Serious injury & disability

Useful resources

There are many books and websites that provide information and support for people with serious injuries. These contain useful information and resources you can access for support.

Traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are usually classified by severity.

Mild TBI - Concussion

Concussion is considered part of the spectrum of mild TBI symptoms and usually has no long term consequences. 

Concussion happens in any sport. Everyone can learn to recognise the signs and what to do.

Visit the SportSmart Concussion page

Moderate/severe TBI

A moderate or severe TBI is usually associated with:

  • loss of consciousness (30 minutes or more)
  • prolonged memory loss (24 hours or more)
  • damage to the brain that can be seen on radiology (such as a computed tomography [CT] scan).


Online resources

ACC resources

ACC and Insight Rehabilitation (Laura Fergusson Trust Canterbury) resouces

Brain Injury Association resources (External links)

About the brain 
What is brain injury? 
Learning to live with brain injury 
Your rehabilitation 
Cognition - attention, concentration & memory 
Changes in behaviour mood and personality 
Fatigue management 
Coping with brain injury - for family and friends 
Alcohol and drugs 
Work and study 

Support groups 

(External links)

Brain Injury Association of New Zealand 

Head Injury Network for Kiwis 

Spinal injury

Books and other printed resources

"Back on Track:spinal injury rehabilitation handbook", published by the New Zealand Spinal Trust. "Back on Track" is a unique patient handbook for people in their early rehabilitation phase as well as for their carers, whānau/families and friends. Order Back on Track from the New Zealand Spinal Trust website (external link).

Support groups

(External links)

New Zealand Spinal Trust 

Spinal Cord Society of New Zealand Incorporated 

TASC: The Association for Spinal Concerns 

The CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust 

Other disabilities

Support groups

(External links)

Amputees Federation of New Zealand 

Burns Support Group Charitable Trust 

Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind 

For carers

Complex Care Group Trust
PO Box 334-073
Sunnynook, AUCKLAND 0743
0800 852 693

Support groups

(External links)

Carers New Zealand 

Carer Support Groups Near You 

New Zealand Carers Alliance

Te Pou: o Te Whakaaro Nui  – mental health, addiction and disability workforce development

For parents

Books and other printed resources

"Children with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Parents’ Guide", Lisa Schoenbrodt (editor), 2001. Written by a team of medical specialists, therapists, educators and an attorney, the book covers:

  • what is traumatic brain injury
  • medical concerns
  • rehabilitation and treatments
  • coping and adjustment
  • effects on learning and thinking
  • speech and language, and behaviour
  • educational needs
  • legal issues.

The book is available to order online (external link). 

Support groups

Parent to Parent New Zealand (external link)

Disability support groups

More information on disability support groups

Disability information

New Zealand Federation of Disability Information Centres (external link)

WEKA Disability Information (external link)

Disability rights and advocacy

Books and other printed resources

Enabling Good Lives” (external link) report, August 2011.  This report, commissioned by the Minister for Disability Issues (Hon. Tariana Turia), takes a fresh approach to community participation and day services for people with disabilities.  For more information visit the Office of Disability Issues (external link) website.

Advocacy groups

(External links)

Attitude Live 

Disabled Persons Assembly New Zealand 

World Health Organization (WHO) information on disabilities 

Government agencies

(External links)

Health and Disability Commissioner 

Office for Disability Issues 

Self help

“Hope and Rehabilitation”, by Frances Denz July 2009.  A hand book for people with disabilities interested in self-employment.  The book can be ordered by emailing the author directly at

Spinal Dogs: A day in the life of Ivor Disabilitybich” (external link), by William Gruar October 1996.  One man’s story of rehabilitating after a spinal injury.  The book can be ordered online from Valid Press.

“Try, Try Again”, by Jason Barrell with Elaine Weber McGough, 2009. The story of Jason Barrell’s journey to becoming a motivational speaker after breaking his neck playing professional rugby, followed by stokes that left him with a brain injury. The book can be ordered online from the Jason Barrell's website (external link).

Key earthquake safety tips for people with disabilities

Download the Earthquake Safety Tips for people with disabilities (PDF 503K) information sheet, which is produced by Civil Defence New Zealand. 



Accessibility options on this website

BBC accessibility web guides: My Web My Way (external link)

New Zealand Disability Strategy 2001(external link)

New Zealand Government web standards (external link)