An introduction to BLENNZ services
The Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ (BLENNZ) is a school that is made up of a national network of educational services for ākonga who are blind, deafblind or have low vision in New Zealand.
Our vision is ‘Every BLENNZ learner is well prepared to achieve in life’.
Who can access BLENNZ services
- Ākonga who are blind, deafblind or have low vision, aged from birth to 21, or to the end of their schooling
- Parents and whānau
- Teachers, teacher aides, education support workers and others involved in the education of the child or young person
What services are offered
School and Residential Services
The Homai Campus School is a specialist school for children and young people who are blind, deaf blind or have low vision, including those with additional disabilities. Each learner has an individual educational plan with the BLENNZ Curriculum as the focus for learning.
The James Cook Satellite Class is located at the James Cook High School, 5 minutes drive from the BLENNZ Homai Campus School. The blind and low vision students work on a varied and individualized programme and are taught by two teachers and supported by two teacher aides. The students work in mainstream classes, satellite group learning activities and intensive one to one instruction.
The Transition Pathway Programme provides an opportunity for young adults who are blind or low vision to make the transition to tertiary, the workplace or independent living. BLENNZ staff – including Resource Teachers Vision, Residential Youth Workers and support staff work closely with the students to support the development of individual goals and achievement.
Homai Residential Services provides residential placements for students who are blind or low vision and attend the Homai Campus School (including the satellite class at James Cook High School) or The Manurewa High School.
National Assessment and Teaching Services
Visual Resource Centres are the home base of the itinerant resource teachers of vision. BLENNZ regional teaching and support services are provided through Resource Teachers Vision (RTVs) and and Developmental Orientation and Mobility Specialists (DOMs) based in 14 Visual Resource Centres (VRCs) throughout the country.
Resource Teachers Vision and DOMs work in partnership with parents and whānau to provide local specialist education services to over 1400 children and young people who are blind, deafblind and low vision. This specialist support may take place in homes, early childhood centres and schools.
Do you sometimes wish you knew just how well your child was using their vision? How well are they developing? What can they see? What are their overall needs and what type of resource would be appropriate to meet those needs? If so, you may find that the National Assessment Service at Homai Campus can help you in many ways.
“Kia ora and welcome to the BLENNZ Developmental Orientation & Mobility (DOM) page. DOM is a Specialist Service – like OT and physio – that school students who have Vision Impairment may be able to access to support their ongoing development of their MOTIVATION to MOVE and engage their world. The end goal of DOM is to support the student, their team and family to achieve their desired potential as a pedestrian or traveller in their community. This service is offered to students who have vision impairment because sometimes not being able to see well can impact on a student’s confidence to engage and move in their environment.
Immersion and residential services are available at the Homai campus and may also be available off-site. These cater for ākonga and whānau/family from birth to 21 years. Immersion Courses provide opportunities for intensive programmes, mentoring and peer support. Learners may also attend the Homai Campus School when it is identified through the IEP process as the most appropriate educational placement.
Homai Early Childhood Centre (HECC) is a licensed and chartered early education centre for children aged from birth to 6 years of age who are blind, deafblind and low vision and their whānau. It is located on the BLENNZ Homai Campus in McVilly Road, Manurewa and is one of the core services of Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ. The centre has a roll of approximately 30 children. Attendance is limited to 1 or 2 sessions per week, so children are able to attend a community centre in conjunction with HECC.
The Blind Foundation collections for children and young adults include fiction, non-fiction and educational resources. These are available in one or more accessible formats. The Blind Foundation’s Youth Library is located at the BLENNZ Homai Campus. The Youth Library welcomes visits from Youth Library members and their families.