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Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand


Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand

MINISTER FOR DISABILITY ISSUES AND THE BLIND COLLABORATE TO EDUCATE PEOPLE ABOUT BLINDNESS

Minister for Disability Issues, Hon Ruth Dyson, is hosting the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand’s (Association) informational function for Members of Parliament and other community leaders at the Beehive on Tuesday afternoon. This is the culminating event of the Association’s annual legislative event, the Wellington Seminar.

“We’ve come to Wellington to educate politicians, policy makers, and other private industry leaders about issues of crucial importance to the blind and vision-impaired community”, said Mrs Carolyn Weston, National President of the Association.

This year the Association is profiling the potential development of a National Learning Support Network for the education of blind and vision-impaired learners throughout the country. Once established, this national entity promises to offer a single point of administration and employment of the specialist Resource Teachers Vision (RTVs) who facilitate the day-to-day specialist instruction for learners with all degrees of vision loss. As currently envisioned, this national resource will effectively integrate services offered through neighbourhood schools and will also boast a state-of-the-art base campus with innovative residential programmes for students, parents, and professionals.

Mrs Weston said, “blind and vision-impaired consumers naturally have an abiding interest in ensuring that a quality education is made available to today’s blind and vision-impaired youth as they will be tomorrow’s blind and vision-impaired adults. We want to pave the way for blind and vision-impaired children so that they can enjoy greater opportunity than we have collectively known.”

The Association is also focusing on issues of accessibility to telecommunication providers, especially the newly released technology which renders mobile phones usable by blind and vision-impaired consumers through synthesised speech loaded on each individual unit. “We’re able to be much more independent with software for mobile phones such as Talks, and we’re hoping to make it known to the telecommunications industry that this advance will have a dramatically positive impact on our ability to take advantage of mobile products”, said Mrs Weston.

Mrs Weston concluded, “the Association thanks the Minister for Disability issues, Hon Ruth Dyson for her support in helping us to give public exposure to these vital issues of the day.”

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