New to disability

Photo: Community Matariki Celebration by Hadleigh

There's lots of information available for people with a disability, and for the people who care for them. If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed with where to start, we can help point you in the right direction.

Watch our short video below for some ideas.

View the Welcome to Firstport video transcript

Find a support service

There are a large number of disability support services and organisations across New Zealand. They can provide you with the specialist knowledge, advice and disability resources you need for your individual circumstances.

As well as providing support for people living with a disability, there are also groups dedicated to those who care for them.

No matter what your circumstances, there is always someone there to help you and you don't need to feel alone.

Did you know?

Almost 1 in 4 New Zealanders live with a disability and over 1 million people in New Zealand are limited in their ability to carry out everyday activities by at least one impairment type including hearing, visual, physical, intellectual and psychological. (Source from Statistics New Zealand 2013.)

Some benefits to accessing a support service could be:

  • Learn from other people's experiences and share ideas.
  • Get the latest information and research about a disability.
  • Be able to apply for grants or discounts available to members.

You can find the group or organisation that's right for you by searching by region or by service.

Find support groups in your area

 Search Firstport

Firstport holds information about a whole range of relevant topics so you can access all you need to know in one place. From transport to education, funding assistance to housing modifications, Firstport can help you find what you need.

Talk to your doctor or practice nurse

If you or a family member needs extra support because of a disability or special needs, your doctor or practice nurse will be able to help you find it.

If your disability is due to an accident

Your doctor or practice nurse can refer you to ACC.

Go to ACC support for people with serious injury & disability (external website)

If your disability is NOT due to an accident or covered by ACC

Your doctor or practice nurse can contact a needs assessment service to find out what extra support is available.

Find out more about needs assessments

Contact a disability information centre

There are 22 disability information centres in New Zealand, from Whangarei to Invercargill.

They provide free disability information and advisory services to their local community. The Ministry of Health funds them.

Anyone can phone or visit a disability information centre. Or you can look up their website.

Find your nearest disability information centre