Introducing The Hāpai Access Card

Disabled access is a legal requirement for business. But did you know that disabled customers also have rights regarding the experience that they have? 

 

Unfortunately, shopping and buying goods is an everyday experience where disabled people often reported unequal treatment. 

The Hāpai Access Card has partnered with Nimbus Disability in the UK to bring the card to Aotearoa New Zealand. The card was started about nine years ago in the UK and now has approaching 100,000 cardholders and 1500+ businesses.

In December 2020 we launched the card in Christchurch, and we are now bringing on businesses nationwide.

 

The card is based on the social model for disability, and a proven, best practice mechanism to help in closing the gap between business and the disabled community, as well as also creating a more inclusive society by removing the barriers that many of our disabled Kiwis face when it comes to getting out and about.

How Does It Work?

A disabled person applies for a card providing evidence of the barriers they face when engaging in the community.  Based on the application a card is issued which shows the icons (pictures) that relate to the person's barriers.  The card scheme has nine icons which cover the most frequent barriers. The card costs NZ$30 for 3 years. (Note the example below shows all the icons, but an issued card will only have a few).

Participating businesses have gone through the process of looking at the barriers and providing reasonable accommodations - the legal term for how they need to adapt their business to make it more accessible. In addition their staff go through some basic training so that they can respond appropriately when presented with the card. Information about each business can be found via our website.

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By presenting their card the person can expect to receive a customer experience that reflects the icons on the card.  In many participating businesses the cardholder can get a discount, and where the card shows that the cardholder needs a carer, the carer will get a free entry/ticket.

 
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