Support for blind amid COVID-19 lockdown

Photo: File.

Blind Low Vision NZ is working collaboratively to ensure no one is left behind during COVID-19 lockdown

They are uniting with blind, low vision, deafblind and other organisations to ensure Kiwis living with sight loss have access to the essentials during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Access to essential services such as the supermarket and the pharmacies is a particular concern for people who are blind or have low vision,” says Blind Low Vision NZ chief executive John Mulka.

“While people with an access need can use public transport, Taxis and Uber’s Ride sharing app to get to an essential service, many eye conditions develop later in life and those over 70 have been asked to remain at home to limit their risk of contracting COVID-19.

Blind Low Vision NZ are advocating for supermarkets to prioritise their online services to people who cannot physically get to a store.

“Working collaboratively with blind, low vision and deafblind organisations, we are phoning our community checking-in on the health and wellbeing and offering support. If someone doesn’t have access to essential services, we are connecting them to organisations who can help like Age Concern and Civil Defence.

 “If you are blind or have low vision, please know that you do not have to go through the COVID-19 crisis alone. We want no one to fall through the cracks and not have access to the essentials. Get in touch on 0800 24 33 33 or email”

Blind Low Vision NZ has been classed as an essential service. All our services their operating, but 95 per cent of employees are working from home and delivering service remotely.

“It’s critical for us to keep providing practical and emotional support to people who are blind or have low vision to keep doing the things they need and want to do.”

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