Disability organisations and websites

This page lists disability-related organisations and service providers and some of the resources they produce.

On this page:


Disabled people’s organisations and resources

Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand

An advocacy organisation for blind and vision impaired people.

Balance NZ

An organisation of people with mental health issues and mood disorders that provides support and advocacy.

Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand

An organisation that provides information and resources on life for Deaf New Zealanders, Deaf culture and New Zealand Sign Language. Deaf Aotearoa also provides New Zealand Sign Language classes and Deaf awareness training.

Deafblind (NZ) Inc

An organisation that provides advocacy and support for Deafblind people in New Zealand.

Disabled Persons Assembly NZ

A national pan-disability organisation. Its website publishes various resources, including on the rights of disabled people.

Kāpō Māori Aotearoa New Zealand (Ngāti Kāpō)

An organisation that offers kaupapa Māori-based disability support services with a focus on kāpo Māori and their whānau.

People First New Zealand Ngā Tangata Tuatahi

A national self-advocacy organisation that is led and directed by people with learning disabilities.

The organisation provides an Easy Read translation service, which involves translating a document into an accessible format for people with learning disabilities.

It also provides trained meeting assistants.

Government agencies and resources

Ministry of Health

Disability Support Services (DSS) within the Ministry of Health is responsible for funding support and services for people with disabilities.

It also leads the development and implementation of strategic plans that aim to ensure people with disabilities and their families are supported to live the lives they choose.

Accident Compensation Corporation

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides funding and support for individuals who have an impairment as a result of an accident.

Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) website hosts the Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord.

The DIA’s Community Matters website provides advice for involving the community in decision-making, targeted at government officials but generally applicable.

The DIA is also responsible for the New Zealand Government Web Toolkit.

  • Kia Tūtahi Relationship Accord
  • Good Practice Participate on Community Matters
  • CommunityNet Aotearoa is ‘an online hub of resources designed to strengthen communities’. It enables organisations to post and share resources on a variety of topics, including leadership, communication and evaluation. Materials include Diversity Toolkits, a how-to guide on communications and project management templates.
  • The New Zealand Government Web Toolkit, ‘provides standards, guidance, tips and strategic advice on effectively using the online channel’. It outlines the Web Accessibility Standard.

Health and Disability Commissioner

The Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) aims to ‘ensure that the rights of consumers are upheld. This includes making sure complaints about health or disability services providers are taken care of fairly and efficiently’. The HDC also provides the support of free independent advocates to assist with concerns or complaints about a health or disability service.

Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) promotes and protects the human rights of all people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

It provides information about discrimination and offers a free and confidential service for people with human rights enquiries or complaints of unlawful discrimination.

Ministry of Education

Special education supports children and students to access the curriculum by providing extra help, adapted programmes or learning environments, and specialised equipment or materials.

Ministry for Pacific Peoples

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples liaises and communicates with Pasifika communities about government policies, processes and services. It aims to foster greater engagement with, and participation by, Pasifika peoples in government decision-making.

Ministry of Social Development

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) runs a range of services to support people with disabilities through their Community Investment, Community Link and Work and Income.

Child, Youth and Family is a service of the Ministry of Social Development. The service employs social workers who are able to help if you have concerns about the safety of a child or young person.

  • Think Differently (‘Think Differently is a social change campaign to encourage and support a fundamental shift in attitudes and behaviour towards disabled people. It’s about maximising opportunities and focusing on what people can do rather than what they can’t’. The campaign is led in partnership with the Office for Disability Issues. Think Differently produces a Social Change Toolkit with a range of useful resources, templates and tips.)
  • Child, Youth and Family: ‘If you are worried’

New Zealand Police

The Police are responsible for protecting public safety and maintaining law and order.

Office for Disability Issues

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) is a strategic and whole-of-government focused policy group, located within the MSD.

It promotes and monitors the implementation of the New Zealand Disability Strategy and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It also works in partnership with the MSD to lead the Think Differently campaign (see the MSD resource list above).

The ODI’s website publishes helpful access guides and toolkits to inclusive practice.

Office of Ethnic Communities (previously the Office of Ethnic Affairs)

The Office of Ethnic Communities provides advice and information to support people working with ethnic communities.

  • Language Line (a telephone interpreting service available in 44 languages)

Office of the Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman is an independent resource to help the community deal with government agencies, with a focus on fairness and impartiality. It undertakes investigations where necessary.

Further resources and organisations

Altogether Autism

Altogether Autism is a nationwide information and advisory service for people living on the autism spectrum, their families/whānau and the professionals who work with them.

Altogether Autism is a service funded by the Ministry of Health. It is provided in partnership by Parent to Parent (see below) and Life Unlimited (a charitable trust whose mission is ‘to enhance individual wellbeing by enabling people to live the life they choose’).

Autism NZ

Autism NZ provides support, training, advocacy, resources and information on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to those with these conditions, their family/whānau, caregivers and professionals.

Blind Foundation

The Blind Foundation provides its members with adaptive skills, technology, resources and support with moving around (including through the use of guide dogs) and accessing information. It also provides services to the wider community, including: web accessibility consultation, accessible format production, built environment advice and awareness training.

Brain Injury Association

The Brain Injury Association provides support, education and information services throughout New Zealand to people living with brain injuries.

Carers New Zealand

Carers New Zealand is the national body supporting family, whānau and aiga carers. It provides information, advice, learning and support for families with health and disability needs.

CCS Disability Action

CCS Action’s purpose is to strengthen communities and provide information, advocacy and support so people with disabilities are included in the life of their family and in their community. It also has 16 branches nationally that provide frontline support and services, create local awareness and education around disability issues.

Cerebral Palsy Society

The Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand’s purpose is to enhance the lives and wellbeing of people with cerebral palsy. It provides programmes designed to enhance the independence and quality of life of people living with cerebral palsy and their families, and grants to its members for this purpose.

eCALD

eCALD is a website developed and managed by Waitemata District Health Board Asian Health Support Services. CALD refers to culturally and linguistically diverse groups who are migrants and refugees from Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and African (MELAA) backgrounds. It provides resources for the health workforce with the aim of ensuring services are accessible, culturally appropriate, effective and safe for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Hearing Association

The Hearing Association is a volunteer-based organisation that helps people with any type of hearing problem.

Local branches offer one-to-one support for members and non-members alike, socially and in the workplace.

Hearing Dogs

Hearing Dogs supports and trains hearing dogs for people with hearing problems.

IHC New Zealand

IHC New Zealand is a membership-based organisation that supports people with intellectual disabilities to live satisfying lives in the community. IHC provides a range of services, including advocacy, and a library related to intellectual disability.

iSign

iSign is a nationwide booking organisation providing New Zealand Sign Language interpreters.

Te Pou o Te Whakaaro Nui

Te Pou o Te Whakaaro Nui is a national centre of evidence-based workforce development for the mental health, addiction and disability sectors.

  • Let’s get real: Disability (a workforce quality initiative created to help the disability workforce meet the needs of disabled people, whānau and communities)

Mental Health Foundation

The Mental Health Foundation provides a range of services and campaigns addressing all aspects of mental health and wellbeing.

It provides free information and training, and advocates for policies and services that support people with experience of mental illness and their families/whānau and friends.

Multiple Sclerosis Society of New Zealand Inc

The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of New Zealand is a non-profit organisation that provides on-going support, education and advocacy for people with MS and their support networks. It also aims to educate the general public, employers and health professionals about MS and actively funds key research into the condition.

Muscular Dystrophy Association

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is a New Zealand not-for-profit organisation which provides information and support to people affected by neuromuscular conditions. Its services include a national fieldwork service, as well as specialist information and advice.

National Foundation for the Deaf

The National Foundation for the Deaf works to promote the rights, interests and welfare of people with hearing loss. It offers support, prevention and advocacy programmes. The Foundation’s website publishes various resources.

Needs Assessment Service Co-ordination Association

The Needs Assessment Service Co-ordination Association (NASCA) is the national association for managers of NASC organisations. The Ministry of Health contracts these organisations to:

  • work with people with disabilities to identify their strengths and support needs
  • tell people about available support services
  • determine people’s eligibility for Ministry of Health-funded support services
  • allocate Ministry-funded support services
  • help people access other supports.

Support services are then delivered by their respective service providers.

New Zealand Disability Support Network

The New Zealand Disability Support Network is a national association of disability support providers.

New Zealand Down Syndrome Association

The New Zealand Down Syndrome Association promotes the participation of people with Down syndrome in their community. It provides:

  • information, support, education and advocacy services for the Down syndrome community
  • support for parents and families/whānau
  • information resources and a quarterly journal
  • support for regional groups so that they can offer support and services to the Down syndrome community in their area through family events, social groups, guest speakers, individual support and advocacy.
     
  • Information on Down Syndrome

Le Va

Le Va is the national hub for Pasifika mental health and addiction workforce development and coordination for the disability support services sector.

Parent to Parent

Parent to Parent supports parents of children with a disability, health impairment or health issue by connecting them with trained volunteer support parents who have a child or family member in a similar situation. It also provides training programmes for families and siblings.

Vaka Tautua

Vaka Tautua is a charitable organisation that aims to help improve the health and wellbeing of Pasifika people in New Zealand. It provides community support for older people, people with a disability and those needing support for mental health.

Sign Language Interpreters Association of New Zealand

Sign Language Interpreters Association of New Zealand is a national professional association of sign language interpreters.

Weka

Weka is a website providing information on a range of disabilities, resources, support and services.

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