Welcome to Deafblind Association New Zealand

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Key message: face covering exemption card

As you may know, if you have a disability or health condition and you can’t wear a face covering safely or comfortably, you are exempt from wearing one.

We know that some people may feel more comfortable showing something official that says they don’t have to wear a face covering. So, we have designed an exemption card that people can print out or save onto their phones, attached.

If anyone asks why you are not wearing a face covering, you can show them the card. You don’t need to show this card to public transport operators like bus drivers, but you can if you want to.

This card has been developed by the Ministry of Health specifically for those who cannot wear face coverings safely or comfortably due to a disability or health condition.

The exemption card can be printed in credit card size, A5 or A4, or simply downloaded onto your phone.  The exemption card can be downloaded here.

There is more information on what to do if you’re exempt or cannot wear a face covering available for download here.

Update 13 April 2020:
Official statement on inclusive Covid-19 policies from the global deafblind community

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the world, persons with deafblindness face the risk of double isolation and exclusion from crisis responses.

We must ensure that the most vulnerable and marginalised are equally protected, in accordance with the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The European Deafblind Union (EDbU), the African Federation of the Deafblind (AFDB), the Latin American Federation of the Deafblind (FLASC), and the World Federation of the Deafblind (WFDB) have issued a joint statement with recommendations on inclusive Covid-19 policies.

Update 12 April 2020:
New Zealand Blind Organisations’ Statement Re: Covid-19 – the way we are going to get through this is together.

Blind consumer organisations across Aotearoa, New Zealand are working collaboratively to support Kiwis living with sight loss during the Covid-19 crisis.

Together we are committed to connecting with our networks, checking in, and offering support where needed. We know that many people who are blind, deafblind, low vision, or vision-impaired have limited or no access to technology, so it is critical for us, and the organisations we work with, to check in on the health and well-being of our clients and members who may be feeling more isolated at this time.

We are here to support all Kiwis living with sight loss. If that applies to you, please know that you are not alone. Contact us or an organisation we work with for support:

Albinism NZ http://www.albinism.nz/

Blind Citizens NZ https://blindcitizensnz.org.nz/ 0800 222 6940 or Rose Wilkinson: rwilkinson@abcnz.org.nz, 021 222 6940

Blind Low Vision NZ https://blindlowvision.org.nz/  0800 24 33 33

Blind Sport New Zealand https://www.blindsport.kiwi/ (09) 930 1579

Deafblind Association NZ  http://www.deafblindassociation.nz/ 0800 450 650

Kāpō Māori Aotearoa New Zealand https://kapomaori.com/ 0800 770 990

NZ VIEW Inc, Nadene McClay: National Administrator, enzviewinc@gmail.com, 021 828 728 or Janet Palmer, National President, karoripalmer@gmail.com

Retina NZ (including Retina Youth) https://retina.org.nz/ 0800 569 849

Support and Education for our Youth, their Families and Friends (SEYFF) danielcurran88@gmail.com


Kia ora, welcome to the home page of Deafblind Association New Zealand.

The Deafblind Association NZ was established as a charitable trust in 2014. Deafblind Association NZ is a not-for-profit organisation and receives no funding from central government and is required to source funding to finance the support it provides.

For further information about Deafblind Association New Zealand, please call us toll free on 0800-450-650.

Our Vision:

For deafblind New Zealanders and their families to be empowered, connected, and included.

Our Mission:

To partner with deafblind New Zealanders to support opportunities for connection and inclusion. We work to promote and represent the interests of people with deafblindness, their families and carers, and to encourage self-determination by people who are deafblind.