“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.”

- JP Morgan

The Programme in detail

How do employers achieve the Accessibility Tick?

To achieve the Accessibility Tick, member organisations need to demonstrate a commitment to, and take tangible steps towards, becoming more accessible and inclusive. It is necessary for the organisation’s leadership to visibly demonstrate their commitment to accessibility throughout the organisation.

Whilst we don’t expect employers to have fully achieved all of the competencies in order to receive the Accessibility Tick, we do expect a commitment (at CEO or MD level) to accessibility in the nine competencies. The organisation must start taking meaningful steps towards their disability inclusion and equity journey, undertaking an on-going programme of achievable, sustainable and continuous improvement.

Our ultimate goal is to reduce the disability employment gap, which cannot be achieved without the involvement of engaged employers. The sooner we can encourage employers to commit to beginning their journey, taking small, intentional steps toward greater accessibility and workplace disability equity, the better.

The Accessibility Tick logo of a blue circle and a green tick inside it stylised as a fern. Maintaining the Accessibility Tick

Being awarded the Tick is just the beginning of the journey. Accessibility and disability inclusion is not a final destination, but a continuous journey. Each year, we conduct a further assessment annually and review progress made towards achieving the employers’ Action Plan. In order to maintain the Accessibility Tick, there must be continuous improvement shown in the accessibility journey without regressing in any of the nine competencies.


Organisations undertaking the Accessibility Tick Programme are a part of the Empower membership tier with the NZ Disability Employers' Network, receive a broad range of benefits.

Learn more about programme benefits.

Three people stand in front of a shelf of products. They are Phil Turner, Jennifer and Toby Poole. Jennifer holds a framed copy of the Accessibility Tick certificate. They are all smiling at the camera.
Phil Turner presenting Nestle New Zealand's Jennifer Chappell and Toby Poole with their Accessibility Tick certificate, in February 2023.
Three people stand in front of a blue wall. The person in the centre holds a framed copy of the Accessibility Tick certificate. They are all smiling at the camera.
Phil Turner presenting Meridian Energy with with their Accessibility Tick certificate, in December 2020.
The Accessibility Tick logo of a blue circle and a green tick inside it stylised as a fern.

Steps in the Programme

  • Application

    Organisations interested in participating in the Accessibility Tick programme make contact with the NZDEN team to initiate the process. The application process involves completing a short form that provides basic information about your organisation.

  • Gap Analysis
    Upon joining, we provide members with Evidence Collection materials, and book in a time for an in-depth initial assessment, where we explore together the evidence collected to create a deep understanding of the organisations current state. The assessment includes a complete review across nine areas of competency: Commitment, Physical Environment, Recruitment and Selection, Employer Support / Workplace Adjustements, Communications and Marketing, Products and Services, Information Communication Technology, Career Development, Suppliers and Partners. More details of the the nine competencies are shown lower on this page.
  • Create an Action Plan
    Once the assessment is completed, the organisation receives a detailed report that gives recommendations for improvement. The NZDEN then supports the organisation in developing and implementing an achievable Annual Action Plan to improve disability inclusion.
  • On-going Support and quarterly meetings
    We understand that identifying and setting a plan is not enough for organisations to bring their Action Plans to fruition. The NZDEN consultants are available for advice and support throughout the year. Each organisation will have quarterly catch-up meetings to review progress of their Action Plan and unlock any barriers.
  • Repeat annually
    Steps 2 to 4 are repeated annually to support the continual growth of members.

Nine Competencies

Successful organisations have systems in place to manage different facets of their business such as quality, environmental and health and safety. The Accessibility Tick Programme uses an accessibility management system to help organisations understand, benchmark and improve disability confidence to better meet the needs of customers and employees with accessibility needs. The accessibility management system has nine areas of competency.

Each competency was chosen to align with International best practice such as the UK Disability Forum - Disability Smart Framework and the Australian Network on Disability (AND) - Access and Inclusion Index.

The nine areas of competency are:

  • Commitment
    This is about the organisation’s visible top-down commitment to continuous improvement on their accessibility and inclusion journey. This commitment will be reflected in policies, procedures and in practice.

  • Physical Environment
    This is about commitment to providing built environments that are physically accessible when it is practical in your business cycle to do so. We are not expecting you to retrofit all of your sites now, however we do expect that member organisations will consider accessibility with any future build, leases or renovations of their premises.

  • Recruitment and Selection
    This competency is about having fair and equitable recruitment and selection practices that are inclusive of all, including people with accessibility needs. We help you get this right, so you can encourage candidates with accessibility needs to apply for jobs with your organisation and support them through the recruitment process.

  • Employer Support / Workplace Adjustments
    Employer support is a very broad category. It includes processes for requesting workplace adjustments, providing reasonable adjustments, processes for supporting workers’ mental healt, processes for supporting workers to return to work after injury, illness or other incapacity, processes for supporting aging workers and health and safety considerations.

  • Communications and Marketing
    This competency helps you make sure your internal and external communications and marketing are accessible to all employees, customers and other stakeholders.

  • Products and Services
    With nearly 1 in 4 New Zealander’s identifying with having an accessibility need, if your organisation is not considering accessibility and inclusion in the products and services that you deliver to customers, you could be missing out on a large share of the market. A great example of this is the 2016 Click Away Pound Survey 2016 Click Away Pound Survey which found inaccessible websites costs UK retailers 11.75 billion pounds in 2015 alone. This competency is about helping you ensure your organisation is capable of serving the entire community.

  • Information Communication Technology
    This competency is about ensuring your organisation’s ICT including hardware, software and online environments are accessible for people with access needs wherever possible. Where it is not possible to be fully accessible, alternative solutions are provided.

  • Career Development
    This competency is about supporting employees with accessibility needs in their career development so they have equal opportunities to progress their careers as their non-disabled peers.

  • Suppliers and Partners
    This competency is really two-fold. First it helps you ensure that the goods and services that your organisation procures from your suppliers won’t inadvertently create accessibility issues. Secondly, it is about encouraging your suppliers and partners to mirror your commitment to accessibility and inclusion.

New Zealand Disability Employers’ Network

The New Zealand Disability Employers’ Network is a collective of NZ employers committed to improving disability inclusion and accessibility practices in their own organisations and across Aotearoa. The network is recognised by the UN's International Labour Organisation's Global Business and Disability Network as a key New Zealand body representing businesses in their accessibility journey.

Join the Accessibility Tick Programme

Take the first step towards joining a community committed to fostering inclusivity and accessibility in the workplace.

Fill in the form below to express your interest in joining the Accessibility Tick Programme and accessing the valuable resources and support that the New Zealand Disability Employers Network (NZDEN) offers.

Membership to the NZ Disability Employers Network is included in the programme, offering a range of benefits designed to support your organisation's journey towards becoming more disability and neurodiversity-inclusive.

Application to join the Accessibility Tick programme
Please share with us more about your organisations interest in joining the Accessibility Tick programme/NZ Disability Employers Network.