Skip to main content

Many organisations in New Zealand make grants or award scholarships to disabled children, young people, and adults. You could apply for help to pay for things like equipment, education, and activities that increase your independence.

Organisations usually accept applications at certain times during the year. These are called funding rounds.

To support your application, you might need a letter from a health professional, teacher, or social worker.

Here are some places to start.  

Grants for disabled people of all ages

If you need a vehicle or mobility or communication equipment

If you're not covered by ACC or you’re not eligible for Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People funding, you could apply to Lottery Individuals with Disabilities. This fund provides grants for:

  • vehicles and vehicle modifications.
  • scooters and other outdoor mobility equipment.
  • equipment to help with communication.

Find out more about Lottery Individuals with Disabilities Grants (external link)

If you’re a Cerebral Palsy Society member

You could apply for a grant under:

  • The getThis&That programme for small items
  • Individual Grants - to help you or your family's independence, or quality of life.

Find out more about the getThis&That programme (external link)

Find out more about Individual Grants (external link)

If you’re a Blind Low Vision NZ member

You could apply for a grant from one of the funds Blind Low Vision NZ manages.

Find out more about financial assistance from Blind Low Vision NZ (external link)

If you're deaf or hard of hearing

The National Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NFD) website lists more than 20 scholarships and grants available. They include scholarships for Sign Language interpreting and teaching.

Find out more about NFD scholarships and grants (external link)

Muscular Dystrophy Association 

Bradley Jenkin Memorial fund – discretionary grants to access opportunities and specialised resources to achieve freedom.  You must be a member of MDA and there is a maximum grant of $1,500

 Examples of grant applications include:

  • specialised sports equipment
  • course fees
  • $ towards mobility dog
  • travel to attend an international forum
  • sporting event participation costs

Find out more about the fund on their website (external link)

Grants for disabled children and young people

Funding for speech and language therapy for children with Down syndrome

The UpsideDowns Education Trust provides funding for private speech and language therapy for children with Down syndrome in New Zealand.

Apply to the UpsideDowns Education Trust (external link)

If you’re under 18

You can apply to Variety New Zealand. They fund things like trikes, iPads, laptops, and mobility equipment for children and young people who are disabled.

Apply to Variety for funding (external link)

If you’re under 22 and live in the Upper North Island

You could apply to the Wilson Home Trust. The Trust has grants available for children or young people with a physical impairment (and their family). They fund children’s equipment and activities, holiday accommodation, counselling, and emergencies.

Find out more about the Wilson Home Trust grants (external link)

If you’re under 21 and into sports

You could apply to the Halberg Activity Fund. The Fund provides grants to disabled children and young people for sports equipment, lessons or coaching, and camps.

Apply for the Hallberg Activity Fund (external link)

If you belong to Deaf Children New Zealand (DCNZ)

You can apply to DCNZ for help with tutoring fees and assistive devices, and for scholarships and grants.

Financial assistance for Deaf children (external link)

Check out community funding resources

Last updated on Monday, 18 March 2024

Was this page helpful?