assessing orientation and mobility needs for RNZFB members,
providing replacement equipment for RNZFB members whose equipment was damaged in the earthquake,
The increase in the development and implementation of "welfare to work" policies has, and will continue to have, an impact on the approximately 3,000 RNZFB members of working age.
The research commissioned by the RNZFB gave an analysis of the incurred costs for 200 respondents.
The survey respondents were not a simple random sample of RNZFB members, with the working-age membership being over-sampled.
The survey data showed that an estimated 55% of RNZFB members used taxis for non-optional short-distance travel, while the authors, having reconsidered the raw survey data, estimate that 64% of RNZFB members use or would like to use taxi services.
Although decisions to adopt DAISY and actions to move forward the recommendations from the pilot study report were initially formulated by the key research partners, (RNZFB
, BLENNZ, and Manurewa High School), full implementation of DAISY has been limited.
RNZFB has addressed the implications of these findings in objective 1.6 of their strategic plan for 2004-2007 in which they state: "We will assist members to secure or retain employment consistent with their skills, abilities and interests" (RNZFB 2004:16).
All participants in this study were aged between 18 and 65 and were registered members of the RNZFB. (Membership requires either visual acuity of no better than 6/24 in the better eye after the best possible correction, or a visual field that does not subtend 20 degrees at its widest angle.) In addition, study participants had to be either employed or state an interest in gaining employment at the time of the study.
Since the completion of this study, RNZFB has acquired support from the Ministry of Social Development to re-implement specialist placement services for their members, establish an additional vocational advisory position in Auckland and run a series of enhanced Job Club Programmes across the country (personal communication, Paul Barclay, RNZFB, June 26, 2005).
For the most part, the sample sizes represented the general age structure of age cohorts in New Zealand and in RNZFB registration statistics.
In the Manawatu region, there is a tightly knit community of RNZFB members who provide opportunities for social contact among members and allow for social comparisons, which may enhance life satisfaction.