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Health and disability

Community Participation Services

The aim of Community Participation Services is to contribute towards disabled people reaching their goals and aspirations in their local communities with the focus on the principles of Enabling Good Lives.


The Mainstream Employment Programme provides a package of subsidies, training, and support to help people with significant disabilities to gain sustainable employment.

The programme provides:

  • A 100% salary subsidy for the first half of an agreed term of up to two years, and an 80% salary subsidy for the second half
  • Funding for agreed external training, specialised equipment or other assistance for the participant
  • Ongoing support for participants and their supervisors

Transition Services

Transition planning for young people with disabilities should begin around age 14 and become more specific and focused as the young person moves towards leaving school.

Transition services funded by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) are available for all Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funded students who are in their last year of school.

Funding is for up to 12 months.

Outward Bound

Outward Bound provides specialised courses for people with an intellectual, physical and/or sensory disability or a health condition. The aim of these courses is to improve motivation, self-confidence and self-esteem. Funding is provided for three courses for people with disabilities:

Aspire – for ages 27+, suitable for people with a mild physical impairment.

Activate – for ages 18+ for people with a physical disability.

Horizons – for ages 18+ for people with an intellectual disability.

Employment Services

The Ministry funds providers to support disabled people and people with a health condition to gain sustainable employment and move closer to financial independence.

Support Funds

If a persons disability means it would cost more than a person without a disability to take on the same job or training, they may be eligible for funding.

Job Support and Training Support funds are available to help people in New Zealand with disabilities to take part in open employment (which means that anyone could apply for the job and it is not reserved for a person with a disability). The funds are administered on MSD’s behalf by Workbridge.

Accessibility Charter

The Accessibility Charter is an across government commitment to increase the accessibility to public information across the state sector. We continue to monitor progress. An Accessibility Guide and a training package is being developed.

Lead Toolkit

We lead the rollout of the Lead Toolkit which is a valuable resource for State Sector leaders, managers and human resource professionals for creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for disabled people. We own the content and keep it updated. We also keep the Minister for Disability Issues informed on progress with update of the Lead Toolkit.

Blind Foundation – Talking Books and Articles for the Blind

The Ministry makes a contribution towards the costs of distributing audio books, magazines and newspapers to blind people.

Medical Alarms

MSD has accredited supplier agreements with six medical alarm suppliers. Clients can have the cost of a medical alarm included in their Disability Allowance if their health practitioner supports it.

The suppliers provide medical alarms, rental agreements, installation, monitoring, maintenance and response to all activated alarm signals at any time 24 hours per day, seven days a week for clients.

Electricity Retailers

We partner with electricity retailers to ensure clients are provided with the right assistance when needed. We have developed practices and processes with retailers to respond to vulnerable clients who may have a medical dependence on a secure supply of electricity.


MSD has preferred supplier agreements with a number of opticians from around NZ. MSD has negotiated an inclusive price for clients that includes:

  • an eye test
  • lenses including single vision, bifocals or standard progressives
  • frames
  • a fitting service
  • repairs
  • a cleaning cloth and case
  • two year warranty on defective parts.
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