Needs Assessment

We will talk with you about your goals, dreams and what you need to live well.

This conversation enables us to find the best people, opportunities and supports in your community.

How does it work?


The first step is to apply for a Needs Assessment. You can apply yourself, or ask a family member, friend or your health professional to complete an application on your behalf. We will let you know when we have received your application.

Eligibility check

Next, we’ll check you’re eligible for a Needs Assessment. If it’s the first time you have worked with us, we may need your doctor or specialist to confirm your disability.


If you’re eligible, we will arrange a meeting to learn more about you. This meeting is formally called a ‘Needs Assessment’.

What happens at a Needs Assessment?

During your Needs Assessment we will ask you questions about your life, listen carefully and learn as much as we can about your goals, dreams and what you need to live well.

You can choose the place for your meeting and you are welcome to have whānau, a friend, a caregiver or an advocate with you.

When your meeting is being arranged, please let us know if you would prefer to talk with one of our Māori or Pasifika staff. We can also arrange an interpreter, including a New Zealand Sign Language interpreter, if you need one.

At the end of your meeting, a report will be put together. We will show you a copy and ask you to check it. You will also need to sign it or have someone sign it for you.

Your next assessment

Because life is always changing, we make sure that you are re-assessed every three years to five years. We’ll get in touch with you to arrange a meeting when it is time.

You can also ask to be re-assessed earlier, particularly if there are any big changes in your life.

Who is eligible?

AccessAbility offers Needs Assessment to disabled people from birth to 65 years of age in Otago, Southland, Taranaki and Whanganui. To be eligible for a Needs Assessment, your disability must last longer than six months and you must need support in some parts of your life because of your disability.

Your disability could be:

  • physical
  • sensory: vision, hearing and Autism Spectrum
  • intellectual.

Find out more about who is eligible

How do I apply?

There are two ways to apply.

Option one

Download and fill out an Application for a Needs Assessment, then email it to or post it to your local AccessAbility office.

Download Application for a Needs Assessment Word Document (785KB doc)

Download Application for a Needs Assessment PDF Document (313KB pdf)

First time applications

If it’s the first time you have worked with us, please ask your doctor or specialist to fill out a ‘Confirming your disability’ form and attach it to your application.

Download Confirming your disability form Word Document (512KB doc)

Download Confirming your disability form PDF Document (445KB pdf)

Option two

Contact your local office and we’ll assist you to complete your application over the phone, via email or in person.

Find the contact details for your local office

People’s stories

Jaime at BalletJaime’s story

Jaime’s family chooses people she gets on well with to be her support workers. They help her with the activities she enjoys, such as ballet and Pippins. Her support workers are employed using Individualised Funding, set up by AccessAbility.

Read Jaime’s story

Kevin preparing biscuits for the ovenKevin’s story

Kevin enjoys contributing to his church and his local community. Since AccessAbility introduced him and his family to Individualised Funding and Funded Family Care, he has been able to do more of what he loves.

Read Kevin’s story

Giving feedback about your assessment

We want you to live the life you imagine – so if something isn’t working for you or if it’s going really well, please let us know. Your feedback helps us to improve what we do.

Find out more about your options for giving feedback