Counselling

Working with a counsellor can be one of the best ways to support you and your family and to help you manage the impact of sight loss with dignity and self-respect.

First and foremost, our counsellors listen. They then work with you to explore your feelings and concerns in a safe and respectful environment. Confidentiality is a big part of our relationship with you and is respected at all times.

If it is your child or teenager who is struggling with their vision, the Blind & Low Vision NZ offers counselling support with Child and Family Social Workers / Counsellors. They can help by working directly with your child, or giving you the skills and confidence you need to support them.

Your counsellor can visit you in your home, or you can visit one of our offices, whichever works best for you.

If you would like more information, just call our team on 0800 24 33 33 or email generalenquiries@blindlowvision.org.nz.

Support carers, friends and family

The Blind & Low Vision NZ doesn’t just offer support to people who are blind or low vision. We also have services available to help whānau, friends and family adjust to their loved one’s new situation. Find out more below.

Telefriend

Telefriend is our daily phone service, open to both members and supporters. It is run by people who are blind or have low vision themselves, who have worked with and through it over the years. It’s a great source of advice and support. Once your loved one connects with someone on Telefriend, that person will often connect with you as well. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions and get advice on how you can best support your friend or family member.

You can call Telefriend on 0800 100 051 from 1-4pm, Monday to Friday. Outside these hours, you can leave a message and we will call you back. We’d love to hear from you!

Eye health

If you want to understand more about your loved one’s eye condition, visit our Eye Health section to learn about eye conditions.

New Members groups

When we run New Member Groups, we also invite support people along. These are a good opportunity to meet other people in a similar situation. Contact your local Needs Assessor to find out more about groups in your area.

Financial help

Depending on what’s happening, either you or your friend or family member who is blind/low vision can access different types of financial support.

You can find out about some of the funds the Blind & Low Vision NZ administers to support our clients by visiting our Financial Assistance page.

To find out about support such as

  • New Zealand Superannuation,
  • The Supported Living Payment,
  • Accommodation Supplements,
  • Disability Allowances,
  • Community Services Card,

Talk to either Work and Income, or if the person is aged 65 or over, talk to Senior Services. They will be able to help you work out what you and the person you’re supporting could be eligible for.

Visit the Senior Services website or call them on 0800 552 002.
Visit the Work and Income website or call them on 0800 559 009.

There are also several services for people who are blind or low vision funded by Enable New Zealand. You can learn more about them by visiting www.disabilityfunding.co.nz.

Travel help

Your friend or family member may also be eligible for National Travel Assistance Scheme for Health or Disability Services, which helps with travel and accommodation costs. To find out more about this, visit health.govt.nz and select Your Health – Travel Assistance or call 0800 281 222.

They may also be able to get help from the Total Mobility Scheme, You can find out more at nzta.govt.nz (search for Total Mobility), or by talking to Auckland Transport or your regional council’s Total Mobility Co-ordinator.

External agencies

If you want more advice and support, you may like to contact the following agencies who specifically help carers.

Visit the Carers NZ website
Visit the Lifeline website

Library help

As our library service grows, we understand the need for more training and support resources. As well as the user manuals that are provided when people join the library, we are currently creating new online resources to help support family, friends and volunteers.

For more information, contact the library on library@blindlowvision.org.nz or call 0800 24 33 33.