Registration criteria

Registering is easy

Before receiving support or services from the Blind Foundation, we need you to register with us and be assessed for criteria. This means that your optometrist or ophthalmologist needs to tell us about your level of vision and your eye conditions. Your GP or other health professional is sometimes involved too.

We ask for an up to date eye report to help us provide you with the most appropriate services and to make sure you are receiving any necessary treatment for your vision.

No one is too young or too old to register with the Blind Foundation. Many people are not completely blind and have some useful vision, however all people who register with the Foundation have significant day to day difficulties with vision related tasks and meet our registration criteria.

Registration criteria

People of any age

New Zealand residents who, in the opinion of a registered ophthalmologist or optometrist, have a visual acuity not exceeding 6/24 in the better eye with corrective lenses, or serious limitations in the field of vision, generally not greater than 20 degrees in the widest diameter in the better eye.

Children and young adults

In addition to those who meet the criteria above, all children and young adults (21 years of age and under) who are currently registered with Visual Resource Centres regardless of their degree of vision loss may apply to register with the Blind Foundation. We still need to know about the level of vision and eye conditions, so that we can provide the most appropriate services.

Special Registration

Occasionally the Blind Foundation will register a person who doesn’t meet the clinical criteria (visual acuity & visual field), but who has significant functional vision difficulties and circumstances requiring vision rehabilitation services and support.   This might be because of additional conditions (such as deafness) or vision related risk to safety or life role. Each registration is reviewed on an individual basis and functional vision criteria are applied. Special Registration may be limited in terms of services and duration.

Questions to ask your doctor

You will probably have a range of questions you want answers to. An eye specialist or GP is a good person to ask.   Here we offer some questions you may wish to ask.

Diagnosis and lifestyle

What is my diagnosis?
What caused my condition?
How will it affect my vision now and in the future?
Should I watch for any particular symptoms and notify you if they occur?
Should I make any lifestyle changes?
Will this affect my job?


Can my condition be treated?
What is the treatment for my condition?
When will the treatment start and how long will it last?
What is the cost and how do I get the treatment?
What are the benefits of this treatment and how successful is it?
What are the risks and side effects associated with this treatment?
Are there foods, drugs, or activities I should avoid while I’m on this treatment?
If my treatment includes taking medicine, what should I do if I miss a dose?
Are other treatments available?


What kinds of tests will I have?
What can I expect to find out from these tests?
When will I know the results?
Do I have to prepare for any of these tests?
Will I need more tests later?
When should I have a follow-up?

Other tips

It may be useful to bring a friend or relative to the appointment to help you remember important information.
If possible, you could note down the key points.
Collect any brochures and contact details for helpful organisations where you can get support and find out more.