Weekly update: 28 April 2023

Kia ora tatou,

Hello to all of us,

Today I am taking time to reflect on what we were doing two years ago in Auckland. That was our first Be Seen Be Heard Be Connected Seminar held over ANZAC weekend. We were delighted with the outcomes and also with our recent successes of Seminar in Christchurch. Both events were special in their own way. It is Hauora for me. That is physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellbeing and, in my understanding, those things being present all at the same time in the same place. When your Board, Sarah, and put together seminar we think about all of those things; is the home-to-venue return trip and space physically safe, are you comfortable in an environment where you know your views are not only respected but actively sought, will this event promote connection, and what purpose will it fill in your life? By extension I also think about those things when supporting peer to peer support group gatherings.

Martine Able-Williamson posted information about the following event in Pakuranga next Friday 5 May. I am also going to put this out to the Auckland Network list. If you are in Auckland and would like to become a list member for gatherings specific to your area here is the address to subscribe.



Auckland Event – Invitation to Te Tuhi – Disability panel discussion 5 May

Disability Panel Discussion – ‘Who can think, what can think’

  • Date/time: 10-11:30am, Friday 5 May 2023 (gallery opens at 9am).
  • Location: Te Tuhi, 13 Reeves Road, Pakuranga, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Join us for a discussion with Deaf and disabled communities in response to the exhibition ‘Who can think, what can think’. We will talk about disability representation in art, the visibility of Deaf and disabled artists, and how to create accessible art spaces.

Some light refreshments and the opportunity for more informal discussions to continue will follow the talk.

  • NZSL interpreters and an audio describer will be available from 9am, the venue is wheelchair accessible and the gallery has a Quiet Space. We encourage people to wear masks if they would like, and please stay home if you are feeling unwell. An RSVP would help us to plan and please let us know of any other access needs or dietary requirements, by emailing us.


Panel speakers include:

  • Martine Abel-Williamson – Senior Human Rights Advisor at Te Kahui Tika Tangata/Human Rights Commission and World Blind Union president.
  • Stace Robertson – Access, Inclusion and Participation Advisor Kaiārahi a Toi – Arts Access Aotearoa
  • Abbie Twiss – Deaf artist.

Who can think, what can think is an exhibition that challenges definitions of ‘intelligence’ in relation to human and non-human cognition by embracing understandings of biodiversity and neurodiversity and confronting the troubling history of categorising intelligence, that has led to certain groups of people being excluded. The presentation of the exhibition has been consciously designed to be more inclusive, not only to neurodiverse audiences, but also disabled visitors.

You can learn more about the exhibition and find descriptions of the artwork and NZSL information below.

Who can think, what can think exhibition

Supported by: Te Tuhi, Te Pou, Arts Access Aotearoa, Audio Described Aotearoa

The Te Tuhi Public Living Room is located to the side of the foyer and is a furnished and colourful space designed to look like a living room. There are three blue walls, that open out on the remainder of the building, and it sits alongside the Te Tuhi café (the first training café in Aotearoa for those with disability). Various groups within the community have used this comfortable space for meetings, chats, or informal hang outs (our team reserve it for those who wish to use it). It is approximately 14 paces from each of our two entrances.

Te Tuhi is committed to being open and accessible to all and has step-free access throughout its public spaces as well as accessible toilets. Two accessible carparks are located at the rear carpark behind Te Tuhi, accessed via William Roberts Road. If you require assistance with your visit please contact +64 9 577 0138 or email here.


And of course if there is something in your area anywhere across the motu that would inspire you to gather please let me know and we can support you in removing barriers.

Here is a link if you want to search more about Hauora.

Hauora (wikipedia)


September / October training programme for public sector directors

Last year information was provided about a training course in Public Sector Governance being run by Victoria University in Wellington. Unfortunately, the dates of the course had to be change and this means that some people that were interested can no longer attend. It also means that some who might have been interested now might be able to attend. There are several vacancies for this course, so if you are interested it may be worth applying.

Please note that:

  • Whaikaha is alerting you to this course, we are not able to fund anyone’s attendance
  • the course is face to face and you must commit to attending all sessions.

Contact details are below if you have any further questions. The team at Victoria are keen to run this course again, so if you are unable to do it this time, there may be other opportunities.

The new dates are as follows:

  • Monday, 25 September
  • Tuesday, 26 September
  • Monday, 9 October
  • Tuesday, 10 October

The fee structure for the course remains unchanged.

  • existing directors: $5,000
  • aspiring directors supported by a government organisation/programme (e.g., Future Directors): $2,500
  • individual aspiring directors: $1,200.

Any requests for registering for the course should be sent to Girol Karacaoglu, and copied to Tania McGowan, please. Contact details follow:

Girol Karacaoglu
Adjunct Professor – Wellington School of Business and Government
Mobile: +64 27 565 0613
Email: Girol.Karacaoglu@vuw.ac.nz

Tania McGowan
Email: tania.mcgowan@wellingtonuni-professional.nz


Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency Project

The following information was also provided on 14 April.

Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency, wants to better understand the experiences of disabled people living with cancer.

We are looking for two people with lived experience to join a project team in paid positions. They will support us to review available data and evidence, support our engagement with the sector and provide insights and advice on how to improve cancer outcomes for disabled people in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We welcome applications from:

  • disabled people with lived experience of cancer OR
  • disabled people with lived experience of navigating the health system (you do not have to have cancer) OR
  • disabled people who can share the broader experiences of disabled people with cancer (you do not have to have cancer but you need to have knowledge of disability and the cancer system).

To find out more about this opportunity we encourage you to visit our Disability and Cancer Project webpage.

Disability and cancer project (Te Aho O Te Kahu)

Ngā mihi
Giselle and Nicole


Vision Rehabilitation Services

This information was also shared by Martine Abell-Williamson on the Blind Discuss List.

Information is available on the link below on the Adjustment Training Centre for People with Vision Loss and Other Disabilities in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. They also host clinics on various matters.

VRS general services information sheet April 2023 (.DOCX 59 KB)


Last update opportunity 2023 Census update

Census collectors have been active in communities, dropping off census packs, helping people to complete census forms and collecting census forms when needed.

In most parts of the country, census collectors will do this for one more week only, until Wednesday 3 May. So if people want support in their home to complete the census, they should call the 0800 236 787 (0800 CENSUS) helpline and organise for a census collector to visit.

Today, we published a new media release about this and what people can expect over the next two weeks. You can read it online here:

Media release – Only one more week for census collectors to help with census forms (Census NZ)

We have also updated information on the 2023 Census and this can be accessed on the census website in the following formats:

We want all communities to be captured in the census and supporting the disability sector to take part is something we can do together.


BLENNZ resource deselection

This message was also provided on the Blind Discuss list on behalf of Elaine Gilmour, Senior Manager Assessment and Teaching, Blind and Low Vision Education Network (BLENNZ).

We are going through a process of deselecting resources that are no longer required in the BLENNZ Youth Library. We are planning to do this on a termly basis or as necessary.

We are aware that braille resources are a highly valuable commodity therefore we are making them available for rehousing. In the first instance we would like to offer these to our sector groups.

The following link is to a word document with the BLENNZ Youth Library Deselection List no. 1. This is a list of Braille resources currently being withdrawn from the BLENNZ Youth Library and this list contains children’s and young adult Braille books (non UEB).

BLENNZ deselection list April 2023 (.DOCX 38 KB)

If you would like any of the items on this list, please contact us by Friday, 5 May 2023. Please contact the library directly to arrange collection or delivery at the following email address.



DPA’s Information Exchange 23 April

The latest Information Exchange is available in your browser at the following link.

Information Exchange 23 April

As usual, event reminders and TellMe phone numbers follow.

Ngā mihi mahana,
Warm regards,
Amanda and Sarah


Event reminders

College House Audio Described Tour, Christchurch

Saturday 6 May, 3pm to 4pm

An Open Christchurch free event but bookings required.

Booking link for the tour

Details were provided in 21 April update.

Accessible exhibition – Who can think, what can think

This Auckland Arts Festival Event runs from 18 February to 7 May at TeTuhi, 13 Reeves Road, Pakuranga, Auckland. Details were provided in 10 March update. Find out more at the link below.

Who can think, what can think (Te Ahurei Toi O Tāmaki / Auckland Arts Festival)

Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities In Person Conference

Sydney, Sunday, 7 May – Tuesday, 9 May 202

More information about the Round Table (Round Table)

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 website to subscribe to the weekly newsletter with listings and picks of the week follows.


TellMe phone numbers are listed in full below the link to a word document.


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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