Disability Advisory Services

​Hamilton City Council has an important role to play in supporting the city's disabled community and ensuring people with impairments are catered at our sites and in our services.

On this page you will find:

  • a profile of the Council's Disability Advisor Judy Small
  • our Disability Policy
  • the Hamilton CBD Accessible Map
  • basic information on how our H3 venues cater for disabled patrons.

Judy Small, the Council's Disability Advisor, with her guide dog and companion Hetta.

Judy Small is a one-woman story in overcoming disability.

Judy is Hamilton City Council's Disability Advisor, a role she's had for more than three years and one she finds herself thriving in.

Born with a genetic disorder, Judy lost most of her sight by the age of six.

"It was no big deal to a child whose parents were both blind and who had two older sighted sisters to play with," she says.

Attending a combination of mainstream and segregated schools, by the time she'd left school she was equipped with braille and typing skills. They would prove crucial across several years of tertiary education – culminating in a sociology degree from Waikato University in 1999 – as well as a professional career.

Judy joined the Council after a 12-year stint with Office for Disability Issues where she was a policy analyst.  She is also an elected Director of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind.

That experience informs her work with Council, which has her networking on disability issues and innovations across the entire organisation and with stakeholder organisations. Her role monitors and implements the Council's Disability Policy and Disability Action Plan, and picking up on any disability-related work not covered by the plan.

Although she says it's "bit tricky to pin down one or two things" as highlights in her Council role, she does take pride in any disability news or challenges which generate media interest – it's a sign of the advocacy and understanding she considers a vital part of her role.

"It is exciting being a professional advocate influencing the way people think and engage with disability issues. The highlight for me is that the conversation at all levels of the organisation about disability issues is an open book, and staff take a very positive  and creative approach to the topics under discussion," she says.

Judy is available to provide advice on disability issues to other organisations and groups: "If I can't help, I will put people in touch with experts who can."

One of the great advancements in Judy's life has been the technology available to her. New software on her mobile phone helps her get around town, along with the aid of trusted friend Hetta, her guide dog.

Judy was introduced to computers in the late 1980s and has become a dab hand at using emails, the internet, Facebook and text messaging. She uses a combination of technology and applications from both Apple and Microsoft – including an iPhone - and colleagues have remarked on how accurate her emails and writing can be, despite her blindness.

"They obviously haven't been treated to a text I might have sent when there is lots of background noise," she laughs. "The decoding of those texts drives my adult kids mad!"

Judy works part time and can be contacted by email – judy.small@hcc.govt.nz  She may take a day or two to reply due to her working hours.

Hamilton City Council's Disability Policy

​​​The Hamilton City Council's Disability Policy policy provides high level guidelines for Hamilton City Council to ensure people with disabilities have equity and access, enabling them to participate fully in the life of Hamilton city. 

In 2019, after discussion with the disability community and members of the Access Advisory Group, the policy has been refreshed and will be reviewed in 2022.

It is the responsibility of Hamilton City Council to implement, monitor and evaluate the policy, in collaboration with key disability sector representatives.

An action plan was developed in collaboration with the disability sector and outlines specific actions that Council units will undertake to fulfil the objectives of the policy. 

 R​ead the PDF version of the 20​20-2021 action plan. 

Attending events at H3 Facilities

H3 is the division of Hamilton City Council responsible for managing our event venues – Claudelands, FMG Stadium Waikato, and Seddon Park.

In 2017, FMG Stadium Waikato will host two major international events – the Chiefs vs Lions match (20 June), and two games as part of Rugby League World Cup 2017 (4 November, 11 November).

At each of our venues, we cater for disabled patrons to ensure they can enjoy the fantastic range of events we host.

FMG Stadium Waikato

FMG Stadium Waikato has designated l areas set aside for wheelchair users and their caregivers.


Claudelands has several features to  enhance the experience disabled patrons attending and enjoying events. These include accessible car parks, wheelchair user access, and a hearing loop.

Seddon Park

Seddon Park is Hamilton's boutique international cricket ground, on the verge of the CBD. A special area is set aside for wheelchair and mobility scooter users.​

Hamilton CBD Accessible Map

One of the actions in the plan was to develop an accessible map of the Hamilton CBD, primarily for people with sensory and physical impairments, their families and older people. The accessible map was made possible with generous support from the Making a Difference Fund through the Ministry Social Development's Think Differently Campaign. We hope that this map will assist people to move around the Hamilton CBD with more ease. The Hamilton CBD Accessible Map can be viewed below, in a range of formats.

 View the PDF version of the Hamilton CBD Accessible Map (updated 2014)​ (PDF, 4.5MB)

 View the HTML version of the Map articles (HTML, 28KB)

View the plain text version of the Map articles (Text,13KB)

 View the Microsoft Word version of the Map articles (Word, 50KB)

Hard copies of the accessible map can be obtained from the Hamilton City Council Municipal Building, Garden Place, or from a range of disability and community organisations.

Customer service training video

Hamilton City Council staff deal with people from across our entire community, and they all have different needs. One group we deal with is the disabled – people who are blind, deaf, have limited mobility or may have a mental impairment. To help our staff deliver great customer service to the disabled community, we produced this training video, which demonstrates how the team can meet the needs of disabled customers and ensure they feel cared for and dealt with properly.

View the Customer Service training video on YouT​ube​

​​More information

For further information contact the Hamilton City Council Community Development and Leisure team and direct your query to the Disability Advisor.

Ph: +64 07 838 6699
Email: community.development@hcc.govt.nz​​​​​​

Page reviewed: 09 Jun 2021 9:09am