Strategic Plan 2020-2023

Taringa Turi Kāpō Rōpū

Deafblind Association of New Zealand Charitable Trust

Date Registered 28/08/2016

Charities No. CC53793.

Be Seen Be Heard Be Connected Strategic Plan 2020-2023

Table of Contents

Vision and Mission, page 1

Values, page 1

Goals and How We’ll Get There, page 2

About Us, page 3

Contact Details, page 3

Vision and Mission


For deafblind New Zealanders and their families to be empowered, connected, and included.


To partner with deafblind New Zealanders to support opportunities for connection and inclusion. We work to promote and represent the interests of people with deafblindness, their families and carers, and to encourage self-determination by people who are deafblind.


  1. Deafblind Self-Determination

Every deafblind person in Aotearoa NZ is able to choose and participate in their fields of interest. Leadership opportunities have no barriers to inclusion, and confidence is raised. The critical nature of access to information for informed decision-making is understood and supported. All deafblind have a place in the principles of the UNCRPD (United Nations Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities) and Sustainable Development Goals.

2. High Trust Relationships

The deafblind community, Board, Executive Officer, and employees/contractors communicate in an emotionally safe way and work collectively to strengthen the mana of the organisation and the people we serve.

3. Respect and Dignity

The diversity of all deafblind is actively embraced for the rich contribution to shared goals. Every voice is heard and acknowledged with respect.

4. Accountability and Transparency

We are accountable to our community and our funders, and make information accessible and available in a timely manner. Good decision-making by our Board and Executive Officer is supported through the voice and experience of all deafblind.

Goals and How We’ll Get There

Goal 1. Peer-to-peer Support and Networking

We continue to build our existing local networks to encourage confidence and leadership for them to become self-sustaining. The goal is for each network to meet kanohi kit e kanohi (face to face) twice a year at a minimum, gradually managing their own transport requirements. We will establish another two networks per annum. Two volunteers can be assigned to each geographical network. We will be a connecting service for deafblind to reach each other and their communities, including lifelong learning opportunities.  

Goal 2. Access, Communications, Technology

We will maintain and improve communications specific to deafblind, including regular updating of website, Telephone Information Service (TIS), email contacts, braille, NZSL, CDs, and large print formats for relevant newsletters and updates. Across all of our contacts we will promote the need for access to appropriate technology, as well as training to support participation of all of our community in their medium of choice. We support deafblind to attain the tools and technology they need to reach out to one another and to our organisation in their preferred way, including audio technology such as hearing aids and development of tactile communication methods and Communicator Guide services.

Goal 3. Building Relationships

We will liaise with Blind Low Vision NZ – building and maintaining harmonious working relationships with their Deafblind coordinators, CEO, and key staff. We will nourish strong relationships with kindred organisations, including blindness and deafness organisations in Aotearoa NZ, World Federation Deafblind, Pacific Disability Forum, and Deafblind International.

Goal 4. Growing Confidence and Leadership

We will create opportunities for people to tell their stories in a safe way that is inclusive of culture, gender, and youth. This includes Meet and Greet sessions and a place on our website for stories/guest blogs. We seek our mandate from the voices of our community, and support the people behind the voices into leadership opportunities.

Goal 5. Advocacy and Global Relationships

We advance the issues relevant to deafblind to service providers, ministers and senior officials, government agencies, and other stakeholders. We draw on the support of our Patron, Hon Ruth Dyson, and our working relationship with organisations in the Blind Sector, Ministry of Health Consumer Consortium, Blind Low Vision Education Network NZ and the Blind Education Sector Forum, Health Quality Safety Commission, NZ Relay Services, and the pan-disability sector. We actively contribute to the global conversation on deafblindness through regular contact, memberships, and attendance at conferences nationally and internationally, staying current within the 3-year period of this strategy. We will send feedback regularly to our community to support informed decision-making.

Goal 6. Sustainability

We grow our funding streams to build peer-to-peer support and in particular gatherings that are critical for our community to share their stories, experiences, challenges, solutions, participation, and leadership skills. Emotionally and physically safe travel and meeting places are non-negotiable in sustaining groups. A national Deafblind gathering becomes an annual event.

The Board is transparent in its decisions, stays focused on its priorities, meets the obligations of the charity, demonstrates effective leadership, shows foresight with respect to risk management, effectively balances its paid and voluntary capacity, has succession planning always on the table with an induction programme for new Board Members, embraces governance upskilling opportunities and self-appraisal, behaves ethically at all times, and is accountable to the deafblind community and funders.

The Executive Officer has skills, knowledge, and experience relevant to the deafblind community and their issues, behaves at all times in a way that upholds and enhances the reputation of the organisation, and recognises that Aotearoa NZ is a small place with a lot of overlapping interests and relationships.  

Our work is informed by the following overarching strategies:

  • Te Whakapuakitanga o te Rūnanga Whakakotahi i Ngā Iwi o te Ao mō Ngā Tika o Te Hunga Hauā – United Nations Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
  • Ngā Whāinga Whanaketanga Toitū – Sustainable Development Goals
  • New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026
  • Te Mahere Mahi Hauātanga  New Zealand Disability Action Plan 2019-2022
  • He Korowai Oranga – Māori Health Strategy
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi – The Treaty of Waitangi

About Us

The Deafblind Association NZ was established as a charitable trust in 2014. Deafblind Association NZ is a not-for-profit organisation and receives no funding from central government.

There is much to do in raising awareness of what dual sensory loss means. We recognise deafblindness as a distinct disability. We are inspired by the need for deafblind to have an improved connection with their communities – geographical, online, individual, local, national, and international. Though communication can be a challenge, we are fostering healthy, accessible engagement between deafblind, their whānau, service providers, funders, non-government organisations, and local and national government. We are committed to ethical practice, empathy, respect, and genuine consultation. Fostering relationships through active participation is front and centre to what we do.

 “You will only not have your mana if you let people take it away from you” (Hanly, 2015).

Be seen, be heard, be connected!

Contact Details:

•   Phone, text, or WhatsApp: 0800 450650

•   Email:

•   TIS: 0800 36 33 44 option 5 3 1

•   Website: