Strong Voices

Empowered Lives

July 20, 2021

It’s interesting to think now and then about the idea that the next generations will grow up to do jobs and have experiences we haven’t even thought of yet.

This edition of ‘Strong Voices’ contains some great examples of young people breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes and cutting their own paths in the world.

July 20, 2021

The small Rangitīkei town of Hunterville doesn’t have a lot on offer for a young man at weekends.

So it’s understandable if Jeremy Hill-Hayer decides to stay on in Palmerston North to go to a disco rather than travel home to see his parents.

Life has changed a lot for Jeremy since he moved into an IDEA Services residence in Palmerston North a year ago and signed up with a Choices NZ life coach.

July 20, 2021

Michael Holdsworth was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, making him the first person with Down syndrome to receive this honour.

He was awarded the MZNM for his services to Special Olympics and it marks his 32 years as an athlete leader, advocate and participant in two World Games and his service to the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association.

July 20, 2021

IHC now has some powerful support in its long-running legal battle to protect disabled children’s rights to a proper education in mainstream schools.

The Human Rights Review Tribunal and IHC are collecting evidence about the experiences of disabled children in the education system from parents, educators and community groups, ahead of a hearing in that tribunal.

July 20, 2021

Eight young artists have their eyes on a new prize in the IHC Art Awards 2021.

The Youth Award is a new category in the IHC Art Awards this year, for artists aged between 13 and 17 years. When entries closed on 31 May, eight of the 356 artists entering were in the Youth Award category. The winner of this award stands to win $1500.

These artists are also eligible for the overall award of $5000 and the L’affare People’s Choice Award of $2000.

July 20, 2021

'Poppy' – starring Libby Hunsdale and Ari Boyland 
Writer and director – Linda Niccol

 

'Poppy' reached the big screen in May and struck a chord with young women refusing to be defined by their disabilities. Ella Davenport from Lower Hutt and Ava Saba from Gladstone reviewed the movie. 

 

By Ella Davenport (with some help from mum) 


I went to see the movie 'Poppy' with my mum. It’s a story about Poppy’s life. She lives with her older brother and she pretty much takes care of the house. 

July 20, 2021

Tayla Sloot sees a lot from her wheelchair. And she knows that her disability is a barrier that prevents people getting to know her. 

But worse than that, Tayla knows her wheelchair can be frightening for young children. She’s seen young children hide behind their parents, too scared to approach her. 

Tayla, 25, thinks this is because children have limited awareness of those who have disabilities, and her solution has been to write a book about her life to reach out to school children. 

July 20, 2021

Most IDEA Services frontline support workers have now received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination.

IDEA Services has been busy ensuring staff and the people we support have the crucial information they need about the vaccination, communicating directly with the Ministry of Health and, at a local level, district health boards.

“We’ve been engaging with the newly appointed Disability Equity Leads, whose job it is to coordinate vaccinations for the disability sector,” says IDEA Services Director of Nursing Prudence Lennox.

July 20, 2021

Banks have put even more distance between them and their more vulnerable customers by ending cheques.

This leaves disabled people wondering how they can pay bills and withdraw money as bank branches continue to close in cities and towns all over New Zealand.

Cheques have now been consigned to history at ANZ, Westpac, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB, SBS, Rabobank and The Co-operative Bank, and ASB finishes with cheques on 27 August. Some retailers are also moving away from cash payments.

July 20, 2021

There’s a huge gap at Hirepool in Lower Hutt where Colin Bailey used to work. He’s retired from the Hutt Road branch after more than 30 years on the job.

Colin’s farewell barbeque was an emotional day for everyone as Hirepool staff from across Wellington, along with Regional Manager Stuart Drew from Hawke’s Bay, came to say goodbye.

“He does leave a gap here – 100 percent,” Stuart says. “He swept the yard, kept it clean. No-one did it as well as he did. His work here was exceptional. He brought an excellent work ethic, a great sense of humour, a cheekiness.”

July 20, 2021

Colin Bailey was in the first New Zealand team to compete in the Special Olympics. He won bronze in the freestyle event at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1983.

He was 22 years old and a very strong swimmer but Lee Bailey, his mother, says he had no killer instinct to make him want to win.

“It took a while to get that killer instinct into him. He was happy just to swim.”

Colin first learned to swim when he was seven or eight years of age on a family boating holiday on Lake Rotorua – and discovered something he was extremely good at.