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Funding & Disability

Deaf and Hearing Impaired – FAQs

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Funding for hearing aids

1. I’m 62 years old and have just found out I need hearing aids. Is there any financial help available to pay for them?

Ministry of Health funding may be available for people who need hearing aids in order to work full time, study full time or do vocational training. An audiologist completes an assessment for hearing aids and, if you meet the criteria, makes an application to Accessable (if you live in Auckland or Northland) or Enable New Zealand (if you live in the rest of NZ).

If you are not eligible for hearing aids from Accessable or Enable New Zealand you may be eligible for a hearing aid subsidy. Enable New Zealand administers the Ministry of Health hearing aid subsidy for people needing hearing aids. To be eligible for a subsidy you will need to have a disability as defined by the Ministry of Health, meet other criteria such as being a NZ resident and residing in New Zealand, and have an assessment by an audiologist determining the need for a hearing aid. The audiologist will make an application to Enable New Zealand. The subsidy is a part payment towards the cost of hearing aids and you (or Work and Income New Zealand) will need to pay the difference.

Contact Enable New Zealand for further information about the subsidy.
Ph 0800 362 253 or 06 353 5800, fax 06 353 5876 or email enable@enable.co.nz.

Equipment for Deaf parents

2. I am Deaf and am having a baby next month. A friend told me I could get a special baby monitor and maybe other equipment to help. Who do I see about this?

If you become a client of the Deaf Association of New Zealand you can have your needs assessed by a Service Coordinator who can then organise for an equipment assessment to be done. You may be able to get funding for equipment if you meet the Ministry of Health definition of disability and other criteria. Alternatively you can purchase equipment from shops which sell disability equipment . (The Deaf Association of New Zealand or New Zealand Foundation for the Deaf Inc) can advise you of where to go to purchase equipment).

Support for tertiary education

3. I’d like to go to University. I have hearing aids but am not sure if I will be able to keep up with the rest of the class. Is there equipment or help that could make it easier?

Universities have Disability Coordinators who help students identify what resources they will need to complete their studies and arrange the necessary support. NZ Sign Language Interpreters and note-takers are available to help deaf or hearing impaired students in class; equipment or adaptive technology can also be organised. Disability Coordinators can liaise with teaching staff to make sure your needs are known, and can help make alternative arrangements for exams if needed. Contact the Disability Coordinator or Disability Resource Office at the University of your choice for more information.

Organising an interpreter

4. I am Deaf – how do I organise an interpreter to come with me to the doctors?

You can book an interpreter through the Deaf Association of New Zealand The cost is covered by the Ministry of Health which has a contract with the Deaf Association of New Zealand to provide this service. The Deaf Association of New Zealand can help with information and advice, employment, equipment, support services, and community education.

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