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Disability Allowances Insufficient

Royal New Zealand Foundation For The Blind Says Disability Allowances Insufficient To Meet The True Cost Of Blindness

Finding ways to meet the need for equipment and services for blind and sight-impaired New Zealanders is a funding issue the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind (RNZFB) has to deal with every day.

Consequently, in relation to blindness, the organisation challenges the Wellington Downtown Community Mission's belief stated earlier today that many people aren't aware they could be eligible for a disability allowance.

RNZFB Chief Executive Jane Holden says that RNZFB staff work alongside members to explore other avenues of funding and to maximise any allowances they are eligible for, so that members can get access to the specialised equipment they need for tertiary education and employment.

"We have a good overview of the blind and sight-impaired population in NZ and what we see 99% of the time is that blind New Zealanders use their allowances to the maximum.

"But what they are eligible for by no means meets the true cost of their blindness, because the cost of blindness is very high. Understanding the extent of the cost is an area where a great deal of work still needs to be done.

"So the problem lies with the insufficient funding available, rather than lack of awareness about disability allowances.

"As an organisation committed to providing support and services to the blind and sight-impaired community in New Zealand we do the best that we can - but blindness needs more government support."

-ends-

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