Introduction and Background

Blind Low Vision NZ engaged in a two-step consultation process to seek input from stakeholders to the Business Plan for the FY22 commencing 1 July 2021.

In the first stage, a series of 5 ‘Let’s Talk’ sessions were held – these sessions entailed an informal sit-down and conversation with stakeholders who attended in person or via zoom function. The sessions were held in multiple locations (Auckland, Hamilton, Nelson, Kapiti Coast and Christchurch) and the sites chosen were to represent geographically diverse locations.

Several themes emerged from Let’s Talk, and these can broadly be categorised under sub-headings that correspond with the identified four strategic priorities: Independence, Educate and Equip, Social Inclusion, and For Purpose Organisation. The submissions are grouped below within the four noted strategic priorities.

 

This Research

In the present research, stakeholders (including clients, staff, volunteers, board members, donors and consumer groups) were invited to express their opinion as to how they would rank the various themes that emerged from the Let’s Talk sessions in order of priority. Fieldwork commenced on 27th January and concluded on 18th February. Feedback was sought through two primary channels – email and telephone – the latter being necessary to reach stakeholders with perhaps no internet access or without the technical expertise or skills to negotiate an online survey.

Submissions were received and broken down as follows:

  • Telephone and Email Survey – 67%  * note this grouping includes clients, volunteers, donors.
  • Staff – 28%
  • RNZFB Board, Consumer Groups and Other – 5%

 

Results

For ease of presentation, the results are split into five sections – four sections corresponding to our four strategic priorities, and the final section will take a more broad overview. Because respondents were invited to rank their priorities, we applied the alternative vote system. The alternative vote system works as follows – the person responding puts a number by each identified priority theme. One for their favourite, two for their second favourite and so on. They could apply numbers to as many or as few as they wish. If more than half the votes identify the same priority as number one then that naturally becomes the leading priority theme, then the same is applied for the remaining themes based upon popular votes. This enabled us to derive a clear picture of where our stakeholders’ priorities lie. In each case the results are presented in tabular form, organised from the highest prioritised theme to the lowest.

 

Process Completed to Date

The RNZFB Board along with Management met on 26 February to review the feedback and group the key themes and initiatives for the formation of the FY22 Business Plan. As part of the established process the next step is to share the information we acquired through the consultation which is as follows.

 

Independence

Priority Themes

  • Focus on daily living skills outside of adaptive technology – Votes 65%
  • More adaptive technology support for clients – Votes 33%
  • Provide funding for those in need to afford technology – Votes 19%

 

Educate & Equip

Priority Themes

  • Improve communication of what services Blind Low Vision NZ offers to existing and new clients – Votes 62%
  • Emphasis on the development of emotional support programs as well as employment and deafblind services – Votes 48%
  • Emphasis on the provision of recreational programmes – Votes 16%

 

Social Inclusion

Priority Themes

  • Raising awareness of blindness and low vision among the public – Votes 71%
  • Providing information and literature in accessible formats, including the digital development of the library service – Votes 44%
  • Advocating for accessibility legislation in partnership with consumer groups – Votes 33%

 

For Purpose Organisation

Priority Themes

  • Cultivate the organisation’s overall culture to promote wellbeing with an emphasis on the established 4 values – Votes 61%
  • Emphasis on diversifying the revenue streams for Blind Low Vision NZ – Votes 41%
  • Emphasis on the continued development of Blind Low Vision NZ digital services – Votes 24%

 

Overarching Themes

Prioritised

  • Raising public awareness of Blind Low Vision NZ and eye health – Votes 58%
  • Advocacy for accessibility to local and national government – Votes 48%
  • Increased emphasis on communications – Votes 33%
  • Prudent management of the organisation’s finances and assets – Votes 23%

 

Next Steps

As described above the priority themes have been identified and grouped which align with the organisation’s four strategic priorities.

We are now providing one further opportunity for any feedback and input, particularly if you feel a glaring gap may not be addressed within the noted priority themes.

We would ask that you respond with any further submissions by end of day on Friday 9 April.

From that point a considerable effort will then be applied to transition the identified themes into specific actions and initiatives within the FY 22 Business Plan that the RNZFB Board will ultimately review and approve to take effect 1 July, 2021.

We thank you in advance for your consideration of the noted information.

Regards

Judy Small and John Mulka

Chair, RNZFB Board and Chief Executive