Staff with disabilities and impairments

The Staff with Disabilities Policy aims to ensure that the University is an inclusive and accessible environment for staff with disabilities. This includes providing equitable recruitment processes, employment terms and conditions. The University has statutory responsibilities to provide reasonable support to people with disabilities and to remove or reduce barriers to their participation in performing their roles as valued members of this community.

Guidelines for staff with disabilities and their managers


Our Staff with Disabilities and their Managers Guidelines explain the benefits of inclusive practices, how to avoid discrimination, and the legal implications of employing people with disabilities and impairments. They are intended to provide practical advice.

Employing staff with disabilities


In addition to following the Guidelines mentioned above, the checklist for employing staff with disabilities provides advice and links to resource material for each step in the employment process from selection criteria to interviewing and appropriate follow-up after appointment.

Campus accessibility


Female staff member sitting at desk with compression wrap around ankle, reaching for crutches

The University of Auckland works to ensure that all of our campuses are accessible for people with impairments. If you have access concerns or challenges please feel free to contact a member of the Equity team at equity@auckland.ac.nz

Reasonable accommodation

If you require the provision of any permanent or temporary reasonable accommodations to do your job, due to a disability, injury or illness you should discuss this with your manager. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include:

  • Structural; such as ensuring access to a building or lowering the height of a work bench
  • Organisational; changes to job design, work schedules or other work practices, for example allocating some aspects of the job to another employee or swapping duties amongst staff
  • Technological; providing adaptive technology such as a text telephone (TTY)  or screen reading software
  • Procedural; for example providing extra time in pre-employment work test to allow for sign language interpretation.

Each case will be considered in its own circumstances and on its own merits. Managers can refer to the Staff with Disabilities and their Managers Guidelines, and download more information below on providing reasonable accommodation.

Accessible parking

Parking is very limited on all of the University of Auckland's campuses, and particularly in the central city. There are a small number of accessible /mobility car parks available for students and staff who already have a CCS issued mobility card.

Staff who have permanent disabilities and require access to University disability car parking spaces must liaise directly with staffservice@auckland.ac.nz

Staff with temporary impairments, who require assistance with accessing University accessible car parking should follow the process below.

Process for obtaining a Temporary Permit

Staff who already hold a University Parking Permit

  1. Staff who already have a parking permit but require temporary mobility parking either at the same car park or one closer to their place of work, should send the completed Accessible Parking Application Form and a copy of the relevant medical certificate or CCS card to cathie.walsh@auckland.ac.nz, Staff Equity Manager.
  2. If the Application is approved Access Control and Car Parking will be advised.
  3. When Access Control have activated access to the car park via the staff member’s swipe card, a temporary accessible parking permit will be issued by the Equity Office.
  4. While parking in University accessible car parks, relevant parking permits must be displayed at all times. i.e. both the staff member’s standard annual parking permit plus a CCS card, or the standard annual parking permit plus the temporary accessible permit.

Staff who currently don’t hold a University Parking Permit

  1. Staff who currently don’t have a parking permit but require mobility parking should complete the Accessible Parking Application Form and take it to the Cashier for payment. A maximum six week term is recommended at $25 per week.
  2. The receipt (or copy), plus Accessible Parking Application and medical certificate (or copy) should then be forwarded to cathie.walsh@auckland.ac.nz, Staff Equity Manager.
  3. If the application is approved, Access Control and Car Parking will be advised.
  4. When Access Control have activated access to the car park via the staff member’s swipe card, a temporary accessible parking permit will be issued by the Equity Office.
  5. An application for an extension of temporary parking can be forwarded to the Equity Office. This should be no longer than six weeks. If it is anticipated that accessible parking will be required for any longer, the staff member should apply to CCS Disability Action for a CCS card and to staffservice@auckland.ac.nz for Campus Parking for one year.
  6. While parking in University accessible car parks, relevant parking permit(s) must be displayed at all times. i.e. the temporary accessible permit, or both the staff member’s standard annual parking permit plus a CCS card, or the standard annual parking permit plus the temporary accessible permit.

Note: A CCS card will allow the card holder to park in all other public accessible car parks throughout New Zealand. Either see your doctor or download the CCS form on-line from CCS Disability Action

Braille maps

The University of Auckland and the Blind Foundation have partnered to develop braille maps of the University’s campuses. If you would like to access a map please contact Student Disability Services.

Student Disability Services
Equity Office - Te Ara Tautika
Room 036, Basement Level, ClockTower
22 Princes St, Auckland
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 82936
Fax: +64 9 308 2354
Email: disability@auckland.ac.nz

Fire emergency management and evacuation


Staff who may need assistance and support during an emergency evacuation should register their name and location details with the Building Warden. 

Employees who work with staff who have a disability or who know of visitors or students with disabilities should ensure those people are aware of the emergency and offer support if needed. For example a Deaf person may need to be advised of the fire alarm, a person having a panic attack may need support to exit the building, the building warden may need to be informed of someone requiring an alternative accessible route.

Please see Help for people with disabilities and/or who need assistance during an evacuation

Supporting staff who are blind or have low vision


To support staff wellness, the University provides eye examinations and subsidised lenses and frames for eligible staff. Read the Eye Tests for Staff Members Standards

Interacting with a blind person may seem a little daunting at first. But an open mind and following a few basic principles will assist. Read the Blind Foundation’s advice on How to help or communicate with someone who is blind or has low vision

Accessible Documents

All written material such as emails, intranet documents, reports, and lectures can be created in a way that will improve accessibility for people who use adaptive technology such as screen readers and magnifiers. Guidelines for creating accessible documents are the same good practice writing guidelines as for writing any readable, consistent and easy to navigate document. See the Blind Foundation's resource on Making your communications accessible

For further information or support available for people who are blind or have low vision, including appropriate adaptive technology and creating braille, audio or other accessible resources contact the Blind Foundation.

Supporting staff who are Deaf or hearing impaired


Communication with a deaf person doesn’t have to be a barrier to their participation and inclusion at work. Deaf Aotearoa’s Communication Tips provides some helpful information.

If you want to learn sign language contact Deaf Aotearoa for online or face-to-face classes.

Deaf Aotearoa can also offer practical guidance and advice in the following areas:

  • Ensuring health and safety requirements are met
  • Providing deaf awareness training for staff
  • Developing effective communication strategies; tips to assist lip reading, sign language, training, adaptive technology and basic etiquette
  • Assisting with interpreters
  • Organise job subsidies through Workbridge
  • Providing on-going support for the deaf employee and their manager as needed — including working through difficult situations such as disciplinary proceedings

Captioned videos

Staff who show videos at meetings, in presentations and lectures or give links to videos on the internet can assist staff (and students) who have hearing impairments by providing a script or ensuring they are captioned.

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is a free service for people who are deaf which is provided using a web camera or video conference unit with a Sign Language Interpreter and could be useful in particular one-on-one situations such as recruitment interviews, performance appraisal interviews, staff-student meeting etc. Contact VRI for more information.

Deaf Aotearoa can provide further information and support for people who are deaf or hearing impaired, their colleagues and managers.

Illness and injury


ACC provides a useful educational tool which promotes self-help and problem solving for preventing and managing discomfort, pain and injury at the workplace on their HabitAtWork website.

The Rehabilitation Standards and Procedures outlines how the University supports rehabilitation following an injury or illness and ensuring that there are appropriate plans for monitoring the health and rehabilitation of a staff member.

If you are facing difficult circumstances or decisions, personally or at work, EAP can help you work towards finding a personalised solution and peace of mind. All EAP discussions are confidential.

Medical retirement cannot be forced. However, if you have been ill or injured and fitness to work is in question, a proper process of assessment is expected.  The outcomes of which should lead to an honest discussion between you and your manager. Considerations would include:

  • A complete medical/psychological/functional assessment
  • Appropriate treatment requirements and/or rehabilitation plan
  • When it is safe to return
  • Impact on job description
  • What tasks can be managed and how
  • Reasonable adjustments that may be required

A number of wellbeing at work seminars are available to staff. See Wellness Workshops and Resilience for Change Workshops.

If you have an accident or injury at work you should fill out an incident form and contact your department or division Health and Safety representative. See Work Accident and ACC Claims for more information. WorkAon manages work injury claims for the University. Their Claims Management and Rehabilitation Manual provides information for managers and employees.

Other disabilities and impairments


Information on a range of other impairments can be found on the Workbridge or WEKA Websites. Workbridge is a specialist employment service that works with people with all types of disability, injury or illness. WEKA is New Zealand's disability information website, for people with disabilities, their families, whanāu and caregivers, health professionals and disability information providers.  Some common disabilities and impairments are: