BLENNZ Learning Library

Te Kotuituinga Mātauranga Pura o Aotearoa

About us

The BLENNZ Learning Library

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.

Nau mai, haere mai – welcome to our BLENNZ Learning Library.

Here is 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.

The BLENNZ Learning Library is a new venture for BLENNZ and marks a commitment to increasing access to public information and resources beyond face-to-face visits and workshops. It is a move towards embracing a more blended model of teaching and learning, acknowledging that for many parents and educators, accessing information online is already an established part of meeting “just-in-time” needs.


BLENNZ – the Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ, is the national school that is made up of a national network of educational services for children and young people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision in Aotearoa New Zealand. If this is your first time connecting with BLENNZ, we extend a very warm welcome.

BLENNZ Online is a network of online spaces, each with its’ own focus. BLENNZ Online is currently made up of 4 different spaces:


The community we serve

Firstly, we would like to thank all the children and young people within these stories for their willingness to share their learning. We would also like to thank the parents, whānau and associated professionals with whom we work for their support as we have steadily progressed this work.

Our own learning

Secondly, we acknowledge the huge learning curve that the teachers behind each story have engaged in over the last 5 years. The impact of new technology, particularly digital media has revolutionised our ability to sustainably document teaching and learning.
Now, for the first time as a learning community, we are able to capture ongoing snapshots of the curriculum in action, which includes:
  • the ongoing practice of colleagues,
  • the ongoing learning of children and young people within our BLENNZ community.

As the BLENNZ Library goes “live”, 28 stories with a focus on the key competency, “Using language, symbols and text” constitute the first chapter. In the wings, another 100 are in process, so we look forward to the steady evolution of a useful resource documenting teaching and learning in this area of education.

The team behind the scenes

Finally we would like to acknowledge the steadfast work of a group of BLENNZ colleagues, led by Karen Stobbs, Chrissie Butler and Steve Bellamy. Alongside the design of the framework for BLENNZ Online and the BLENNZ Learning Library, as a Curriculum Leadership Team, Karen, Steve and Chrissie have facilitated the development of the stories within this BLENNZ Learning Library and evolved an annual cycle of capturing and sharing stories.

Chrissie Butler views BLENNZ Online website

Chrissie Butler

We also extend our gratitude to the Royal Society of New Zealand for their support of Chrissie during her Ministry of Maths, Science and Technology Awarded Teacher Fellowship in 2010. During that year, Chrissie was able to design the first iteration of BLENNZ Online under the mentorship of CORE Education.

We also would like to thank our “reading aunties” – Lorraine Woodfield, Anne Gregory and Lynlee Pendrigh for their close reading of each story with the eyes of both grandparents and experienced educators. Your insights and feedback have been highly valued. We are also grateful to Tom Smith and Kevin Prince from the Innovation team at Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, for your partnership with Chrissie as she wrestled with making the BLENNZ Learning Library as accessible and usable as possible.

And as we step into the future, we welcome BLENNZ e-Learning Facilitator Karen Gilligan who joined the Curriculum team in 2012, committing many, many hours to supporting teachers and editing content. We know BLENNZ Online is in good hands.

Stay in touch

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  1. Hello, friends! I have just discovered your wonderful blog and website and am excited about all of the great ideas and resources here! I manage for Perkins School for the Blind and Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and have just added your site as a resource:

    I look forward to being a frequent visitor to your site!

    Best wishes,
    Charlotte Cushman

  2. Pingback: BLENNZ learning library launched: Stories & resources for children & young people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision | ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching's Blog

  3. Kia ora Megan.

    It is such a relief to have pressed the “go” button. So cool that these stories can see the light of day in a public forum and give those interested a window into this area of teaching and learning. I’m really looking forward to seeing the other 100 or so stories trickle through. At least now we have a place to treasure the stories of teachers and reflect together on how we work alongside students who are blind, deafblind or have low vision.

    Thanks for your support 🙂

  4. Lovely website Chrissie and team, very impressed and a wee bit jealous too!

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