’m not deaf, I just wear hearing aids so do I qualify?” There are two points here.

  1. You don’t have to qualify with us, you just have to say life has got a bit more complicated since you got hearing aids or since you have reduced vision and we will connect you with others, either in a similar position or Service Providers who may be able to help;
  2. Sight impairment/loss has a functional definition, meaning it can be tested for how much you can see. Hearing on the other hand can be tested for what level of sound you can hear but does not distinguish how much you can hear in different situations. Any of us who have ever been to a café and tried to converse as opposed to having a conversation at home can tell you that!

Sarah has looked online and can’t find a transcript for this interview so I am going to email RNZ National to see if they will supply one and get it out to you. In the meantime here are a few points covered:

  • “300,000 people live in Aotearoa New Zealand with undiagnosed hearing loss.” – If that’s the case, there will also be many who also have sight impairment/loss who do not recognise the complexity and we are not able to support them. If you know someone using hearing aids who is blind or low vision please let them know about Deafblind Association NZ and encourage them to be connected;
  • A brief discussion on dementia being linked to hearing loss because of the diminished communication;
  • Turning the TV up doesn’t make it easier to hear;
  • ADHD and sound input;
  • Processing language is impacted by hearing loss. – I bet you have just as many stories as I do about the things you thought you heard but were not actually said
  • Gene therapy is on the horizon to regenerate nerves for adults to support cochlear implants.

That’s just what I can remember from a riveting 35 minutes! I’ll follow up the transcript

Here’s some information for listening via the RNZ National website in the meantime.

Article – RNZ Interview David McAlpine: Is noise cancelling technology safe?

Sunday Morning, 10:06 am on 10 March 2024

Noise cancelling devices are big business, and it’s no surprise with excess noise exposure linked not only to hearing loss but even increased risk of cardiovascular disease and depressive symptoms.

But it turns out too much noise reduction comes with its own warnings. Multiple studies have shown that constant earplug wearing, day and night, over just one week is enough to result in new-onset tinnitus.

Professor David McAlpine, is the academic director of Macquarie University Hearing. He joins Jim Mora to discuss the pros and cons of noise cancelling technology.

Direct link to interview below.

David McAlpine: Is noise cancelling technology safe? (RNZ 10 March 2024, 35:31 minutes)



Peer to Peer Support

  • New Plymouth, Monday 8 April. Please email Christine for details.
  • Palmerston North, launching Wednesday 10 April. Please email me for details;
  • Kāpiti, Friday 12 April. Please email me for details.
  • Nelson, Saturday 13 April. Please email me for details.
  • Wellington/Lower Hutt, Saturday 13 April. Please email me for details.

Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Board Meeting

Board Secretary Diana Chandler advises the next RNZFB Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 3 April 2024, to be held via Zoom. In line with the Constitution, those observing will be able to listen but not contribute to the meeting procedure.

For those members who wish to observe, please let her know by emailing


or call the Contact Centre on 0800 24 33 33.

The final cut-off date for any correspondence to be included in the agenda papers is 10 calendar days prior to the meeting. A copy of the agenda, which will indicate approximate timings and details, will be sent closer to the time of the meeting.

Minutes of these meetings are available on the TIS menu 313 or available by request.

The dates of the 2024 RNZFB Board meetings can be found on the

Blind Low Vision NZ Governance web page.

BLVNZ Governance web page

Auckland Arts Festival – AIGA

Wednesday, 20 March – audio described performance.

A journey of identity, desire, family, and what it means to be disabled and Pasifika.

Aiga (Sāmoan for family / whānau) is a groundbreaking and emotional Disability-led, Pasifika led work of theatre told through the lens of the real-life journey of Pacific Toa award-winning, founding member of Touch Compass Lusi Faiva. A collective creative ensemble of women, non-binary, disabled, non-disabled, Pasifika and Māori identities brings this quest for identity and belonging to life, artfully sharing their own experiences with and through Lusi’s.

An Aotearoa story with universal resonance. An honest and heartfelt work that moves you, expands your empathy and consciousness and invites you to explore new perspectives of being.

Where: Te Pou Theatre, Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson.

Run time: 75 minutes, no interval.

Tickets: access price is $20 per seat including free companion.

Book by email:


Book online:

Te Pou Threatre.

Deafblind International Communication Network Webinar 5

Webinar 5 – A parent perspective on supporting and advocating for her deafblind son

Presenter: Lilias Liston, UK

Facilitator: Meredith Prain, Australia

Panel: Namita Jacob, India, Steve Rose, Australia

The webinar series is aimed at family members of children and adults who were born with deafblindness or those with limited language (speech or sign) who wish to develop their own communication skills and the skills of their deafblind family member.

Topics covered in the webinar include:

  • initial feelings after discovering having a child with disabilities
  • recognising his communicative potential
  • supporting his understanding the world
  • identifying professionals with the right expertise and
  • identifying positive collaboration.

The webinar is held at:

  • Australia / Asia – Wednesday 17th April 2024
  • Australian Eastern Standard Time 8pm-10pm AEST
  • New Zealand Standard Time 10pm – 12am.

Presenter: Lilias Liston, UK.

Facilitator: Meredith Prain, Australia.

Panel: Namita Jacob, India, and Steve Rose, Australia.

Register in advance for this webinar at the link below.

Deafblind International Communication Network Webinar 5 (trybooking)


Other newsletters

Carers New Zealand

15 March – Latest news and new State of Caring survey

DPA Information Exchange: 9 March 2024

The D*List

The D*List website is an online culture magazine that creates space for disabled people to tell their own stories through features, columns and news reporting.

This week’s issue covers the topic “Technology offers us liberation – and internalised ablelism”.

The D*List Delivered (Substack)

Following is a link to have a browse of The D*List website or sign up to receive their weekly newsletter:

The D*List

Be Seen be Heard be Connected Weekly Update

Please note, access to our weekly be Seen Be Heard Be Connected emails is also available on our website via our events page, at the following link.

News and events (Deafblind Association New Zealand)

Ngā mihi mahana,
Warm regards,


Event reminders

7 to 24 March, Auckland Arts Festival 2024

Details were provided in 9 February update.

9 February update

Contact information follows.

Email: access@aaf.co.nz.

Phone/text: 022 306 2206.

Access & Inclusion (Auckland Arts Festival)

2024 Audio Described Nationwide Events Booklet

The events list with booklet page numbers was provided in the 23 February update. The full calendar is available as a word document via the following link.

2024 Events Information (DOCX 60 KB)

25 to 31 May, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland – International Council on English Braille 8th General Assembly

June 2024 Deafblind Awareness month – Yarn bombing

#DbIYarnBombing2024 – information was provided in 21 January update.

21 January update

2024 Activity Deafblind International Youth Network (DbIYN)

Monday 30 September to Friday 4 October in Disneyland Paris.

Expression of Interest: Please contact simon.allison@sense.org.uk

Thursday 3 October Deafblind UK Online Conference 2024. Theme: “Standing out and fitting in”. The conference is free and all are welcome.



No Labels on Wellington Access Radio

You can listen to this edition of the show on Wellington Access Radio on Tuesday just after 1:00pm, or the following Tuesday at the same time.

If you miss the scheduled show, you can check it out later online at the link below.

No Labels (Wellington Access Radio)

Or you can subscribe to the show via your preferred podcast player to check out this episode or previous episodes of the show.

Entertainment with Able

Able is a not-for-profit organisation working towards a more inclusive Aotearoa, believing everyone should be able to access news, entertainment and culture. Funded by NZ On Air, they’re Aotearoa’s leading provider of media access services, including captioning services, subtitling and audio description.

Listings are available at the following browser links.

A link to Able’s website to subscribe to the weekly newsletter with listings and picks of the week follows.



Deafblind Association New Zealand access to TellMe

See TellMe numbers for your area


End of report and this week’s update.

Amanda Stevens
Executive Officer
Taringa Turi Kāpō Rōpū
Deafblind Association New Zealand