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Inclusivity Hub

What is disability?

Disability is defined as any long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder the full and effective participation of disabled people in society on an equal basis with others. 

The experience of disability is influenced by the nature of a person’s impairment. Gender, age, ethnicity and culture can also have a profound and sometimes compounding effect on an individual’s experience of disability. 

Download Spotlight on Disability (PDF)
Disability in Aotearoa


Walking icon Clapping hands icon Heart and head icon Hearing icon Vision icon Speech icon
Walking, lifting or bending Using your hands to hold, grasp or use objects Learning, concentrating or remembering Hearing, even when using a hearing aid  Seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lens Communication, mixing with others or socialising


Some common impairments are listed above. Many impairments can’t be easily identified by others (invisible), and some people who experience an impairment may not identify as being disabled. 

1 in 4 New Zealanders identify as disabled, including 11% of young people under the age of 15. Just over half of all disabled people in New Zealand experience more than one type of impairment.  

‘Tangata Whaikaha’ is a term that can be used to reference Māori with a disability. ‘Whaikaha’ is a strength-based term that means ‘to have ability’ or ‘to be enabled’.  

Hear from young people

Hear from the youth panel at the 2023 Sport NZ Disability Hui.


Watch Braydon’s experience of dance and performance.  

Key contacts 

Contact these organisations for connections and training. 

Organisational inclusivity

Improve your organisational policies, procedures and strategy. 

Practice inclusivity

Improve your practices when working with diverse groups of participants. 

Community stories

Add to the Hub

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a complex space and we are determined to continually evolve the Hub so the content remains up-to-date, relevant and useful. If you would like to submit an addition to the Hub for consideration, please let us know

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

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