Foun­da­tion opens doors

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTERS

The Blind Foun­da­tion will hold its first ‘‘pop-up’’ open day at Balclutha next week.

The pub­lic are in­vited to find out more about what the Blind Foun­da­tion does, and how it can sup­port peo­ple in South Otago at the event, on Tues­day.

It will in­clude free in­for­ma­tion ses­sions on how peo­ple who have low vi­sion or are blind can keep read­ing by us­ing tools and tech­nol­ogy.

Blind Foun­da­tion na­tional cus­tomer ser­vice and ad­vice man­ager Denise Kitto said Balclutha would be the third pop-up event held as part of a plan to boost con­nec­tions with peo­ple in places with­out a Blind Foun­da­tion of­fice.

‘‘The pop-ups are a new way for any­one cu­ri­ous about what we do to come by, have a cuppa on us and find out how we help peo­ple ad­just to de­te­ri­o­rat­ing vi­sion so they can get on with liv­ing the life they want.’’

About 1000 peo­ple in Otago use the ser­vice and 12,000 na­tion­ally. How­ever, a Blind Foun­da­tion spokesper­son es­ti­mated that about 30,000 peo­ple who were blind or had low vi­sion could be ac­cess­ing the ser­vices, so the pop-ups were be­ing held to cre­ate aware­ness.

It also pro­vides a vi­sion re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ser­vice, to help peo­ple ad­just to and make the most of liv­ing be­yond vi­sion loss.

Last year, the foun­da­tion opened two new of­fices, which brings the na­tional to­tal to 18.

It also con­tin­ues to visit peo­ple at their homes through- out New Zealand.

Peo­ple might be sur­prised to learn that al­though the or­gan­i­sa­tion has the word ‘’’blind’’ in its name, three out of ev­ery four peo­ple who use the Blind Foun­da­tion’s ser­vices are not blind, Kitto said.

‘‘You don’t need to be blind to ben­e­fit from the ser­vices we have to sup­port with vi­sion loss.’’

The open day will held from 11am to 3pm on Tues­day, June 12, at St Mark’s Angli­can Church Hall, Ren­frew St, Balclutha.

CHRIS­TEL YARD­LEY/STUFF

You don’t need to be blind to ben­e­fit from the Blind Foun­da­tion’s ser­vices, which also sup­ports vi­sion loss.

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