Strong Voices

Empowered Lives

August 5, 2022

Where would we be without the internet?

March 9, 2021

Debbie Kennedy has done years of work experience in hospitality and customer service with little pay to show for it. She estimates half of the work she has done has been unpaid.

Work experience can be a trap for people with disabilities if it never leads to ‘pay experience’.

IHC recently tried a new approach to see if Debbie Kennedy, a 24-year-old Dunedin woman, could finally break through the job barrier.

March 9, 2021

Researcher Sharon Brandford is keenly aware of the outrage felt in the disability community over the way New Zealand treats the lives and premature deaths of people with intellectual disabilities.

It was her own outrage that led her to look at how we investigate their deaths.

Her report released late last year, ‘Counting for Something’, says life expectancy for New Zealanders with intellectual disabilities is between 18 and 23 years less than for the general population.

March 9, 2021

Disabled artists came out of lockdown and into the heart of the New Zealand art scene – selling more art than ever before.

Thanks to a brainwave of IHC Art Awards Ambassador Dame Denise L’Estrange Corbet, the three top works in the 2020 IHC Art Awards were auctioned live at Webb’s art auctioneers in Auckland, in association with a WORLD Legacy Charity Project event called Artists 4 Artists.

March 9, 2021

Guest editorial 

I wish to pay tribute to our former IHC President, Chair and IHC New Zealand Life Member Donald Thompson, ONZM, who died early in February.

It was a great shock to lose Donald so suddenly. He made an enormous contribution to IHC and the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.

But most of all he was a husband, an incredible father and a friend to many of us.

March 7, 2021

Lisa Holten didn’t imagine that her daughter Sarah would, or could, become an artist. Lisa was caught up in the grind of managing day-to-day services. Like many families dealing with disability funding, she had become focused on services – what was there and what wasn’t there.

March 6, 2021

Sarah Holten-Warren is under attack from the degenerative neurological condition Rett syndrome and is fighting back using her eyes and her art to communicate.

Sarah, 27, a Māori mixed-media artist, was one of five artists in the Studio One Toi Tū Creative Studio Residency last year.

Her exhibition ‘Making My Mark’, in October, is believed to be the first eye-gaze art exhibition to take place in Auckland.

November 30, 2020

IHC has set up an 0800 freephone service – Awhi Connect 0800 442 311 – to give families direct access to support and information.

It operates from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday. Callers outside those hours can leave a message, which will be forwarded to staff. Awhi Connect will also operate so that families only need to tell their stories once.

Using a database covering all IHC services involved with the family will provide a broader understanding of the support being requested and provided.

Above: Photo by Berkley Communications on Unsplash.

November 30, 2020

Maureen Wood wonders what it will take for her to walk down the street and not have people poke fun at her daughter Jackie.

Or for hospital staff to not automatically assume she wants a not-for-resuscitation order for her.

Maureen, 83, has campaigned for more than 60 years for her eldest daughter, who was born with Down syndrome and autism, and for others with intellectual disabilities.

November 30, 2020

The Rocky Road Runners don’t mind rain and mud – and every kilometre logged is a few more dollars for IHC.

Five Auckland-based runners (from left), Michelle Sang, Kelly Walsh, Nick Garner, Rob Smith and Amon Jones, did plenty of slipping and sliding on a recent trail run event in the Waitawa Regional Park on Auckland’s south coast.

November 30, 2020

In the past year Chamodh Aththidya (right) has signed up more than 800 monthly Smile Club donors for IHC.

He was one of three finalists for the recent Public Fundraising Regulatory Association Face-to-Face Fundraiser of the Year Award and is pictured here with Mick Rose of marketing agency Community Solutions.

“Although not the ultimate winner, Chamodh is definitely a winner in my eyes,” says IHC National Fundraising Manager Greg Millar.