The Foundation began in 1890 as the Jubilee Institute for the Blind with a school and residence in Parnell, Auckland. Sheltered workshops and hostels were provided for many years. These were phased out at the end of the twentieth century in favour of mainstreaming, members' greater integration into the community. A school run by the Foundation became part of the public school system.
The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act 2002 allows for the Foundation to become an incorporated society.
After a rebranding consultation process, the name of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, changed to Blind Foundation in December 2013.
The Foundation website lists the following services: counselling, equipment, financial assistance, volunteer assistance, mobility, guide dogs, employment assistance, peer support, recreation, reading and writing in audio, braille and other formats, library, Telephone Information Service, accessible formats (braille, audio, electronic text and large print), adaptive communications and technology. The foundation also did Braille checks for the video games Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen and is mentioned in the credits.
All of the foundation's funding comes from public donations.
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