Our journey to change

The Blind Foundation is committed to providing the right support at the right time for Kiwis’ experiencing sight loss. This has been a key driver of the transformation journey that we have embarked on over the past 18-months.

Co-design with clients has highlighted where to focus our effort, reinforcing the need to modernise how we deliver service by putting clients firmly in the driver’s seat.

Last month we began a pilot of our new person-directed service delivery model. Our redesigned approach to service makes a step-change to be fundamentally more person-centred, focused on the client’s own goals, driven by everyday outcomes and to be there at the time in an individual’s sight loss journey that they need us most.

Importantly, our new ways of working are designed to be easier and simpler to navigate and understand. This is being made possible by a review of our business processes and an overhaul of our digital infrastructure, which are both focused on improving user experience.

I am delighted to share that one of the first stages of our transformation sought to improve how people register for service with us. For the ophthalmic community, that meant introducing a simple online referral form to make the process as straightforward and time-efficient as possible.

We’ve also recognised the need to make it clear who we are, who we can help and what services we offer. We acknowledge our name can be misleading or even a deterrent for people who may not want to connect with an organisation with ‘blind’ in its name. A brand review, currently underway, aims to consider how we might address this.

Beyond this, we recognised the need to highlight the distinct role we have in the eye health sector. We are New Zealand’s main provider of vision rehabilitation services. Our rehabilitation professionals work directly with people to assess their needs and provide support in achieving goals important to the individual. We help people to make the most of their remaining vision; through support like sharing new day-to-day living techniques, different ways of getting around or using technology to access information and stay connected.

Client wellbeing is a top priority, and we help through services like counselling, peer-to-peer support and social inclusion. In a nutshell, we see our services as complementary to those offered by the wider ophthalmic community, and we share a common goal in wanting the best outcomes for the people we support.

In reading this magazine you might notice some features from us highlighting who we can help and how you can refer a patient to us. You might also have seen some similar material in your inbox or clinic with more detail on how we fit in with the service you provide to your patients. I hope this helps to give you the information and confidence needed to make a referral to the Blind Foundation for your patients who may benefit from our services.

The benefits of vision rehabilitation are particular to the individual, but we know that the timeliness of being there to help people as they adjust to sight loss is important.

On that basis, the Blind Foundation welcomes referrals for anyone you think could benefit from our services, a shift from our historical eligibility criteria.

I encourage you to help us help your patients by keeping the Blind Foundation in mind and referring patients who you think could benefit from vision rehabilitation, as soon as you can see their need.

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