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Lose Your Sight, Not Your Independence

Even though you may have been classified as low vision, this label does not define you. Blindsided is here to support you through your diagnosis and beyond. We fully believe that you can still live the life you want after vision loss, and we want to assist you to do this.
We offer emotional support, advocacy, information, coaching, and referrals when appropriate to people in all low vision categories. We also aim to increase accessibility awareness, including adaptive technologies. Chat with us over coffee to find out how we can help you.

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart” - Helen Keller

After being diagnosed with eye conditions resulting in vision loss, Chrissie Whitfield felt BLINDSIDED. She has now established Blindsided NZ as a charitable trust to support others across New Zealand affected by vision loss.

After learning about her eye conditions, she felt that there was a lack of information on diagnosis as well as social and emotional support for those grappling with losing their vision. That’s why Chrissie created Blindsided NZ; to fill in the potential gaps left by the services of other low vision clinics. 

Our members have all experienced vision loss themselves and now want to support fellow kiwis to come to terms with the substantial changes in their lives caused by loss of vision. We understand that there are numerous low vision categories, and we aim to support people with all types of conditions that result in vision loss.

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If you are in an area that is not covered and are available to support others please contact us
Chrissie Whitfield photo

Founding Director

Chrissie Whitfield

After being diagnosed with two degenerative eye conditions, Chrissie saw first-hand the lack of integrated services to connect people experiencing vision loss with sources of support. She founded Blindsided NZ with the mission of helping others come to terms with their diagnosis and reimagine their futures. To do so, she draws on her 25+ years’ experience in senior management, change management, and transition coaching.
As the Founding Director of Blindsided, Chrissie provides the strategic direction for the Board, drawing on her own experiences of what was missing when she was diagnosed with vision loss as well as leveraging from the experience of other members.
Chrissie is also the Director of her own company – Whitfield Factor Coaching, and volunteers on a number of Advisory Boards and Committees.

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Dr Persephone de Magdalene

Originally from the UK, Persephone emigrated to Aotearoa|New Zealand with her family in 2017. She holds a PhD in Business Management from the University of East Anglia (UK) and has a specialist interest in entrepreneurship and innovation. Persephone brings fifteen years’ experience in the research and education sectors in lecturing, administrative, and research management capacities.  

Persephone now runs her own consultancy business – Open Minds Academy – providing curriculum development, research management, and coaching services to tertiary education institutions in NZ and the Arab Middle East. She works with her co-Trustees on issues of organisational development, communications, and strategic management.

Dr Persephone de Magdalene Photo


Dr Larry Lepper Photo


Dr Larry Lepper

Larry has worked in Executive Management roles for more than twenty-five years, using his expertise in business transformation and IT to support business growth and maintain competitive advantage.
Today, he is the Managing Director of the Ronin Group, a change innovation consultancy he founded in 2015. Larry brings extensive sales, marketing, IT, and corporate know-how to the Board.

Please contact us at if you would be interested in partnering with Blindsided NZ and have your logo / URL displayed here

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