Weekly update: 24 May 2024

Kia ora Tatou,

Hello to all of us,

With apologies first for not putting out an update last week. I was in Auckland and, while a lot of great in person connections were made, my laptop decided to ask for an update I was unaware of – I felt disconnected from you all and am back with you now.

This week I am starting with an update on the Hearing Assistive Technology, or HAT assessment I followed through with Your Way | Kia Roha. Sharon did the paperwork with me and Jess, Fire Emergency NZ (FENZ) did the floor plan, checked my smoke alarms, talked through my emergency evacuation procedure and spoke to other issues where I can keep myself safe. Sharon offered me paperwork if I wanted it and sent me the copy I signed on the day by PDF as my preferred format. I found the whole assessment towards getting me a very inclusive. Because I am profoundly deaf on one side I may not be able to hear my smoke alarms activate when I am sleeping on my hearing side. The device itself is only the size of a large tin lid and will shake the bed to wake me. I keep my cane by the front door. In addition I keep an old cane in the garage doorway and another one by the laundry door. I actually use them all for gardening however they will be useful if I need to evacuate through any exit. I keep my phone near me at night and all I have to do is get myself and my dog Wallace clear of the house and call 111. It feels good to have a clear plan and I hope and encourage you to have one too. If you live with someone else then I encourage you to be clear with them about your evacuation procedure too. You won’t have time to discuss it in an emergency! 😊

A link to the Your Way | Kia Roha website follows.

Your Way | Kia Roha

Thank you to Hamilton, Auckland North and South for our gatherings last week. All of you agreed to bi-monthly gatherings under our auspices however there were lots of connections you requested in between. That’s what be Seen be Heard be Connected really means! 😊


May edition of No Labels

The show is hosted by Thomas Bryan and this month’s guest was Neil Heslop who is the CE of the Southern Cochlear Implant Programme. Neil is an Audiologist by training and has previously worked clinically with both adults and children on the programme. His formative years were spent in Wellington, but he now calls Canterbury home.

In his spare time, he enjoys pointing a telescope at the night sky and taking photographs of the stars.

Neil explains what and how a Cochlear Implant works, how many Cochlear Implants are funded each year, and who might best benefit from having a Cochlear Implant.

The show initially aired on last Tuesday but will be replayed next Tuesday, 28 May just after 1pm, however if you miss the scheduled show on your radio or via the live stream, you can check it out later online 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.

We also include a link to the show in our event reminders below the signature line each week.


Banking Support offered by ASB

We recently provided feedback to ASB about their lack of accessibility in a particular banking transaction. This has now been resolved, but we have been advised that anyone who would like further information or to request extra care status to be loaded on their bank profile can reach out to the address below.


Or contact ASB by phoning 0800 803 804, where you can utilise iSign and NZ Relay Services.


Your feedback requested

National Housing Survey

This information follows the Universal Design Forum in Auckland this week and was shared on BlindDiscuss by Martine.

It has been created by The Urban Advisory and is a 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.

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

New Zealand’s Housing Survey (The Urban Advisory)

Stats NZ – Census Accessibility

Reminder – public consultation for the future of census will run until 18 June 2024.


The future of census: creating greater value for our communities (Stats NZ)

Alternate formats for the Future Census consultation (Stats NZ)

Details were provided in 10 May update.

10 May update



Peer to Peer Gatherings

  • Whakatū – Nelson: Saturday 8 June – meets monthly on 2nd Saturday.
  • Kirikiriroa – Hamilton: meeting held Tuesday 14 May, meets bi-monthly, organiser Judy Small.
  • Tāmaki Makaurau – South Auckland: meeting held Saturday 18 May, to meet bi-monthly.
  • Tāmaki Makaurau – North 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

Auckland – International Council on English Braille (ICEB) 8th General Assembly

25 to 30 May.

All programme and business sessions will be live streamed on the link below.

ICEB live stream (braillecast)

Sessions take place between Sunday, 26 May to Thursday, 30 May. The stream will be live from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday. The full program schedule is available at:

ICEB Programme & Business Agenda (BANZAT)

Enabling Good Lives Community Hui

In early April we let you know about the SAMS (Standards and Monitoring Services) and TAMA (Te Ao Mārama Aotearoa) open invitation events in Hawke’s Bay and in Auckland to learn about the Enabling Good Lives (EGL) approach and principles.

A recent update: “We’re still in the early stages of community engagement, and our priority is to ensure that disabled people, families, and whānau, as well as other community groups, understand the EGL approach and have a say in community leadership.

Upcoming events are on Wednesday 29 May, an online hui for those based in West Auckland and Wednesday 26 June in Titirangi. Details follow.

What and why: A hui to explore opportunities for regional community leadership. This is designed to help to shape up your EGL approach and give choice and control to your community.

29 May Online ZOOM meetings at 9:30am – 11:00am or 6:30pm – 8:00pm.

Register by 20 May, zoom link will be shared once registered.

26 June 2024 10:30am – 2:30pm: Titirangi War Memorial, 500 South Titirangi Road.

Light lunch will be provided.

Register by 12 June.

Registration for both events is via email, also advising if you have specific access needs.


Blind Low Vision NZ Meeting Schedule Update

Wednesday Board meetings via Zoom scheduled for remainder of 2024 will be cancelled. Meeting dates remain as:

  • Saturday 6 July – Full Board meeting, Hamilton
  • Saturday 14 September – Full Board meeting, Wellington
  • Friday 15 November – Full Board meeting, South Auckland
  • Saturday 16 November – RNZFB Annual General Meeting, South Auckland.


Articles and reports

be my eyes AI video

Thank you to Brian Gubb for this link to a short video (3:27 minutes) on the soon to be updated be My Eyes AI.

Video: Here’s the full video of #OpenAI’s new GPT-4o model as tested by #BeMyEyes! (Facebook)

Other newsletters

DPA (Disabled Persons Assembly) weekly newsletters

DPA Information Exchange: 23 May 2024

DPA Information Exchange: 17 May 2024

DPA Information Exchange: 15 May 2024

Global Accessibility News Update

Shared by Thomas Bryan on BlindDiscuss.

GAN Issue 2 2024

Ministry of Social Development

Family Violence and Sexual Violence Update May 2024 (MSD)

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

Deafblind International Co-Network Coordinator Expression of Interest closes 31 May

Details were provided in 22 March update.

Expression of Interest Form (DOCX 242 KB)

22 March update

Audio described NZ Opera – Le comte Ory

Audio Described Aotearoa will be describing performances in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland on Saturday 1 June, Te Whanga-Nui-A-Tara Wellington on Saturday 15 June and Ōtautahi Christchurch on Saturday 29 June. Details were provided in 10 May update.

10 May update

World Federation of the Deafblind Youth Committee

Applications for young individuals with deafblindness (aged 18-35) to join WFDB’s newly established Youth Committee close 2 June. Information was provided in 22 March update, or for more information about the Youth Committee and application guidelines, please visit the website.

22 March update

Join WFDB’s Youth Committee: Call for Deafblind Representatives (World Federation of the Deafblind)

Friday 14 June, Accessible Pharmacy Online Blindness and Mental Health Summit

Friday, June 14 at 12:00PM ET, which is 4:00AM on Saturday, June 15 NZST. Details were provided in 3 May update.

3 May update

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.

DbI Asian Regional Conference Pokhara Nepal

1 to 3 March 2025.



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

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