Getting a job

People with disabilities have the same rights to employment as everyone else but they often find it difficult to get a job. There are ways to help.

A job can improve financial independence, build relationships and bring freedom to make choices. People with disabilities have the same rights to employment as everyone else but often find it difficult to get a job.

Limited opportunities and other people's attitudes can be barriers to finding a job if someone has an intellectual disability.  There are ways to help:

  • Discuss career planning with a school guidance counsellor or school careers advisor
  • Tertiary providers will have a contact person or a support service for people with disabilities. Contact the tertiary provider directly for specific details
  • Develop a plan to gain work skills and workplace experiences
  • Contact youth transition or career services for assistance with career planning, CV development and job searching
  • Look online for job vacancies
  • Contact Choices NZ (part of the IHC Group) which helps disabled people and those with health-related conditions achieve their employment goals
  • Workbridge also provides support to find a job and supports people while they’re employed
  • Contact the local Work and Income office to discuss employment and the services and supports available to assist with finding employment
  • Supported employment agencies provide help with job searching and ongoing support such as job coaches and work brokering. Information about supported job agencies can be found on the NZ Down Syndrome Association website
  • In some regions, support may be available from Enabling Good Lives navigators or Local Area Coordinators. Ask your NASC whether these services are available in your region

Government support

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) funds a range of services to support people with disabilities to gain and maintain employment. This includes services available to every job seeker on a benefit and some specialist services for people with disabilities.

Employment Agreements

People First New Zealand, in conjunction with IHC, developed an Easy Read employment agreement, which is able to be downloaded from their website People First NZ – Rights at work. This agreement complies with New Zealand employment law and can be used to assist people to understand their employment rights and responsibilities.

How we can help

If you have any questions call our Community Connect phone line 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday on 0800 442 311