Daily Living Skills

What our people say

“Even simple things like putting toothpaste on a toothbrush. There are a lot of people that I work with that want to give up life. And I say, this is a great life that we can have. We don’t have to end our life because we lost our sight. Of course it’s difficult, but we can do things with our eyes closed.” – Fatima Akehurst

At home

Vision loss can present particular challenges when you are at home. It could be that after relying on your sense of sight for most of your life, you discover that you now require adaptations to manage your everyday life.

To help you live independently at home, our team provides tips, techniques and information about useful products and skills that can help you accomplish a wide range of everyday tasks, including home modifications, kitchen adaptations and household organisation. Whatever your goals, we can help you achieve those safely and effectively.

If you’d like Adaptive Daily Living tuition, or for more information, please get in touch on 0800 24 33 33 or email generalenquiries@blindlowvision.org.nz

Staying in touch with the world

If you’re needing help to continue to read and write, pay your bills, manage your money or access information, rest assured we have specialised equipment and courses that can make all the difference in managing your life when you are blind or have low vision. They can allow you to stay in touch with the world – and participate in it. There are a number of options that might help you complete these tasks, depending on your specific needs.

Low vision magnifiers

Low vision magnifiers can be small enough to fit into your pocket or purse. There are also larger models, known as video magnifiers, for reading books, newspapers, and other information in front of you.

Electronic voice organisers

These are today’s version of the tape recorder, which are useful for taking notes and can fit in your pocket or handbag.

Learning braille

Like any new skill, braille takes time to learn. On average it takes about four months to learn the uncontracted version and up to two years for contracted. But once you’ve picked it up, you’ve got it for life.

We have programmes for both uncontracted and contracted braille – so you can use what suits you best. Our Keeping In Touch (KIT) programme teaches the uncontracted code, while Simply Touch and Read (STAR) covers the contracted version.

If you already use Blind Low Vision NZ services and want to learn braille, please get in touch on 0800 24 33 33 or braille@blindlowvision.org.nz for basic materials to get you started.

For sighted people wanting to learn, you might enjoy the free online braille course offered by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children’s Renwick Centre in Australia. You can also contact Blind Low Vision NZ on 0800 24 33 33 or braille@blindlowvision.org.nz. The Renwick Centre also offers a course in braille for vision impaired learners- find out more about the Renwick Centre braille course for the vision impaired.

Blind or sighted, to gain certification, you can take the Trans-Tasman Certificate of Proficiency in Unified English Braille.

Blind Low Vision NZ’s STAR programme is also available for people and organisations outside of New Zealand. Simply phone +64 9 355 6562 or email afprequests@blindlowvision.org.nz to find out about options and prices.


Young children can learn to read braille in the same way they might learn to read print. Most blind children and those with low vision will be taught the tool by a vision resource teacher through the Ministry of Education. They will use the same books as their sighted classmates, but their books will be in braille.

Blind Low Vision NZ’s Accessible Formats Service produces a lot of those books.


Blind Low Vision NZ only offers our full braille teaching service to Kiwis who are eligible to use our services. People who are eligible can learn the code free of charge.

Blind Low Vision NZ’s STAR programme is also available for people and organisations outside of New Zealand. Simply phone +64 9 355 6562 or email afprequests@blindfoundation.org.nz  to find out about options and prices.

Braille resources

Blind Low Vision NZ has a fantastic activity book: Connect the Dots. It’s a resource to teach people of all ages some braille basics. You can download Connect the Dots (pdf). To order printed copies you can get in touch with us on 0800 24 33 33 or braille@blindlowvision.org.nz.