Weekly update: 21 June 2024

Kia ora tatou,

Hello to all of us,

There is so very much to celebrate in the coming week! It’s Helen Keller Day 27 June, Volunteer Week, and Matariki – Māori New Year.

For me, in looking for what connects us, Helen Keller is a model for me for Social Justice – her story was brought forward for many reasons and in the media of her time – the Victorian, Edwardian, and New Elizabethan eras. Of many strong women, wāhine toa, she was one. So, in the words of Kevin Prince, President Deafblind Association NZ, and many others, “What would Helen be fighting for today?”.

Social Justice is always on the agenda and I like to think she would have ‘skin in the game’ for Tactile Communication for deafblind in Aotearoa NZ towards social and physical inclusivity. Each step we take for advocating for ourselves as deafblind benefits us all! Please check out events in the Auckland and Hamilton areas below.


Auckland and Hamilton, Deafblind Awareness Week | 24-30 June

Deafblind Coordinator Laura Morse invites you to join Blind Low Vision NZ at one of the participating libraries for Deafblind Awareness Week!

Discover the importance of accessible communication methods as we demonstrate inclusive approaches that bridge gaps and promote understanding. Learn how small actions can make a significant difference in creating an environment that embraces and supports everyone.

Take advantage of this opportunity to connect, learn, and contribute to a more inclusive society. We look forward to welcoming you!

  • Parnell Library, 10am-midday 24 June, Jubilee Building 545 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland 1052.
  • Manurewa Library, 10am-midday 25 June, Manurewa Library 7 Hill Road, Manurewa, Auckland 2102.
  • Mount Albert Library, 10am-midday 26 June, 84 Saint Lukes Road, Mount Albert, Auckland 1025.
  • Rototuna Library 10am-midday 27 June, 30 North City Road, Rototuna North, Hamilton 3210.


Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu – National Volunteer Week

16–22 June. This year’s theme is Whiria te tangata – Weave the people together.

From the Tūao Aoteroa, Volunteering New Zealand website, volunteer week “honours the collective energies and mana of all volunteers in Aotearoa. They grow our people, open minds, open hearts and create joy.” So here is our opportunity to honour our Board as volunteers for underpinning the growth of our mana as an organisation, to our volunteers who drive, serve, and laugh with us, facilitating our need to Be Seen Be Heard Be Connected. I can’t name you all because there are just so many. In the words of one of our volunteers, “I am inspired to come because I enjoy being part of something meaningful and I feel I am making a difference”.


Matariki – Māori New Year

This special day is strategically positioned on the Friday closest to the new moon following the rising of the Matariki star cluster, also known as Pleiades or Seven Sisters, and fosters awareness and understanding of the cultural significance of Matariki among New Zealanders, while also acknowledging the substantial contributions of Māori culture to the nation’s identity. It is a time to acknowledge gratitude and to set intentions. I am grateful to all of you who have put your energy into forming five new networks this year when our goal was to launch two. My intention is always to connect with more of you in the coming year and that will be supported by your intention to connect more people you know to our organisation, and here we are back to Whiria te tangata – Weave the people together. 😊


Hearing Assistive Technology

In the past few weeks I have kept you up to date on both the technology an the pathway for securing an assessment for a Smoke Detector linked to a vibrating system to ensure you wake up if your alarms go off. This week mine was installed, a very simple process and we tested it and I found it extremely effective. These systems are $2,500 and I am informed we are not sure how long this subsidy will last. If you think you need one or are not even sure if you qualify, I encourage you to reach out to Your Way – Kia Roha, for a simple assessment. This is more than wellbeing – it is critical that you are safe and your whānau/family want that too!

Email address for Kia Roha general enquiries below.


Link to Kia Roha website below.

Your Way | Kia Roha


As next Rāmere, Friday, is a Public Holiday Sarah and I are taking a break so there will be no Friday update. Today is the Winter Solstice so we will rejoin you when the earth has turned back towards the sun for summer on 5 July. My gratitude to you Sarah for all you do for our organisation!



June 2024 edition of No Labels

Host Thomas Bryan writes on BlindDiscuss (below).

“Our guest this month on the show is Syd Duflou: Syd is the Exhibitions Programme Manager responsible for the overall exhibition delivery and programming at Wellington’s Tākina, which opened in June last year. Syd has been involved in the delivery of touring exhibitions at Te Papa for the past seven years as well as supporting Te Papa with its commercial business. Syd’s background is in major events having worked on Rugby World Cup 2011, Cricket World Cup 2015 and two Lions Series here in Wellington. While a born and bred Wellingtonian she has been lucky enough to travel to some incredible places around the world having worked on Cruise Ships and spending her OE in Bristol in her younger years.

“To find out more about Syd’s role at Takina, and what’s currently on at Takina, check out this month’s show.”

This edition of the show is on Wellington Access Radio on Tuesday 25 June, just after 1:00pm, or you can check it out later online at the link below.

No Labels (Wellington Access Radio)

Peer to Peer Gatherings

  • Whakatū – Nelson – Saturday 13 July June – meets monthly on 2nd Saturday.
  • Kirikiriroa – Hamilton – meeting held Tuesday 14 May, meets bi-monthly, Organiser Judy Small.
  • Tāmaki Makaurau – North Auckland – meeting held Saturday 18 May, to meet bi-monthly.
  • Tāmaki Makaurau – South Auckland – meeting held Sunday 19 May, to meet bi-monthly.
  • Taranaki – New Plymouth – meets bi-monthly.
  • Manawatū /Te Papa-i-Oea – Palmerston North – Wednesday 10 July – meets quarterly.
  • Kāpiti – Friday 12 July – meets quarterly.
  • Te Whanganui-a-Tara – Wellington/Lower Hutt – Saturday 13 July – meets quarterly.

Please contact us if you are interested in attending any of these events by replying to this email or calling Amanda on 0800 450 650.


Your feedback requested

World Blind Union Invitation to Participate in Streetscape Survey

The following survey aims to gather your experience as a member of the disability community on the issue of streetscape design.

We invite you to share your experience by completing the survey.

Survey responses will aid Smart Growth America, the International Parking & Mobility Institute, and the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund in the creation of an Accessible Streetscape Design Guide. From this guide, supporting organizations, government agencies, and private companies can work collaboratively towards better, more comprehensive industry standards and guidance.

Your responses will be treated in the strictest confidentiality, and the data will only be shared in aggregate form without your personal information.

We greatly appreciate your support and look forward to working with you to create more accessible streetscapes for every community.


The team of the WBU Secretariat and the Program for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development.

Link to take the survey via SurveyMonkey below.

Accessible Streetscape Design Survey (Smart Growth America)


Other newsletters

DPA (Disabled Persons Assembly) Weekly Update

The last update received was 14 June, which was sent last week but is also included below:

DPA Information Exchange: 14 June 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.

Link to weekly update below.

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

Wellington, Audio Described BATS Theatre: Heartbreak Hotel

Saturday 22 June, 1.15pm touch tour, 2pm performance.

Tickets: $25 waged, $15 unwaged.

Book by contacting the BATS box office on 04 802 4176 or email book@bats.co.nz.

Companion tickets are available free of charge for in-person performances. Please contact book@bats.co.nz if you require a companion ticket. Details were provided in 14 June update.

14 June update

Saturday 6 July, Hamilton RNZFB Board meeting

Those observing will be able to listen but not contribute to the meeting procedure.

For those members who wish to observe, please let the Board Secretary know by emailing boardsecretary@blindlowvision.org.nz or calling the Contact Centre on 0800 24 33 33. A copy of the agenda, which will indicate approximate timings and details, will be sent closer to the time of the meeting.

Please note the cut-off date for any correspondence which members may wish to have raised at the upcoming meeting. Please ensure you have emailed the Board Secretary by latest 10 calendar days prior to the meeting to have your matter included in the agenda papers.

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 Governance page on the BLVNZ site.

Governance (BLVNZ)

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.

DbI Asian Regional Conference Pokhara Nepal

1st to 3rd March 2025.

Deafblind International Notice of Asian Conference 2025


Feedback requested reminders

National Housing Survey

The Urban Advisory longitudinal study so there is no foreseeable closing date. The survey asks how people make their housing choices and what they want to see happen with housing in the future, with the intention of helping New Zealand better respond to housing needs and demand.

Completed surveys are eligible for entry into a quarterly prize draw to win a $200 Prezzy Card. It is an online survey through Qualtrics and is expected to take less than 30 minutes to complete. Details were provided in 24 May update.

24 May update

The website link below includes Frequently Asked Questions, an info pack and a contact email address.

New Zealand’s Housing Survey (The Urban Advisory)

Public Library Use and Accessibility

Blind Low Vision NZ Client Training and Engagement Senior Advisor Tom Smith asks:

“Is there anybody willing to be interviewed about their use of public library services and accessibility? Details were provided in 14 June update, or email Tom.




2024 Audio Described Nationwide Events Booklet

The events list with booklet page numbers was provided in the 23 February update.

23 February update

The full calendar is available as a word document via the following link.

2024 Events Information (DOCX 60 KB)

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.

Living Blindfully

Weekly show hosted by Jonathan Mosen

Living Blindfully audio episodes (Living Blindfully)

Blind Spot, Radio Southland

Monthly show hosted by Carolyn Weston

Blind Spot on Radio Southland

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