Weekly update: 5 July 2024

Kia ora tatou,

Hello to all of us,

Two weeks seems to have flown by and we hope that you managed to find some ways to celebrate Helen Keller Day, Matariki and the life that each day brings.


Global Disability Innovation Hub: AT2030

AT2030 tests ‘what works’ to improve access to life-changing Assistive Technology (AT) for all. It is led by Global Disability Innovation Hub and funded by UK Aid.

Thank you to Thomas Bryan for bringing the AT2030 July update to our attention via the BlindDiscuss list. Thomas thought the first item of the newsletter might be of particular interest where you can check out a presentation by GDI Hub and their CEO Iain McKinnon who co-hosted an in-person side event at the Conference of States Parties (COSP), with UNICEF, and the International Disability Alliance (IDA). We have copied this segment below.

Dear Programme Partners,

Welcome to the July update!

June has been an exciting month for us. We attended the Conference of States Parties (COSP), where our team, led by CEO Iain McKinnon, co-hosted an in-person side event with ATscale, UNICEF, and the International Disability Alliance (IDA). The event highlighted the power of partnerships in achieving access to assistive technology. Click this link to re-watch the session. Additionally, GDI Hub hosted a digital side event on the importance of integrating assistive technology (AT) into global and local strategies for climate and crisis resilience. These events, among others, brought together key stakeholders in the AT, climate and crisis resilience sectors.

With increased emphasis on storytelling and regional capacity building, our AT2030 programme is growing in new areas of research and geography. Disability innovation as a sector is accelerating rapidly in Pakistan, and we are already working alongside global and local partners. Recently, GDI Hub’s Dr. Maryam Bandukda and Pollyanna Wardrop visited Islamabad and Karachi to meet stakeholders across AT innovation, inclusive employment, economic inclusion, and social welfare. They also delivered a workshop with the Blind Institute for National Awareness and Empowerment. The team was delighted to meet pioneers across the disability innovation space and looks forward to more fruitful engagements and collaborative efforts to drive inclusion and AT access. Read our latest blog Disability Innovation in Pakistan (AT2030).

Thank you all for your continuous support!

Best wishes,
AT2030 Programme Team

Link to AT2030 website.

Website: AT2030


Trans Rights are Human Rights guide

And again, this was shared by Thomas Bryan on the BlindDiscuss list.

Te Kāhui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission have released a publication to provide information about the rights of transgender people in digital, print and accessible formats via the following link.

Trans Rights are Human Rights website (Te Kāhui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission)


Calls for Expression of Interest – Bridge CRPD-SDGs Pacific_2024

Greetings from the Pacific Disability Forum,

The Pacific Disability Forum along with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the International Disability and Development Consortium have the pleasure to launch this open call for participation in the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Pacific Region. This training is open to applicants who meet the Criteria and live in the Pacific region.

For more information, please refer to the word document linked below.

Call for application: Bridge Pacific 2024 (DOCX 2 MB)


ABC hits one million titles with RNIB partnership

Message forwarded by Martine Abel-Williamson, Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) Advisory Board member, via Blind Citizens list.

The ABC Global Book Service will hit one million titles available for cross-border exchange under the framework of the Marrakesh Treaty, thanks to the recent agreement signed with the Royal National Institute of Blind People of the UK.

Link to ABC website for more information below.

WIPO’s Accessible Books Consortium Hits One Million Titles with Royal National Institute of Blind People Partnership (Accessible Books Consortium)



Peer to peer gatherings

  • Next week in Palmerston North, Kāpiti, Wellington/Lower Hutt and Nelson.
  • Whakatū – Nelson – Midwinter gathering is Tuesday 9 July, though usually meets monthly on 2nd Saturday.
  • 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
  • Kirikiriroa – Hamilton – Tuesday 30 July, meets bi-monthly. Organiser Judy Small.
  • Tāmaki Makaurau – event planning is underway for the next events in North and South Auckland.

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.

Free Auckland Audio Described films Whau Pasifika Festival

Friday 12 July.

As forwarded by Mary of AIComms from Nicola Owen, Audio Described Aotearoa.

Following the success of last year’s audio described movies at the Whau Pasifika Festival, Ina and her team have invited us back this year.

Whau Pasifika Festival: PolyFilms, Session Two.

  • Date: Friday 12 July.
  • Venue: The Hollywood Cinema, 20 St Georges Road, Avondale.

Arrive at 11am – ready for 11.30am when Session Two begins.


Soli Bula

(7 minutes) 2022, Fiji, Written, Produced, Animated & Director: Tumeli Tuqota Jr.

In an alternate reality Fiji where tradition and culture was never eroded by colonialism, a new Drua is about to launch, demanding a steep toll to set sail.

Take Home Pay

(1 hour 44 minutes) 2019, Aotearoa, Samoa Writer, Director: Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa

Brothers, Alama and Popo, arrive in NZ as Samoan Seasonal Workers, making money to take back home to their family. But things take a turn for the worst – enter P.I. Bob.

More information below.

12Hour PolyFilms Marathon (Whau Pasifika)

Tickets are free.

To book a headset to listen to the audio description please email the address below.


EGL deaf community event in West Auckland

Proposed date 27 August.

Kia ora koutou

Great news! SAMS and Tama are coming to West Auckland for our 3rd round of hui focused on community-led disability leadership informed by the Enabling Good Lives approach.

We will be hosting our 3rd community hui on 28 August 10:00am – 2:00pm (venue and further details to follow). This is designed to build on momentum and engagement shown by the West Auckland community in previously facilitated hui.

Although we are working to encourage wider community engagement, we are also mindful of people’s time and availability. As such, we would like to propose a smaller online hui, for the deaf community.

  • 27 August 2024.
  • 6:00 -7:30pm.
  • A Zoom link will be shared closer to the time.

If this is of interest, please register by emailing egl@sams.org.nz.

If this does not suit, please feel free to email alternate recommendations. We will work with the general consensus where possible.


Other newsletters

DPA (Disabled Persons Assembly) Update

The update below notes “There’s a lot happening at DPA at the moment, so we’ve decided to move Information Exchange to fortnightly until we’ve cleared our backlog.”

DPA Information Exchange 27 June

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

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.


14 June update


Ongoing events

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