Disability Support Link

Disability Support Link

Disability Support Link (DSL) is a community-based organisation that provides a needs assessment and service coordination service for people with disabilities. It does not provide support services itself - it carries out a comprehensive assessment to determine the person's support needs, and then identifies suitable support services, arranges them, and reviews if the arrangement is working for the client.

Disability Support Link aims to promote a person’s quality of life and create an environment that enables community participation and maximum independence.

Those requesting assessment must have a disability as defined by the Ministry of Health:

“... a person with a disability is a person who has been identified as having a physical, psychiatric, intellectual, sensory or age-related disability (or a combination of these), which is likely to continue for a minimum of six months and result in a reduction of independent function to the extent that ongoing support is required..."


Disability Support Link assists in obtaining home support services for people with disabilities in the Waikato, King Country, Thames Valley and Coromandel Peninsula, and may include:

  • Household assistance
  • Personal care
  • Day programmes (non-therapeutic)
  • Carer support
  • Residential care and support
  • Referrals to other support services.

Disability Support Link does not have the capacity to assist the following clients:

  • those with short-term illnesses that will require support services for less than six months
  • people will ACC-related conditions.

What is a needs assessment?
The purpose of a needs assessment is to gather relevant information about a client’s current abilities, resources, goals and needs, then determining which of these agreed needs is most important to the client.

  • The assessment is client-centred and comprehensive.
  • Needs assessors work in partnership with clients and where appropriate their partners/significant others.
  • Disability Support Link welcomes the support of family/whanau for their client during the assessment.
  • An assessor will visit you to gather information about your needs, and after the assessment, a service coordinator will contact you to discuss a package of care related to your identified support needs.

What is service coordination?
Service coordinators have extensive knowledge of all options including public, private, voluntary and community services.

  • Your service coordinator will advise which of your needs can be met by publicly funded services and will also consider ways of meeting needs which cannot be covered by these services.
  • Privacy and confidentiality will be safeguarded. You have the right to access all information arising from your assessment and service plan.

Your services will be reviewed at least annually to ensure your needs are still being met.

  • If your needs are not being met, the service coordinator will recommend an adjustment or arrange a reassessment. 
  • If your needs or circumstances change, you may contact the service and ask for a review if you feel the services are not fully meeting your needs.


InterRAI assessment tool

This is an electronic assessment tool that is used by appropriately trained health professionals in the management of older clients and those deemed as being of like in age and interest. It started as a Rest Home Assessment Instrument used in Canada and the US, but has now evolved into a suite of assessment tools that can be used on any older client in any environment.

Its development has involved a network of researchers in more than 30 countries and the assessment tools are used throughout the world, including district health boards throughout New Zealand.

  • Why - to promote evidence-based clinical practice and policy decisions.
  • How - through the collection and interpretation of high quality data about the characteristics and outcomes of persons across a variety of health and social services settings.

More information

Key personnel

Graham Guy


Hugh Monckton Building, cnr Rostrevor and Harwood Streets, Hamilton

Contact information

DSL Reception: (07) 839 8883
Freephone:  0800 55 33 99
Email: dsloffice@waikatodhb.health.nz 

Referral information

The client or caregiver’s consent must be obtained prior to making a referral. This is essential.
Referrals can be made by clients, by their family/whanau members, GPs, a health professional, disability support groups and organisations or a friend.  Please see contact details below.

Appropriate advice and care

Disability Support Link has a commitment to providing competent and culturally appropriate assessors and service coordinators.
Please tell us if you have a particular cultural requirement, e.g. te reo Maori, interpreter, translator etc.