Yesterday I spent some time exploring the BLENNZ Learning Library. The description on the home page explains, “Here you will find a collection of stories about children and young
people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision, written by BLENNZ
educators for parents, whānau (family) and colleagues” (source).
Te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngahere. Te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao.
The bird who feasts upon the miro, resides only in the forest. The bird who feasts upon education, resides in the world.
I found the site to be well-organised, informative, well set out, and easy to navigate.The ‘clean’ pages with plenty of white space suggest that accessibility was a priority when the design was put together. Most importantly, I felt, is the stance of the resources, which are written from a practical can do, how to point of view, as opposed to a deficit model. There is, however, also support for parents, and whānau (families), as well as students and teachers, that acknowledges the challenges, and offers empathetic support. The BLENNZ Video Library on YouTube, for example, offers snapshots of parents speaking about their ‘journey’, as well as from the professionals – including, for instance, the video of Gary Veenstra, Child and family worker with the RNZFB, talking about the
area of grief and loss in his work alongside learners and their families
The site is organised into age groups, as well as having resources locatable by category (listed below), and tags.