The six award categories are:
- Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award, recognising the outstanding achievements and contribution of a New Zealand-based artist, who has a physical, sensory or intellectual impairment, or lived experience of mental ill-health
- Arts Access Creative Space Award, recognising the outstanding contribution and impact of a creative space that provides opportunities for people with limited access to make art, across any or all artforms
- Arts Access CQ Hotels Wellington Community Partnership Award, recognising a mutually beneficial partnership between two or more organisations or groups actively engaged in a community-based arts project
- Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award, recognising a performing arts company, festival, literary organisation, venue, producer, gallery or museum that best demonstrates its commitment to developing its audiences by becoming more accessible to disabled and Deaf people.
- Arts Access Corrections Leadership Award, recognising the outstanding contribution of a New Zealand prison or unit within a prison using the arts as a tool to support the rehabilitation of offenders or their reintegration into the community on release.
- Arts Access Corrections Community Award, recognising the outstanding contribution of a community group or community organisation working with the Department of Corrections and using the arts as a tool to support the rehabilitation of offenders or their reintegration into the community on release.
Arts Access Aotearoa is the key national organisation working to increase access to the arts for everyone in New Zealand, whatever their circumstances. Its key stakeholders are people with physical, sensory or intellectual impairments; individuals and organisations in the community and professional arts sectors; and people with lived experience of mental ill-health.