Access services directory
This directory includes some key organisations that can provide advice, resources and information about accessibility. There are also many organisations that work closely with disabled children, including parent advocacy organisations and schools. *** This symbol means the listed organisation is a disabled people’s organisation. These are organisations governed and run by disabled people.
A pan disability digital accessibility consultancy. It offers disability consulting, audits and assessment, and disability responsiveness training. Workshops and advice help with accessible communication, engagement with disabled people, and inclusive policy and implementation.
Contact: T:0800 300 099 | E: email@example.com | W: https://accessadvisors.nz/
Audio Described Aotearoa
Audio Described Aotearoa was set up in 2014 by leading audio describer Nicola Owen and her partner, Paul Brown, who is blind. They contract up to ten audio describers around the country to provide high-quality audio description for a range of events and tours.
Contact: 09 636 0316 / 021 035 8513 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
An independent charitable trust, its trustees include people with lived experience of disability and individuals with experience and expertise in local government, the building industry and the disability sector. It facilitates and promotes accessible environments, and provides training and education, advocacy, technical advice and useful resources. It also oversees the use of the International Symbol of Access (ISA).
A social change initiative advocating for a more accessible New Zealand, formerly known as Be.Accessible. It provides accessibility assessments and training for workplaces, and is working alongside leading businesses to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Its website provides a guide to accessible accommodation, entertainment venues, restaurants and shops in New Zealand.
*** Blind Citizens New Zealand
This organisation assists government and health agencies, local authorities and other organisations to improve services to blind people. It also provides opportunities for blind people to meet, socialise, and support each other by sharing information and experiences.
Blind and Low Vision New Zealand
A national organisation offering awareness training and advice on such things as audio description, accessible formats and building requirements. It may also be able to promote arts events and activities to people who are blind, Deafblind, or have low vision, depending on timing and available resources.
CCS Disability Action
A national organisation working with disabled individuals and their families. It aims to make communities more inclusive and accessible to disabled people by working with local councils, providing information, advocacy and advice. It has particular expertise in increasing accessibility to buildings, homes, amenities and streets.
Deaf Aotearoa works with the Deaf community and can advise you on making your organisation or venue more Deaf-friendly. It has helpful resources, offers Deaf awareness workshops and can advise you on booking interpreters for your arts event. Its website has a list of Deaf clubs and societies throughout New Zealand. Each club offers different services and social activities for Deaf people.
This company is a Deaf-led creative hub, combining New Zealand Sign Language expertise with the latest technology to deliver a range of projects and services. These include:
- Seeflow, an online NZSL translation service to/from English
- Infowave, a platform for delivering translations in a variety of languages, including NZSL, via text, video or audio to smart devices. Designed for use in physical spaces such as galleries and museums, it also works well for brochures and posters.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
One of its roles is to administer the Building Act 2004. This includes the code of practice for providing access to buildings for disabled people. You can find out more about accessibility standards on the Building Performance page of its website.
***Disabled Persons Assembly
DPA works with other disabled people’s organisations, government, local government, the media and wider community to advance the wellbeing of disabled people in New Zealand. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a driver of its work.
Hearing New Zealand
This national organisation has 32 separate associations around the country. They raise the profile of hearing issues, and provide information and support to people with a hearing loss, along with their family or whānau.
IHC New Zealand
A national organisation that advocates for the rights, inclusion and welfare of all people with an intellectual or learning disability, and supports them to live satisfying lives in the community. It presents the annual IHC Art Awards and can help arts organisations connect with its key stakeholders.
Contact: T: +64 4 472 2247 | 0800 442 442 | F: +64 4 472 0429 | W: www.ihc.org.nz
An online interpreter booking system, it provides connections between Sign Language interpreters, and the Deaf and hearing people who use them.
New Zealand has 67 district and city councils. They all have a significant role to play in enhancing the lives of disabled people, especially in terms of physical access and the right to live in the community. Many of the councils have community, arts or disability advisors. For more information, contact your local council. The Local Government New Zealand website has links to all council websites and boundary maps.
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
A national organisation that advocates for policies and services supporting people with experience of mental illness, their families, whānau and friends. It provides free information and training.
National Foundation for Deaf & Hard of Hearing
This organisation promotes the interests of Deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It provides information about deafness, hearing impairment, noise injury, tinnitus, audiologists, hearing tests, hearing aids, grants and scholarships. It also encourages New Zealanders to protect and preserve their hearing.
New Zealand Federation of Disability Information Centres
Do you want to know where to hire a ramp or a wheelchair? How to contact a Sign Language interpreter? Or how to reach your local disabled community? NZFDIC provides an information and referral system through a network of independent, community-based centres throughout New Zealand.
***Kapo Māori Aotearoa New Zealand
This national Māori health and disability service provider is driven by and for Māori disabled consumers and their whānau. It’s a member-based society open to any person (disabled, non-disabled, Māori and Non-Māori) who supports the vision: to improve the quality of life of kāpo (blind) Māori and their whānau.
***People First New Zealand Ngā Tāngata Tuatahi
A national self-advocacy organisation run by and for people with learning disability. There are more than 30 groups throughout New Zealand where members meet monthly to discuss issues. An education arm called Learnwithus provides training and lifelong learning opportunities. It also offers an Easy Read Translation Service. Regional contacts are listed on its website.
Platform Interpreting NZ
Platform Interpreting NZ was set up in 2019 by NZSL interpreter Kelly Hodgins in 2019. It specialises in providing interpreting services for the arts and offers a package service to companies wanting to be NZSL/Deaf accessible. Its experienced team includes performance interpreters, Deaf consultants and NZSL interpreter advisors.
Toi Maori Aotearoa
Toi Maori Aotearoa is a key national organisation involved in the development of contemporary Māori arts. It has extensive networks and produces a range of activities, including festivals, exhibitions, performances, publications and workshops. Contact Toi Maori for advice on tikanga Māori (protocol) for your arts events and activities.
Vaka Tautua provides national services for Pacific peoples with disabilities. Its education programmes, resources and activities are aimed at removing barriers to participation and promoting an inclusive society. It can provide artists and arts organisations with advice, information and networks in Pacific communities. It has offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Contact: T: 0800 825 282 | W: www.vakatautua.co.nz
Connect through music: this video was made by Lala Rolls of Island Productions Aotearoa for Arts Access Aotearoa and Chamber Music New Zealand.
Access for all: “The good thing about being focused on access and accessibility is that you create a better experience for everybody,” says Philip Patston in this video, made by Lala Rolls of Island Productions Aotearoa for Arts Access Aotearoa.