Contact details

This page contains general and special interest email lists, information on TIS (the telephone information service), and contact details (whether it be names, addresses, email addresses, websites or phone numbers) for a variety of blindness related groups. Blind Low Vision NZ (was previously also known as The Blind Foundation
and prior to that the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind).

Blind Low Vision NZ (BLVNZ) general information

Blind Low Vision NZ assess and offer remedial options to blind and vision impaired people within New Zealand. If you would like to keep up to date with information and communications from within the Foundation via phone, email or their website, (or simply just join a group depending on your needs), please have a look below.

Blind Low Vision NZ general inquiries
For all general inquiries, such as who to get in touch with, how to join etcetera, or to leave feedback.
phone 0800 243333

8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday
or email


Blind Low Vision NZ website
A comprehensive site featuring a variety of topics related to their services and activities.

Regional offices
A link to the website where you can find out the location and contact numbers for your local regional office.

Blindness related email lists

To sign up to specific email lists, the first step is to subscribe to a group. To do this, please send a blank email to the group you wish to subscribe to (for example if you would like to subscribe to the nvda group, send a blank email to  and then you should receive a request confirmation. To activate your subscription, just reply to the confirmation email and send it without writing anything else.

Find or create a group

The main webpage is
You can search for other groups from your group home page, or even set up a new group. Locate the link that says find or create a group, then press the Enter key on it. In the search box, type in your search query (such as "blind") then press the Enter key. It should then come up with a list of groups that may suit your search criteria. From any group page you can search for and locate other groups that you might be interested in.

Blind Low Vision library

The BLVLibrary email group is a place where we can share information and support people that use the New Zealand Blind Low Vision Library service. This group is open to members and clients of Blind Low Vision NZ and anyone who wishes to learn more and support the library service (e.g volunteers).
To subscribe send a message to:
The web page is:

Assistive Technology Interest Group (ATIG NZ)

For Blind Low Vision NZ clients to provide peer support and discuss matters relating to assistive technology.
To subscribe to the Assistive Technology Interest Group email list, send a message to
Group web page:

Microsoft Office Accessibility Discussion Group

A discussion group for those using Microsoft Office with assistive technologies such as screen readers, and magnification programmes.
To subscribe send an email to:
The web page is:


NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is screen reader software for the Windows operating system.  The central purpose of this group is discussing how to use NVDA.
To subscribe send an email to:
Group web page

New Zealand Blind Hearing Aid Chat

For blind New Zealanders to discuss issues relating to all aspects of the hearing aid experience.
To subscribe send an email to:

The web page is:

Out of sight cooks

A group for blind people wishing to discuss all things related to cooking (eg. discussing favourite recipes or the value of certain cooking equipment and so on).
To subscribe send an email to:
The web page is

NZ VI chat

A group for blind and vision impaired New Zealander's to discuss general eyesight related topics.
This is for topics about and relating to blind folks and blind issues, which don't really fit on other lists.
To subscribe send an email to:

Video Without Pictures

A group for blind New Zealander's to discuss all things TV, Movie & Music.  Including associated tech, accessibility issues, new releases, audio description, favourite bands and the ongoing saga of Star Trek vs Star Wars.
To subscribe send an email to:
The web page is

NZ blind gardeners

An NZ list for blind gardeners
To subscribe send a message to:
The web page is:

A group for blind & partially sighted musicians, music teachers and students who use braille music or any form of adaptive tech to read and write music.  With a particular focus on resourcing teachers and students.

This is an English speaking group.

To subscribe send a message to:

To find out more about this group, please go to the following link at

iPhone User Group

For Blind Low Vision NZ clients who have questions about using an iPhone, or can offer advice to other iPhone users.
To subscribe to the iPhone user group email list, send a message to:
Web page:

Other special interest e-mail lists

These special interest email groups below are owned and moderated by people outside of Blind Low Vision NZ. Please note: we are not responsible for the content or comments made in these groups and they do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blind Low Vision NZ.

Blind Citizens NZ (Blind Discuss List)

For people wanting to discuss matters of interest to blind people in New Zealand.
To subscribe to the Blind Citizens NZ Blind Discuss email list send a message to:
Web page:

Blind Citizens NZ (International List)

For people wanting to discuss matters of an international flavour, mostly World Blind Union related.
To subscribe to the Blind Citizens NZ International email list send a message to:
Web page:

Blind Citizens Member Forum

A group for members of Blind Citizens NZ to privately discuss topics affecting the blind community.
To subscribe send a message to:

E-mail address:

Blind Citizens Braille Network

A group for blind New Zealanders who are interested in being involved with and ensuring the ongoing use of Braille and its associated support services.

To subscribe send a message to:

NZ Braille

For issues to do with braille as it is used in New Zealand.
To subscribe to the NZ Braille email list send a message to:

Deafblind Association NZ

For people wanting to discuss matters of interest to Deafblind people in NZ.
To subscribe to the Deafblind Association NZ email list send a message to:
Web page:

ATUG (accessible technology group)

This is a list for Aussies and Kiwi's to discuss accessible technology from washing machines to pc's.
To subscribe send an email to:


A list for Aussies and Kiwi's to discuss anything Apple related.
To subscribe send an email to:

Only Apple Talk & Support

A group to talk about and support only Apple products.  All IOS, TVOS WatchOS, MacOS  as well as the hardware to go with it...  iPad, iPhone, AppleTV, appleWatch, Mac's and iPodTouch.
This group is for anyone using the above listed software and hardware from beginners through to experienced users.

For Apple products ONLY!!!
To subscribe send an email to:

Mac VoiceOver beginners

This group is for Blind VoiceOver users who are still learning to use the Mac.  Whether you are starting out with a Mac as your first computer or whether you are a Windows switcher, you are welcome here. We will share information, tips, pointers, and encouragement.
To subscribe send an email

Mozilla Thunderbird

A group for blind users of the Mozilla Thunderbird email client.

To subscribe send an email to:

Contact E-mail:

To visit the website please go to


This is one of the many blind Android lists.
Its unmoderated for the most part.
To subscribe send an email to:

Blind gamer's discussion list

This is a list where all gaming topics are welcome. The primary goal of the list is discussing games accessible to the blind and visually impaired.
If you are looking for the latest news in accessible gaming, tips and tricks on that favorite game, or you simply want to know what is out there then this is the right place.

To subscribe send a message to:
Web page:


A group for discussing all things Thunderbird, such as questions on how to use some of its features, add-ons etcetera. 

To subscribe send a message to:

E-mail address:


The telephone information service (also known as TIS) and how to join

The telephone information service (TIS) enables BLVNZ members to listen to a variety of recorded information via their touch-tone phone. (For example you may want to know what is on TV, hear what is happening within BLVNZ, or leave a message via a discussion group).

If you would like to listen to TIS, dial the TIS number for your local area, or the 0800 36 33 44 number, and listen to see what information is available. There may be some options (such as TV and radio schedules) that are available to members who register and get a user number and pin number. To join TIS and get access to extra information which requires a user number and pin number, phone 0800 24 33 33 and ask to have access to the telephone information service. A staff member will then assist you. Only people registered with BLVNZ as members may use TIS.  When you have contacted the Foundation to join up to TIS, you will be asked for a 7 digit user identification number. This will be your phone number usually (as it is the easiest to remember) and is only used on some menu options.  You will also be asked for a 5 digit personal identification number; you should make this a number you can easily remember.

Once registered, simply dial into the TIS number nearest you and press the corresponding numbers for the information that you want to hear.

If you do not require the extra functionality (such as being able to listen to TV and radio schedules), you can simply ring in and listen to a variety of general information.  Menus are read out three times. If you miss hearing the first announcement, you will get another two chances before it will disconnect you! If you do not make a selection after the third announcement, the service will assume you have left the phone unattended and the call will be disconnected.

  Navigating the TIS menu's bulletins using your phone's numeric keypad

 You can use the following keys on your phone while listening to a bulletin:
 0 - Stops and returns you to the previous menu
 1 - Goes back to the previous segment
 3 - Goes forward to the next segment
 8 - Pauses for 1 minute
 # - Help

Contact numbers for TIS around New Zealand

You can call in and listen to TIS from anywhere around the country:
New local free phone TIS numbers are as follows:
Whangarei: 09 929 9099
Tauranga: 07 929 6199
Gisborne: 06 929 1033
Wanganui: 06 348 4403
New Plymouth: 06 929 3088
Nelson: 03 929 5033
All other existing local TIS numbers remain the same as follows:
Auckland 09 302 3344
Hamilton 07 834 2288
Napier-Hastings 06 835 9136
Palmerston North 06 354 8316
Wellington 04 389 3858
Christchurch 03 355 8381
Timaru 03 688 6921
Oamaru 03 433 1026
Dunedin 03 455 8833
Balclutha 03 418 3332
Gore 03 203 3001
Invercargill 03 218 6470

For locations outside of these areas, please phone: 0800 36 33 44 Please note, that not all options will be available on the 0800 nationwide number. Please also note that as information becomes updated, numbers for various options may be added or removed.

Some useful options available on the TIS (telephone information service) are:

Option 1 Library and telephone information service news
Option 2 Radio and television schedules
Option 3 Blind Foundation news and information
Option 4 Regional menus
Option 5 Blind community groups
Option 6 Community information
Option 7 Government information
Option 8 Commercial services
Option 9 Newspapers
Not all options are available from the toll free number.


(Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand)
The ABCNZ is a social group who actively advocate on behalf of blind and vision impaired people across New Zealand. Some of their achievements include pushing for accessible talking ATM's, and advocating for audio description on NZ television. As well as advocacy, the ABCNZ provide social events for their members.

ABCNZ general enquiries via phone
(For all general enquiries, such as who to get in touch with or how to join etcetera)
0800 222 694

ABCNZ nationwide feedback line
(This is a number that you can dial into to leave vision or ABCNZ related feedback for others to listen to).
0800 363 344 option 5 option 1 option 1

ABCNZ website

You will receive a reply very quickly from Yahoo asking if you meant to try to subscribe. The simplest action to take is to hit reply and send, without doing any editing. If that works, your request goes to the list owner and moderator for approval.

NZ blindness, disability and support organisations websites

Achieve: A network established to ensure equal opportunity and access to post-secondary education and training for people with impairments. It can be found at Phone: (0800) 80 80 98.

Age Concern NZ Inc: Age related issues. It can be found at Phone: (04) 801 9338.

Albinism Trust: Support and information on topics related to albinism (such as eyesight, skincare, mobility, and education etcetera). It can be found at Email:

Deafblind NZ: Support group for over 18 years deaf and blind members. It can be found at
Phone (09)  524 8598.

Diabetes NZ: Issues relating to diabetes. It can be found at Phone: (0800) 369 636.

DPA NZ Inc (Disabled Persons Assembly): Information and support for issues related to persons with a disability. It can be found at Phone: (04) 801 9100.

Glaucoma NZ: Support groups, research and information for people affected by glaucoma. It can be found at Phone: (0800) 452 826.

Health and Disability Advocacy (Health and Disability Commissioner): A variety of information related to health and advocacy. It can be found at Phone: (0800) 11 22 33.

Macular Degeneration New Zealand: Macular Degeneration awareness, education, support and research. It can be found at Phone (0800) 622 852.

Ngāti Kāpō o Aotearoa: A national Maori kapo (blindness) education, advocacy and support group which is open to all. It can be found at Phone: (0800) 770 990.

NZ VIEW (New Zealand Visually Impaired Empowering Women): A support group for blind and partially sighted women, promoting independence, self worth and dignity. Email: Please contact Ailsa Morgan, National Administrator Phone:
(07) 348 2765.

Parents of Vision Impaired NZ: A support group for parents of vision impaired children of all ages. It can be found at Phone: (07) 839 4205.

Retina New Zealand Inc: Research into causes and treatments, information and support. It can be found at Phone: (0800) 233 833.

Support and Education for Youth, their Families and their Friends (SEYFF): A support group for 17 to 30 year olds. Please contact Donna McCaskill, Secretary Phone: (09) 355 6900 or 021 02354395 Email:

FIRSTPORT: A New Zealand website covering information, advice, support and equipment relating to disability in New Zealand. Phone (0800) 171 981.

NZ sports organisations

Sport NZ: The Sport New Zealand website can be found at Phone: (04) 472 8058.

NZ Riding for the Disabled Assn Inc: Horse riding for the disabled. It can be found at Phone: (04) 234 6090.

Blind Sailing: Blind sailing opportunities care of the Royal NZ Yacht squadron. It can be found at Phone: (09) 360 6804 or via the RNZFB on 0800 243333.

Blind Sport New Zealand: A variety of sports at national and international level for blind and VIP members. It can be found at Phone (09) 930 1579.

Taranaki region contact details

New Plymouth Blind Low Vision NZ regional office
Physical address: RNZFB rooms, 131 Vivian Street, New Plymouth 4310
Mailing address: PO Box 178, Taranaki Mail Centre, New Plymouth 4340
: (06) 759 1169

Listed below are contact details for various groups operating within the Taranaki region, as well as contact details for Blind Low Vision NZ staff who service the Taranaki area. Whether you are a blind member looking to join a particular group, or a sighted friend or family member looking to meet up with others, please feel free to contact these groups to find out more.

Getting a referral for assistance

In order to be referred to Blind Low Vision NZ staff, you will need to make contact via our New Plymouth office and be referred to the appropriate person as needed.
Please call (06) 759 1169 between Monday and Friday from 9am to 12pm.

Outside of these hours, please call (0800) 24 33 33.

The New Plymouth office can also put you onto an email list so that you keep up to date with events in your region.