People, roles and responsibilities
Here is a list of the people referenced in this book, together with a definition of what they do.
BLENNZ teacher (or Resource Teacher: Vision)
Qualified teacher who supports children and their parents and caregivers, providing general advice, teaching and development support, as well as overall service coordination.
Blind Foundation counsellors
Qualified counsellors who provide a free, nationwide counselling service.
Child’s vision team
The range of people (usually from BLENNZ, the Blind Foundation and the Ministry of Education) who support a child who is blind, deafblind or has low vision from birth until they finish school. The team will refer your child to other relevant agencies for additional services and support.
Clinical vision assessor
People in the health sector who carry out clinical vision assessments.
Early intervention teacher
Ministry of Education staff who provide advice and support related to a child’s early learning and development.
Family doctor (or GP)
A health professional who looks at the general health of babies and children and refers them to specialists for assessments when required.
Head of Learning Support
Experienced teachers employed within secondary schools to coordinate school-wide programmes, services and support for students with special education needs.
Living skills specialist
Blind Foundation staff who teach living skills.
Ministry of Education specialists
A range of specialists who work in the special education sector with early childhood education services and schools to support children and young people and their families and whānau. Specialists include special education advisors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Ngāti Kāpō O Aotearoa national field coordinators
Specialist support workers who use a kaupapa Māori approach to help children and their whānau to access education, health and disability services.
Health professionals who assess and advise on the physical needs of children and young people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision. Focus is on the physical movement associated with everyday life and activities.
Orientation and mobility specialist
BLENNZ and Blind Foundation staff who teach and advise on orientation and mobility. BLENNZ call their staff Developmental Orientation and Mobility (DOM) specialists.
A specialist eye doctor.
Professionals trained and registered to examine the eyes for visual defects, diagnose problems or impairments and recommend glasses or other corrective lenses or provide other types of treatment.
A health professional who works as part of the eye clinic team. Orthoptists diagnose and treat eye problems related to eye movement and coordination.
Medical specialists (doctors) in child development and health.
Health professionals who assess and advise on the physical needs of children and young people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision (in both health and education). Focus is on physical movement and function.
Another name for a teacher’s aide.
Blind Foundation staff who help parents and children take part in all kinds of recreational activities together.
Resource Teacher: Vision (RTV)
See definition of BLENNZ teacher.
Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO)
Experienced teachers employed within primary schools to coordinate school-wide programmes, services and support for students with special education needs.
A support person employed by schools to help classroom teachers teach students with special education needs.
Vision hearing technicians
Health sector specialists who test the hearing and vision of children and young people in preschool, school and in clinics (part of the Ministry of Health’s B4 School Check programme).
Visiting neuro-developmental therapists
A specialist in child development who works with very young children (usually children under five-years-old).
Organisations and their websites
Here are some useful organisations, followed by their websites.