Disability Awareness Training

This workshop has been designed to develop skills that will help you communicate and work with disabled people.

By creating an ‘Accessible Taranaki’ we play a major role in promoting independence. Working together through this program will create opportunities to rethink ideas about disability, shift perceptions about disabled people, and encourage creative and effective designs for inclusive services.

Our goal is to bring you the most accessible and helpful information available.

Learning outcomes

  • Increased awareness, enabling you to be part of an inclusive community and achieve equality for people with disabilities.

  • Understanding the value of inclusion and participation of disabled people within our communities.

  • Knowledge and skills to help you ensure people with a disability can access services on the same terms as any other consumer. 

Topics we cover

  • Disability increases with age

  • Breaking down barriers

  • Asking if there is anything specific they need

  • Values, beliefs, and attitudes

  • Communication skills

  • Service animals

When is our next course?

Check our events page to see when our next disability awareness training course is being held.

View upcoming disability awareness workshops

How much does this course cost?


How do I register for this course?

Express your interest, contact Marama Simeon on Ph: 06 7590019 or email: marama@taranakidic.org.nz 

Education around appropriate responsiveness to people with disabilities promotes value, inclusion, and participation within our communities. Health and Disability advisors and support networks we ensure that a person with a disability can access services on the same terms as any other consumer.

 Approachability          Accessibility          Usability 

Disability is a term covering personal impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. The most common disability types for adults are physical and sensory disabilities.


  • can result from accident, illness, congenital disorders or genes.
  • can be of many different kinds - physical, intellectual or mental health-related.
  • may be visible or hidden, permanent or temporary and may have a little or major impact on a person’s life.
  • may affect mobility, ability to learn, or ability to communicate easily.

Most disabled people can do most things that people without disability can do. Sometimes a person may need some form of adjustment or support (eg a guide dog or adapted technology) to help them manage the effect of their disability.

No two people are the same, and even people with the same disability don’t experience it in the same way.

The New Zealand Disability Strategy:

"Disability is not something individuals have. What individuals have are impairments. They may be physical, sensory, neurological, psychiatric, intellectual or other impairments... Disability is the process which happens when one group of people create barriers by designing a world only for their way of living, taking no account of the impairments other people have..."

Statistics NZ:

"any self-perceived limitation in activity resulting from a long-term condition or health problem; lasting longer or expected to last longer than six months or more and not completely eliminated by an assistive device".

Language etiquette

  • People often worry about saying the wrong thing when talking to people with a disability. If you are unsure about how to say something, ask the person what they prefer. Respectful language about disability and disabled people should be used even if a disabled person is not present.
  • Never describe people by their impairments eg 'an epileptic', or 'a diabetic'.
  • People without a disability should be described as 'non-disabled' rather than 'able bodied' as people with learning difficulties or mental health problems may consider themselves as disabled.
  • Don't be embarrassed about using common expressions such as 'see you later' in front of someone who has a visual impairment or 'you'll hear from me soon' to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.

More Information – For more information on disability etiquette, visit the Office of Disability issues(external link) (external website)


Call or email us


06 759 0019




28 Young Street, New Plymouth 4310
PO Box 1550 Westown
New Plymouth 4340