Disability policy and practice in New Zealand encourages inclusion and participation in society.
Support for people living with a disability can be accessed through either the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) or the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Through ACC you may be eligible for a range of services including home help, attendant help, and childcare. Contact ACC to find out what kind of help they can provide and how to make a claim.
The Ministry of Health funds disability services supporting people to live in their own homes or within their own communities. These services are accessed via the Needs Assessment and Services Coordination procedure.
People’s needs vary greatly and there are different ways in which you can start to live more independently. You can read more about these options below. Your Needs Assessment Service Coordinator (NASC) will help you decide on the appropriate level of support required.
Supported Independent Living
Supported Independent Living services allow you to live in your own home either independently or with others. The services suit a person who normally needs additional support beyond what is provided by personal support and household management. It’s not intended to be a 24-hour support service.
The idea of supported living is that as you learn new skills and gain confidence you will rely less on formal support. Following an assessment by NASC you will be referred to an appropriate service. The referral will give guidelines to help you maintain independence and your lifestyle of choice. The Ministry of Health provides more information on supported living on their website.
If you wish to leave the family home but need a high level of support, Community Residential Support Services provide 24-hour support in a range of community settings for both physically and intellectually disabled people. These services are funded by the Ministry of Health and can be accessed through your Needs Assessment Coordinator.
Alternatively, Home Based Support Services (HBSS) assist you to be independent in your own home. Support workers spend an agreed number of hours providing personal support and helping with household management. You can be referred to the service by either an ACC staff member or NASC.
You may be eligible for Individualised Funding to help pay for Home Based Support services. This gives you more choice and control over who cares for you and when.
The following organisations have more information on the ways you can live independently.
The New Zealand Federation of Disability Information Centres nationally promotes and supports the local provision of information on disability, they provide impartial information and referral services. You can contact your nearest information provider for more information on independent living services near you.
Support Options is an online guide to disability support services for those living in the Auckland and Northland areas that are funded by Disability Services, a part of Health and Disability National Services of the Ministry of Health.
CCS Disability Action takes a supported lifestyle approach to helping you live in your community. Their website outlines the various aspects to this and includes a regional search tool so you can access services in your area.
Weka provides information about support services for people living with disability, their families, whanau and caregivers and health professionals in New Zealand.
Imagine Better is a not for profit organisation providing individually designed disability supports. It offers an easy to use pre-assessment planning service designed to help you with your needs assessment.
Listed below you will find some of the supported living services organisations in New Zealand. You can find more by using the search tool provided by the New Zealand Federation of Disability Information Centres
Idea Services is the support arm of IHC for people with intellectual disabilities to help them live and work in their local community.
A Supported Life offers adolescents and adults with an intellectual disability a wide range of opportunities and residential options in their own community.
The Renaissance Group is one of the largest supported living services in New Zealand. It aims to make the process of growing up, leaving home and becoming an independent adult as common and acceptable for disabled people as it is for the rest of the population.
Access is one of New Zealand’s leading healthcare organisations specializing in home based healthcare and support. It offers a variety of services to support independent living.
Visionary Living work with people of all ethnicities and disabilities who are aged between 16 and 65 years in the greater Auckland area. Some areas of assistance include finding appropriate accommodation, managing your home and financial affairs, travelling safely, training, and social and recreational activities. You can contact them on 09 629 0111 or firstname.lastname@example.org