Accessibility and special needs assistance | Spark NZ

Accessibility and special needs assistance


We offer a broad selection of products and services that can help make life easier for customers who have a disability.

Assistance for Visually Impaired and Blind

If you are visually impaired or blind, we offer some services which may help you to communicate more effectively and overcome some of the daily challenges you face. Find out more

Assistance for the Hearing Impaired and Deaf

We offer some special services for hearing impaired and deaf customers, as well as advice to help the hearing impaired to communicate more effectively. Find out more

Assistance for the Speech Impaired

We want to do all we can to help you make the most of our services and offer some tips here for communication, both with us at Spark and with others you might want to contact. Find out more

Assistance for Physical Disability

If you have trouble using a telephone book or dialling, we have an easy way to find phone numbers you need and another easy way to get put through. Find out more

Assistance for Intellectual Disability

Check out some information we hope will help you communicate more easily. Find out more

Residential Directory Assistance Exemption - 018

Spark recognises that some customers who are visually impaired or physically disabled may have difficulty using the telephone book. Spark offers the opportunity to apply for an exemption from Directory Assistance charges. Not available on Mobile or Business lines.

People with disabilities who meet the criteria can apply for the exemption through their local GP or Disability Support Agency.

General support

Find information on our products and services that can help make life easier for customers with a disability.

Our website

Our website has been extensively tested to make sure it's accessible to people with a disability. If you have problems with any aspects of its design or usability, please contact us.

Alert Codes

When you call our 123 service our staff can automatically see details about the number you are calling from. The first thing we see is an "alert code" - a screen with brief but important information we need to know about a customer before we make any changes to their account.

That might be information telling us that the customer receives a particular service that affects their ability to receive other services.

It could also say that the customer is blind and cannot read their account, or that they have a speech impairment and should be asked to repeat what they are saying if we cannot understand them. It could also advise us that a customer has a head injury and has difficulty retaining information, so that we know to offer to send out written information if this is appropriate.

If you'd like us to know anything important about you that would help us to meet your needs, then please can contact us and we’ll make sure this information is added to your account.

Using Spark Broadband

Using the internet opens up millions of information sources - all of which you can access from your own home. Find out more about using Spark Broadband - there's no waiting to connect to the Internet, and your home phone can be used at the same time.

Buying a phone

We've got a great selection of the latest home and mobile phones, that you can view and buy right here. Any costs can be charged to your next residential bill we’ll deliver the order right to your door.

Emergency 111 calls

To make an emergency call, dial 111. A Spark operator will answer your call and will connect you to the service you require - either Police, Fire or Ambulance.
Deaf customers can contact emergency services by faxing 0800 16 16 10 or using TTY on 0800 16 16 16. These calls go directly to the Police, who can pass details on to other emergency services as required.

Emergency-Only Service

If, for some reason you're unable to have an ordinary fixed line telephone connection but need access to emergency services, you may be able to have an emergency-only line connected. This is only done on the recommendation of a doctor or police and there is no cost to you. However, you will be unable to make or receive any other calls using this telephone line.

Stay connected to 111 services

If you or a member of your household has a serious medical condition, then let us know so we can provide you with the right support to help you manage payment of your account. Apply now to be placed on our Vulnerable End Users register to ensure you stay connected to 111 services. To register you will need to download and complete a Medical Dependency form with your doctor.

Payphones

Our payphones have a range of features designed to make them easier to use:

  • There is a raised pip on the digit 5 on the keypad to aid keypad navigation
  • The display screen has large sized characters to make reading them easier
  • The handset features an inductive coupler device to assist users of hearing aids with a T switch
  • The handsets also feature volume control for incoming speech
  • The instruction notices feature diagrammatic as well as written instructions
  • The booths housing payphones are designed to be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

Smartphone Services

We have a range of services that can help you manage your phone usage. Some of them are outlined here, along with suggestions of how they may be useful to people with special needs.
Smartphone services are available in most, but not all, areas. Contact us to find out whether a service you are interested in is available in your area.

  • Call Minder - Whether you're out, on another call, on the internet or not able to get to the phone, Call Minder will take messages for you. You can listen to your messages from almost any touch-tone phone in the country - free of charge. Depending on the way your mailbox is set up you may be able to control how long the phone rings before diverting to your mailbox.
  • Call Waiting - You'll always know when there's another call while you're on the phone when you have Call Waiting. You can also switch between calls.
  • Caller Display - Check out who the caller is before you pick up the phone so you can greet the caller personally or choose to not answer the phone, knowing Caller Display will record the call details for you. Also, you will be able to see who has called when you have missed calls. You will need a Caller Display compatible phone or a separate display unit.
  • Hotline is a service that automatically dials a pre-determined number when the handset is removed from the phone for longer than eight seconds. This can be useful for people to get help if they are likely to fall ill or be unable to make a call. You could nominate these calls to go through to a neighbour, family member or caregiver.
  • Dual Number - Dual Number lets you have a 'public' and a 'private' number on a single line. You can divert your public calls to another service and only answer calls from people who have your private number.
  • Call Diversion - When you're out and about, or simply don't want to take calls, redirect home calls to your mobile phone or another number.
  • FaxAbility - FaxAbility can provide you with an additional number for your line. The FaxAbility number rings with a different sounding ring to the main number, so you can tell which number has been dialled. This can be especially useful for deaf people sharing a household with non deaf people. The non-deaf people would easily be able to identify an incoming fax call, and know that it will be automatically answered by the fax machine. A FaxAbility-compatible fax machine is needed to use this service. The FaxAbility number can be used as a secondary phone number. For example, if you are a Home Business customer you can advertise the main line number for business calls, and the FaxAbility number for personal calls and tell these calls apart by the ringing tone. Different sounding rings can also be used to identify calls for different members of the household. Although FaxAbility provides an additional number, there is still only a single line, so only one call can take place at a time.

Information about your account

You can access information about your Spark account in several different ways:

  • Referring to your monthly bill - which is mailed to your nominated postal address
  • Calling us on 123. We can provide you with a wide range of information about your account and can even read you detailed information about toll calls you have made if this is how you would prefer to receive your information.  This can be especially useful for blind customers.
  • Service Express on 0800 000 000 where you can access
    • Your account information including balances and unbilled calls
    • Your Spark mobile included minutes balance
    • National and international call specials
    • Tutorials on Smartphone services such as Call Minder and Call Waiting
    • A wide range of other information about our products and services
  • Online at MySpark.  MySpark is the personalised part of www.Spark.co.nz where you can get a view of your residential and pay monthly mobile accounts, including details of your unbilled calls.  You will also receive an email reminder when your bill is ready to view if you sign up.