Equipment for disabled people

Is it difficult for you to do everyday tasks because of a disability? The Ministry of Health might be able to help you get the equipment you need to be safe and independent.

The type of equipment you can get will depend on your disability-related needs and situation. Sometimes equipment may not be the best or only option for you.

How we can support you

We might be able to:

  • loan you equipment for free for as long as you need it (under certain conditions)
  • advise you on where you can buy the equipment you need.

Prioritising everyone’s needs

The Ministry of Health has a limited amount of funding available for equipment to support disabled people. We use a prioritisation tool to make sure this funding is used as fairly as possible. The prioritisation tool compares your current needs and how much you will benefit from particular equipment with other disabled people’s needs. 

Equipment we can loan

Our equipment providers Accessable and Enable New Zealand can loan equipment recommended for you by an EMS Assessor, such as:

  • wheelchairs
  • shower stools
  • raised toilet seats
  • adjustable beds
  • walking frames
  • hoists  
  • communication devices (eg, communication boards, equipment that speaks for you, computer software for work or tertiary study)
  • visual or vibrating alert systems (eg, smoke alarms)
  • magnifiers.

What we can’t loan

We cannot loan:

  • equipment that costs less than $50 (except for children under 16 years of age, people living in particular circumstances of hardship or people living in residential care)
  • equipment that you only need for a short time (less than 6 months)
  • equipment for medical needs, incontinence or therapy
  • generally, equipment that you have already bought yourself
  • equipment that has not been recommended for you by an EMS assessor.

If you need equipment for less than 6 months, you might be able to borrow it from your district health board or hire it. (For information about businesses that might be able to help you get equipment, see Low-cost Equipment.)

Buying equipment yourself

You may choose to buy equipment yourself rather than use our equipment. If you do, make sure you:

  • get expert advice
  • try out different equipment before you buy
  • are sure the equipment is right for your needs.

For more information about buying equipment yourself, see Low-cost Equipment.

How to get our equipment

Contact a Ministry of Health Equipment and Modification Service (EMS) assessor to help you work out what equipment can assist you and if our equipment providers Accessable and Enable New Zealand might be able to supply you with the equipment you need.

EMS assessors

EMS assessors are usually occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech language therapists or other hearing and vision professionals.

To find an EMS assessor, contact your:

Our equipment providers

EMS assessors work with our equipment providers Accessable and Enable New Zealand to make sure that any equipment you get is suitable and useful for you and is the most cost-effective item to meet your needs.

Your equipment provider, Accessable or Enable New Zealand, will send your equipment as soon as possible after it has been requested.

Accessable and Enable New Zealand keep a stock of well-maintained equipment. They buy new equipment when it is needed.

Accessable and Enable New Zealand can also repair equipment when it is damaged and can collect it when you no longer need it.

For more information about equipment

If you live:

  • in Auckland or Northland:
    contact Accessable
  • anywhere else in New Zealand:
    contact Enable New Zealand

In this section

  • Is it difficult for you to do some everyday tasks around your home because of your disability? Maybe there are some pieces of low-cost equipment that could make it easier for you to do your tasks. Read more
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