Weekly update: 21 January 2024

Kia ora Tatou,

Hello to all of us,

Every year I wonder what we can do for Helen Keller Day on 27 June. Mid-winter seems a long way away just now while I nurture lettuce and herbs in the garden, as many of you may also be doing. Here is an opportunity for us all to raise awareness of the challenges of dual sensory loss with plenty of time to prepare. Fair Isle jerseys have been knitted by all children in Scotland for centuries so knitting is not a gender specific skill. At seminar last year we tried different crafts so I am sure some weaving or needle felting would do the trick too. It’s about doing something practical and raising our mana as a community. There’s a $100 voucher of your designation in it for the best item as judged by the Board. Here’s a bit of inspiration from the last DbI Conference.

Kevin Prince (President) and Amanda Stevens (Executive Officer) touching points on the maple leaf outside a building in Ontario, Canada, in 2023.Kevin Prince (President) and Amanda Stevens (Executive Officer) touching points on the maple leaf outside a building in Ontario, Canada.


Yarn Bombing is back for 2024!

We are pleased to announce that DbI will again be promoting a Yarn Bombing campaign in 2024. What is Yarn Bombing? Yarn Bombing is a colourful, eye catching awareness initiative to spread awareness of the deafblind community during national Deafblind Awareness month in June.

Sometimes known as ‘knitfiti’, Yarn Bombing is a form of street art where yarn that is knit, crocheted, or wrapped adorns an object in a public space. It is thought to have originated in the United States in 2005. DbI members embraced yarn bombing after hearing about its unique ability to connect communities from our colleagues in Australia.

By coming together to yarn bomb objects in as many cities and countries as possible in June, we strive to foster connections and unite a community with individuals, service and advocacy groups in the field, DbI members and partners, and the wider global public.

Keep an eye on our social media pages to find out how you can get involved in weaving connections for the #DbIYarnBombing2024 initiative!

What is Yarn Bombing, and why do we do it?

Examples of yarn bombing (3x3 grid): starting from top left: kids playing with a yarn-bombed drum, a yarn-bombed fence, people standing behing a large yarn-bombed picture frame, yarn-bombed fencing, a yarn-bombed bicycle, a yarn-bombed tree, a patchwork quilt, yarn-bombed chairs, a dreamcatcher made with yarn.[Yarn bombing examples: see alt text for description.]


ICF DB core set research

This information was provided by Meredith Prain, National Head of Research and Centre of Excellence – Deafblind, Able Australia:

Researchers from Canada and around the world together with Deafblind International, are working on developing a standardized way to evaluate the functional abilities of persons living with any form of combined vision and hearing difficulties (deafblindness). We are using a framework developed by the World Health Organization to establish the best way to build such an evaluation. To accomplish this, we have conducted three studies to help us build such a standardized evaluation, and now we want to use this evaluation with persons living with deafblindness, so we can test whether it is working the way it is intended. To carry out this research project, we intend to recruit 30 participants, men and women, aged 18 or older.

Link to research information and consent form as a word document (DOCX 48 KB)

If you are interested in participating then please contact Meredith Prain meredith.prain@ableaustralia.org.au.


Peer to Peer Support

I’m looking forward to being with Kapiti Deafblind on Friday, 26 January, and Wellington/Lower Hutt on Saturday 27 January.

I am also following up on all of you who have expressed interest across the motu in having support groups. Please keep connecting with us!


Looking for an ABC Libraries Liaison consultant

This was sent to the Blind Discuss List by Martine Abel Williamson.

Kia ora koutou,

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is looking for an Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) Libraries Liaison consultant to telework offsite, please see the links to the terms of reference below. Grateful if you could circulate through your networks. The deadline is Sunday, January 28, 2024.

Taleo job description: ABC Libraries Liaison (WIPO)

LinkedIn job description: ABC Libraries Liaison

If you’ve got further questions, get in touch with Monica HALIL LÖVBLAD


Head | Accessible Books Consortium | World Intellectual Property Organization

Accessible Books Consortium website


World Federation of the Deafblind First Global Report on the Situation of Older Persons with Deafblindness

Information about the release of this report was provided in the 12 January update and a link provided. Full and summary reports are provided in a range of formats linked below.

12 January update

Full and summary report versions


Links to other newsletters

DPA weekly update (link below): This week’s issue includes a call for support to draft a new Accessibility for New Zealander’s bill as well as two vacancies within their organisation.

Disabled Person’s Assembly (DPA) Information Exchange: 19 January 2024

Disability Connect newsletter: 15 January 2024

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)

As usual, event reminders and TellMe phone numbers follow.

Ngā mihi mahana,
Warm regards,
Sarah on behalf of Amanda


Event reminders

Applications open for World Blind Union Communications Specialist until 26 January.

Details were provided in 12 January update.

12 January update

Touch Compass presents AIGA at Auckland Arts Festival March 2024

AIGA (the Samoan word for family / whanau) is a world premiere of a new ground-breaking Disability-led, Pasifika-led work of theatre exploring personal identity, life’s struggles and triumphs, family and desire. Details were provided in 24 November update.

24 November update

25 to 31 May 2024, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland – International Council on English Braille 8th General Assembly

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.


Ongoing – 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