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COVID-19 information for Deaf and disabled people

It's important that we read only factual, reliable information and guidelines about COVID-19. This page will provide information, resources and links for Deaf and disabled communities. Arts Access Aotearoa is following guidelines on these two websites:

Alert Level 3 and what we need to do

On Tuesday 28 April New Zealand moved to Alert Level 3 to continue to stop COVID-19 from spreading to more people while loosening some restrictions to enable businesses and schools to open. The COVID-19 virus can spread from person to person very fast. It is making a lot of people very sick and some people have died. New Zealand is trying to stop COVID-19 from spreading by getting most people to stay at home. Alert Level 3 maintains many of the rules from Alert Level 4 while loosening some restrictions to allow businesses and schools to open. Read more 

Civil Defence 0800 numbers for essential supplies

Civil Defence have set up 0800 numbers for if you are out of supplies and struggling to get basic food. This service is intended for people and whānau who don’t have any other options available to them.The service operates seven days a week from 7am to 7pm. Further information and the 0800 numbers for each region can be found on the Civil Defence website.

Survey: How life is going for the disability community

The Office for Disability Issues is inviting Deaf and disabled people their families, whanau,  service providers and others in the disability sector to complete a weekly survey on the issues and risks being experience by disabled people in the COVID-19 environment. The survey is translated into Easy Read and has been developed to be as accessible as possible for blind and low vision citizens. There is also a standard version for others. The survey is currently being translated into NZSL and we will update you when this is available. The survey called How is life going for the disability community.

Information for the disabled community

This link on the Ministry of Health's website  includes information such as how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and what to do if you employ support staff. There is also information specifically for residential care providers.The information is in both PDF and Microsoft Word formats.

There is also a website solely dedicated to information about COVID-19, where you can find out anything you need to know about it. Among other things, the website has a page specifically for people who use NZSL. The website is updated regularly. 

A message from Prudence Walker, Chief Executive, DPA

Auckland emergency management support

From Wednesday 1 April, disabled people and other Aucklanders who cannot afford groceries or are in self-isolation with no access to other support networks or transport can call AEM on 0800 22 22 96 between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week. Anyone who meets the Government’s eligibility criteria will be couriered a welfare package containing items such as pasta and rice, tinned vegetables and meats, and basic toiletries.


WeCare was set up by IHC and Carers NZ to assist both those who are living alone and those caring for others. They offer a listening ear and practical assistance. For more information about what WeCare can help you with, visit its website.

Talk Link Trust

The Talk Link Trust has resources and information available in social story format, including staying in your bubble and versions that can be personalised. Visit the website

Explore specialist advice

Explore is providing immediate wellbeing and behaviour support advice, support, risk assessment and safety planning to anyone eligible for disability support services through Disability NASC. Disabled people, whānau and support workers can call Explore on 0800 000 421 between 8am and 8pm. You don't need a referral from a NASC to access these services but you will need to tell Explore who your NASC is. Vist the website

Blind Low Vision NZ

Blind Low Vision NZ is working with blind, low vision, deafblind and other organisations to ensure those living with sight loss can still access essential services and supplies during the lockdown. More details about what the organisation can help you with, along with its contact details, are available on its website.

Information for the Deaf community

This link on the Ministry of Health's website has an NZSL video. There are videos about what COVID-19 is, its symptoms, how it spreads, how to self-isolate, the prevention of COVID-19, immunisation, and a dedicated 0800 phone number. Deaf Aotearoa's homepage has information about contacting staff while its offices are shut, and its Community News page has NZSL videos with information about COVID-19. Deaf Aotearoa have also set up an email address and Skype account specifically for COVID-19 queries. The email address is, and the Skype account, which is available from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday, is COVID-19.deafaotearoa. More details can be found on this NZSL Facebook video.


The new website COVIDNZSL.INFO is a DeafRadio initiative to hold information and news for the Deaf community. Vist the website

NZSL and the Prime Minister's briefings

This New Zealand Herald article talks about how, during the Prime Minister's COVID-19 briefings, Kordia (Freeview TV channel 200) will have NZSL interpreters on the main box on the screen, and the Prime Minister or any other speaker on the smaller box, to make it easier for Deaf people to see the interpreters. On other TV channels, it is the other way around. 

Easy read imageInformation from People First NZ

People First NZ has a page dedicated to information about what COVID-19 is, what to do if you think you have it, how to self-isolate, and what to do if you have just come to New Zealand from another country. There's also information about looking after your mental health. The information is in both PDF and Microsoft Word formats. There's also a message for its members, a message for its wider network, and information from Work and Income.

People First NZ COVID-19 Helpline

People First New Zealand, IHC and the Personal Advocacy and Safeguarding Adults Trust are working together to respond to people with learning disability and their families/whānau during COVID-19. People First NZ staff will respond to calls in the first instance but the three organisations will work together to make sure all people get the help they need. The People First NZ COVID-19 Helpline number is 0800 20 60 70 and messages will be responded to several times a day. More information on the People First NZ website 

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