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Needs Assessment

We will work alongside you to find out your goals, dreams and what supports you need to live well.

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

Who is eligible?

Life Unlimited and AccessAbility offer Needs Assessment to disabled people from birth to 65 years of age in Otago, Southland, Whanganui, Taranaki, Hutt Valley and Tairāwhiti. 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
    • autism
    • sensory: vision and/or hearing
    • intellectual

    Contact us today!

    To get started, you need to contact us for a Needs Assessment or someone else can do it on your behalf. That process is called a referral.

    You can apply yourself or we will also accept an application made on your behalf by:

      • a member of your whanau or family,
      • a friend
      • a carer
      • a disability support organisation
      • a doctor or health professional

    If you are applying on behalf of someone else, the person that the Needs Assessment is for needs to give their permission before the application is made.

    The person applying needs to complete the Needs Assessment application form to start the process.

    We will let you know once we have received your application.

    Eligibility check

    After we receive your form, we will check that you are 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.

    We can only start the Needs Assessment once we have confirmed you are eligible.

    How do I apply?

    Download the PDF or word document and fill out an Application for a Needs Assessment

    If you are in Taranaki, Whanganui or Otago, email the completed form to  or post it to your local AccessAbility office.

    If you are in Hutt/Wellington or Tairawhiti/Gisborne, email the completed form to or post it to your local Life Unlimited office.

      First time applications

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

      We get to know you

      We will arrange a meeting to learn more about you, so we can understand your needs and the things that are important to you.

      We talk with you and other people in your life, such as your family/whānau, your carer and other people important to you.

      We want you to feel comfortable when talking with us

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

      Let us know if you would like us to organise cultural support or interpreter services, including an NZSL interpreter.

      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.

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

      Organising support

      Soon after your Needs Assessment meeting, we will contact you to talk about ideas that could assist you to live well.

      We will work with you to find the right support to help you achieve your goals. Our local teams are very knowledgeable about their areas and will help you connect with the best support available.

      We can connect you with people, opportunities and supports in your community to help you to live well.

      Support ideas may include:

        • formal or informal support from whānau and friends
        • personal care or home help
        • Individualised Funding
        • local networks, community or disability organisations
        • Local Area Coordination
        • Funded Family Care
        • home and community support including respite and carer support
        • Supported Living
        • Residential support.


      More information

      Find out more about Local Area Coordination


      Feedback – Are we doing well?

      We’d like to ask you for some feedback about your experience with Life Unlimited and AccessAbility Needs Assessment and Local Area Coordination (LAC) as this will help us improve the services we provide.

      The feedback takes approximately five minutes to complete. Tell us what you think.