Strong Voices

Empowered Lives

November 25, 2022

We are heading rapidly towards the end of year – the weather is supposedly warming up (though I’m writing this in Wellington, where November is notoriously windy and disappointing) and many of us are dreaming about holidays ahead.

November 25, 2022

A new national secure facility in Porirua is trying to achieve an uneasy balance between providing privacy and therapy and managing high-risk behaviour.

November 25, 2022

Mark Warner’s ‘slice-of-life’ drawings of people have earned him the top prize in the IHC Art Awards for the second time.

Mark, an artist working at Hōhepa Auckland, is the only artist to have the won the first prize of $5000 twice. His intricate pen-and-ink drawings first captured the judges in 2006 and did again this year. 

In his 2022 drawing titled Meeting everything is highly detailed, from the decorative clothing of four figures under a tree to the tree branches and foliage and the sky beyond, which is filled with activity.

November 25, 2022

It’s hard to be patient when there’s a lot of talk about improving lives for people with intellectual disabilities, but the better times still feel out of reach.

Chief Executive of Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People Paula Tesoriero acknowledges the weight of expectation from people in the disability sector but says that while she works to get the new ministry functioning at full speed there is plenty that can be done to realise the aspirations of disabled people.

November 25, 2022

Young game testers have put their stamps on a new simulation game designed to make it easier for young disabled people to manage money.

Stand Tall’ will help them to dodge those tricky money situations – like getting to the end of the week and finding there’s no cash left for dinner.

November 25, 2022

IDEA Services could do with more people like Ghanshyam Diyora. And thanks to him, we have more people like him.

Ghanshyam, a support worker in Dunedin, took on the challenge of recruiting other support workers – encouraged by a $200 incentive every time one of his friends started work at IDEA.

He is from Gujarat, India, and came here in 2019 to study at Otago Polytechnic. He started work with IDEA in July 2021.

August 5, 2022

Eight families have diagnoses for rare genetic disorders thanks to the latest work by a team of researchers at the University of Auckland.

The DNA of 25 people with undiagnosed intellectual disability from 19 families was studied using advanced genome sequencing and analytical methods. The project aimed to uncover the genetic causes of the neurodevelopmental conditions and improve the health of these individuals. The study was funded by the IHC Foundation.

August 5, 2022

Scientist Dr Whitney Whitford is skilled at finding missing pieces of DNA.

Her complicated version of a jigsaw puzzle involves things called copy number variants (CNVs). They are responsible for the duplications and deletions of genes or parts of genes that cause neurodevelopmental disorders.

As a PhD student at the University of Auckland Whitney developed a filtering and annotation system – called a ‘bioinformatic pipeline’ – to find and track CNVs in individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions.

August 5, 2022

A cool morning didn’t spoil the warmth of the welcome for Accessible Properties’ tenants to a new pop-up park in Tauranga.

“It was brilliant to see the local community come out over Matariki and have some fun at 899 Cameron, our new pop-up-park,” says Vicki McLaren, General Manager of Accessible Properties Tauranga.

August 5, 2022

Awhi Ngā Mātua is a community of parents who Emily Writes wishes she had known in those long nights when she felt alone and overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for a sick child.

Emily, a mother of two boys living in Wellington, is the author of best-selling parenting books Rants in the Dark and Is it Bedtime Yet? – with another, Needs Adult Supervision, just released.

She is also the Director of the ‘Awhi’ online community.

August 5, 2022

Every person portrayed in this multimedia exhibition has a story to tell, but their pictures alone are worth a thousand words. More than a thousand.

Take a moment with us’ is an IHC travelling multimedia exhibition that has grown and evolved as it has moved around the country. This year it will open on 15 August at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato in Hamilton.