November 30, 2020

Welcome to Strong Voices. We have relaunched Community Moves with a new name and a clear message – listen to us.

Community Moves was the name given to the magazine in 1992 when people with intellectual disabilities were moving out of institutions into the community. The new title Strong Voices reflects our priorities in 2020: supporting people to have greater choice and control over the services they use and connections they make.

On that theme, we are including with this issue a special pull-out giving you the latest news on the outcome of our National Services Review and on our plans to reach deeper into towns and cities by creating community centres.

We hope that the name Strong Voices will resonate with families. In June 2006, IHC held a conference in Christchurch on the theme ‘Strong Families, Strong Voices’. Families said they wanted to be able to influence the decisions that affected their family members with intellectual disabilities. People with disabilities wanted the opportunity to learn, understand and be part of the decisions that affected their lives.

IHC Strong Voices Summer 2020 Cover Strong Voices amplifies those calls made a long time ago. Disabled people are still trying to have their voices heard from the fringes of our society.

Governments come and go, while disabled people are still 1.8 times more likely to live in households that earn less than $30,000 a year. Only 23 percent of disabled people are likely to have a job, compared to 70 percent for the rest of the community.

Many disabled people find it impossible to find an accessible home to live in, any home they can afford, an inclusive education, and a job that will pay them enough to live on. They have poorer health and can miss out on health screenings available to everyone else. They are still largely invisible in official data.

But the voices are getting stronger and more insistent. This first issue celebrates some very strong voices – some of them winning national recognition for their achievements.

In the Strong Voices Summer 2020 cover story, Nick Dow says the traditional recruitment process is stacked against people with disabilities.

If you want to know when new Strong Voices articles are published, email us on editor@ihc.org.nz so we can add you to our mailing list. 

If you want to view the first Strong Voices issue on your device, you can also read or download the PDF version

Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe and happy summer.

Ngā mihi

Gina Rogers