Weekly update: 14 April 2023

Kia ora tatou,

Hello to all of us,

Sarah and I hope you had a great long weekend and ate all the chocolate appropriate to want and need! While we took a break the rest of the world moved on and so there are many interesting snippets and links this week. I was most interested in the changes you will see below to Jonathan Mosen’s podcast. Please take time to give it a good read because he is a rich source of information for so many things we can’t hope to cover. Thanks to Jeanie on the Blind Discuss List hosted by Blind Citizens NZ for passing this on. I am also intending to respond to the survey in respect of Disability Support Services. I do hope you all have time to input into this because it is our voices that will make the change and I certainly have some suggestions for them!

Now that seminar rush is over we are looking at reconvening some of our peer to peer network gatherings. I’m connecting with Auckland, Nelson, and Invercargill this week. A few people in Invercargill are saying it is hard to locate others who are deafblind. This is an opportunity then to unpick that a little more. Deafblind is just one word some of us use. Others identify as blind hearing aid users. Some of us just know that it is hard to unpick our environmental clues because we can’t quite see and hear what is going on and we start to disengage a bit. If you are receiving this email then you already know about that however we ask you to reach out to others you know who may not know yet they can be part of a gathering and community connection. If you are in Invercargill particularly, or indeed anywhere else in the country, and know someone who has vision impairment and hearing aids then invite them to get connected to your growing group and let me know so I can help. Some years ago I was at a conference and Dave Wilson said to me, “That fella over there is wearing hearing aids”.

“I’ll go and have a chat then”, I said. And that’s how it started with Don McKenzie coming onto the Board. Little did I know then I had a tiger by the tail! We keep encouraging Deafblind Coordinators, Blind Low Vision NZ, to mention us and some of them are very, very good at sending on referrals. This is extremely helpful for all of us in getting connected and also supports protecting privacy because individual’s are approached for consent to have their details passed on. . After all, when we talk about Be Seen Be Heard Be Connected we are not talking about a database, we are talking about people seeing each other, listening to each other, and enriching our connections. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata! It’s people, it’s people, it’s people.


Living Blindfully podcast by Jonathan Mosen

This update came from Jeanie Wills on the Blind Discuss List.

Hi all,

Just in case any of you haven’t heard Jonathan Mosen’s podcast Mosen at Large has just had a big revamp, new website and will be utilising some audio editing and admin skills out sourced from within the blind community to take the load off Jonathan and make this sustainable long term as it now has a very large international following.

Here is the blurb from the new website front page.

Living Blindfully is the podcast devoted to helping you live your best life with blindness or low vision.

Sight is a highly dominant sense. If you have it, naturally you’ll use it for a lot of things. But if you don’t have it, or you don’t have as much sight as you used to, it’s still possible to live a rich, full life. This podcast is all about how it’s done.

We discuss tips and tricks, but we frankly discuss the barriers too, ranging from attitudinal barriers to accessibility barriers and more.

You’ll hear plenty about technology on Living Blindfully, because when blind people have the skills to use it and when the tech is behaving itself, it’s key to functional and economic independence. Whether it’s a tech question from our community, a handy tip about getting the most from your screen reader, a demonstration of a cool new app for your smartphone, or discussion about a serious accessibility issue that is causing problems, you’ll learn about it on Living Blindfully. We geek out sometimes, but we always make a point of bringing people along for the ride and making sense of it all.

But technology is simply a tool to help us live blindfully, so our podcast discusses much more. The topics on each episode vary a lot, but it’s not uncommon to hear discussion about travel, cooking, relationships, self-care, sleep, history and even politics. After all, blind people have as diverse a mix of interests and opinions as anyone else.

While we welcome sighted allies and family members who have an interest in what blind people are thinking and talking about, Living Blindfully is unapologetically for blind people, by blind people. There are other great places to go to learn about how blind people do what we do. But there are few places that proudly cater to the blind community. So, if you’re not blind but you’re interested in an unfiltered discussion about what’s occupying the blind community, you’ve come to the right place and you’re very welcome.

Jonathan Mosen is the host and facilitator of Living Blindfully, and often conducts interviews and produces product demonstrations. But you’ll also hear from our engaged community of listeners who share their thoughts in writing and in audio. You’re very welcome to contribute on anything you hear during the show, or something new that’s on your mind.

(End Copy)

You can find the new website at ww.livingblindfully.com

All back episodes of Mosen at Large as well as the new episodes can be listened to on the website.

They have a player that works well with windows on the site.

There is a search where you can look up episodes by topic

Episodes are also downloadable as an mp3.

All Episodes are Chapter indexed, but you will need to arrow onto the time code after the chapter heading and press enter to jump to it as they aren’t showing up as links.

You can also go straight to an episode by typing the address followed by the episode number into your browsers address bar. So for the episode launching this new concept and podcast – episode 223 – go to:


Jonathan has set up a whole bunch of ways that you can interact with this podcast on Mastodon. I won’t even begin to try and explain those. But I did glean that you can pick and choose which bits of it come through onto your feed and it has its own .social address. See the website for more info.

He is also looking for some appropriate advertising partners of things that are both useful and appropriate to this podcasts followers and is also starting a donation/subscription option that gives access to new episodes 72 hours ahead of the public launch. He is committed to all people having access to all the podcast material regardless of subscription but does need to find ways to fund some of the out sourcing of work as it is too much to continue long term doing all of this himself and a full time CEO job. So if you want to consider a small monthly subscription go to the link below:


Most importantly though, if you follow Mosen at Large on any podcast app you shouldn’t need to do anything. It will just rebrand and except for a few new quirky Jonathan style jingles with the new name not much will change. The Tech demos are amazing! In the last two weeks alone he has interviewed the developers of the Optima Braille computer and had input into their design, and done a demo of the new collaboration of Be My Eyes with Chat GPT. If you haven’t seen this, it is almost unbelievable, it really is a game changer with how much info it can give from a picture and how it can interact with your questions about it such as what is in a room and where, what is on food packaging, in some instances I think better than a sighted volunteer in describing a diagram for example. To listen to this episode go to:


If you want to give feedback to the show the e-mail address is now:


Phone numbers to call in record a message are unchanged or you can send your voice clip to the feedback e-mail address.

Happy Listening!



From Stats NZ: An update on the census for the disability sector

We are pleased to report that over 4.1 million people have now completed and returned their census Individual Form. Most people are completing the census online (83 percent), while 17 percent of the returns have been on a paper form.

We have had positive feedback about the performance and accessibility of the online census form and the range of formats that have been made available to help disabled people take part.

There is still time to complete the census.

We are currently working on updating the information we have available in alternate formats to let disabled people know what to do now that Census Day has passed.

Easy Read information in English is available as a word document at the following link.

StatsNZ Still Time (DOCX 7.3 MB)

Census Day was Tuesday 7 March 2023 but you can still complete the census after this date. When people complete their census forms, they just fill them out for where they were on 7 March.

Census collectors are visiting households to follow up with people who have not yet completed their census forms and to offer support. Collectors will be in communities offering support until 3 May in most areas, and until 1 June in cyclone-affected areas.

People do not need to wait for a census collector to visit. They can complete the census online using any access code provided to their household, or by requesting a new access code through the website.


Alternatively, people can call 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) for help or to request information in Audio, Braille, Large Print or Easy Read. The census helpline is open from 8am – 5pm, 7 days a week until 30 June.

A reminder letter will be mailed to some households this week. Some people may have already completed their census forms by the time the letter arrives. If they have already done the census, they do not need to do anything else and can ignore the letter.

For people in areas impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, there will be more time and support to do the census. We are working together with iwi leaders and community groups to help people to take part in the census when they are ready.

This means:

  • communities will be involved in planning the census approach in their area
  • there will be more community locations and events that people can go to for help
  • people will have guidance on how to fill out their census forms if they have had to leave their homes
  • census collectors will be in affected areas offering help until 1 June 2023
  • we will revise the prosecution process for people affected by Cyclone Gabrielle who have been unable to complete the census.

Feedback received from disabled people

Some people have told us they are worried about being prosecuted or fined for not doing their census by 7 March. Fines are sometimes given to people who do not fill in their census, because it is a legal requirement. But this is the last thing we want to do. We want everyone to be counted in the 2023 Census and are working hard to provide the support and assurance that they need.

We have noted some general feedback from disabled people about the confusing language used in the census. Concerns that neurodiversity is not represented have also been raised. These concerns have been shared with the relevant teams at Stats NZ.

Thank you all for your continued support for the 2023 Census. We would like to acknowledge the support received from Disabled People’s Organisations, particularly Deaf Aotearoa, Blind Citizens NZ, and People First who have contributed to the development of our accessibility approach.

If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback to our census team, please get in touch by emailing:



Research into disabled people’s experiences of supports and services – focus group invite

A reminder about this came through the Blind Discuss List, from Martine Abel-Williamson.

The Donald Beasley Institute (DBI) has been commissioned by the Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO) Coalition to conduct a research project called “My Experiences, My Rights: Supports and Services”.

Donald Beasley Institute (DBI)

Currently, the disability sector in Aotearoa New Zealand is undergoing big changes. It is important to capture disabled people’s voices throughout these transitions and transformations.

This research project aims to document disabled people’s experiences of the disability supports and services they have received or want to receive, and identify areas where improvements are needed.

In this phase of the research DBI are hosting a range of focus groups, to understand the supports and services experiences of specific groups within the disability community. For example, different types of funding and services.

Focus group invite from DBI

Alternate formats: This invite is available inTe Reo Māori, NZSL, Easy Read, audio, Large Print, and Braille upon request) by scrolling down on the following.

DBI: Disabled Person-Led Monitoring of the UNCRPD

He tono tēnei ki a koe ki te hono mai ki tēnei kaupapa; he rakahau e pā ana ki kā rōpū tautoko i te huka whaikaha me kā wheako hoki o aua tākata whaikaha huri noa i Aotearoa.

You are invited to take part in a study about disabled people’s experiences of supports and services in Aotearoa New Zealand.

He aha te kaupapa o taua nei rakahau?

What is this research about?

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the Government provides disabled people with supports and services that ensure their human rights can be met in a full and meaningful way. But sometimes disabled people don’t receive the supports and services they need. And sometimes they miss out altogether.

This research is part of the Disabled Person-Led Monitoring of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Mā wai e whakauru?

Who can participate in this research?

In this part of this research we want to talk to disabled people with a range of different support and service experiences, as well as family, whānau, aiga and close supporters. We want to know what disabled people think and feel about existing supports and services, changes to the disability support system, Whaikaha – the new Ministry of Disabled People, and how these changes are meeting disabled people’s rights under the Convention.

Mē pēhea au i whakatapoko i taua nei kaupapa?

What do I do if I want to register my interest?

If you are interested in taking part in this study and would like to know more, you can contact the research team at the Donald Beasley Institute. We will send you more information so you can decide if you want to register your interest or not.

Umi Asaka (Paewai Rakahau/Junior Research Fellow)

Waea / Free phone: 0800 878 839

Īmēra / Email: uasaka@donaldbeasley.org.nz

Website: www.donaldbeasley.org.nz

Wāhi Mahi / Postal Address:

Suite 4, Level 2
248 Cumberland Street
Dunedin 9016, New Zealand


Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency Project

This opportunity came to us via the Health Quality and Safety Commission

Kia ora

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.

Te Aho o Te Kahu: Disability and cancer project

Ngā mihi

Giselle and Nicole


75 years of improving public health: World Health Day 2023

On 7 April 2023 – World Health Day – the World Health Organization observed its 75th anniversary.

In 1948, countries of the world came together and founded WHO to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being.

According to the latest Stats NZ figures, the median person today lives about 13 years longer than they would have 75 years ago.

In 1948, the median male lived to about 67, and a female to 69. In 2019, this had risen to 78 years for males and 83 years for females.

The WHO website includes a page on advancing health equity for persons with disabilities, which is available at the following link.

WHO 75 and disability


East Wind No. 34, April 2023

The latest issue of East Wind, the newsletter of the World Blind Union Asia Pacific Region, has come to us via Mary Schnackenburg at AI Comms and is available as a word document at the following link.

East Wind Newsletter April (DOCX 42 KB)


DPA’s Information Exchange 10 April

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

Information Exchange 10 April


Disability Connect Update

The latest issue with information on upcoming Planning for Adulthood and Education Legal Issues Webinars can be accessed in your browser at the following link:

Upcoming Webinars – Planning for Adulthood and Education Legal Issues (mailerlite.com)


Family Violence and Sexual Violence April Update

The following is a link to the newsletter in your browser.

MSD April Update


April Newsletter from the Office for Seniors

This is available in your browser at the following link.

Seniors Newsletter for April

As usual, event reminders and TellMe phone numbers follow.

Ngā mihi mahana,
Warm regards,
Amanda and Sarah


Event reminders

Auckland , 25 April Audio description of the ANZAC Dawn Service for blind, Deafblind and low vision attendees.

Booking is essential, by 4pm on Monday 17 April 2023. Details provided in 17 March update.

Other audio described events in Auckland were also listed in the 17 March update – Auckland Art Gallery Exhibition Light from Tate: 1700s to Now 1 April; The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch by Ronda and David Armitage, various dates and the Musical “Hamilton” 10 June.

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. A link to the event in your browser follows.

More information about “Who can think, what can think” exhibition (Auckland Arts Festival)

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

Sydney, Sunday, 7 May – Tuesday, 9 May 2023

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 to 15 April 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.



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