Strong Voices

Empowered Lives

May 26, 2022

It’s hard to avoid discussions about the cost of living now. The Consumer Price Index has just hit its highest level in three decades – it’s costing more and more to fill up our supermarket trolleys, our cars and, quite simply, our family members.

February 28, 2022

People with intellectual disabilities make up a small percentage of people in New Zealand with disabilities. How small? No one really knows because no one is counting them properly.

This is why the 2023 Disability Survey being planned by Stats NZ is important – and why IHC has made a submission suggesting ways it can help people with intellectual disabilities to be seen and heard and counted.

February 28, 2022

New rules about using physical restraint at school are a huge step in the right direction.

Since changes were made to the Education and Training Act last year, schools can use physical restraint on students only when there are no other options to keep everyone

To make sure there’s no confusion about this, a group of advisors has been working on practical guidance for schools about when physical restraint can be used to better protect children and young people from harm.

February 28, 2022

It doesn’t help to complain – but I’m sure that many of you will share my frustration that we have headed into another year with COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Complying with those restrictions to keep everyone safe, combined with a lack of, or slow, advice for our sector, has been complicated.

February 28, 2022

It was a quirky idea – donate a calf to IHC and get a pair of gumboots. But for some reason dairy farmers said, “Count on us”.

And for 40 years IHC has counted on their support to the tune of $40 million, on average $1 million a year.

This year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the IHC Calf & Rural Scheme and the farmers, volunteers and rural businesses who feel so strongly about backing those in their communities who who need support.

February 28, 2022

The Sterne family has spent much of the past 21 years wondering whatever happened to Luke. Now, thanks to genetic researchers, they have the answer.

“When he was born I was a week overdue and he was severely growth-retarded, severely underweight,” says Luke’s mother Nicola Sterne.

Nicola was 33 when Luke was born in 2000, the Sternes’ second child. Nicola says she recalls feeling there was something wrong. “He was induced. It was a horrific time.”

February 28, 2022

Former IHC Vice President Shelley Payne was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s Honours, for services to people with intellectual disabilities.

It was recognition of the 23 years during which Shelley used her energy, business acumen, courage and warm good humour at every level of IHC.

The Tauranga hotel owner joined IHC in 1995 and she became involved because of her son Ryan. Ryan had multiple disabilities and Shelley was determined that he would have the best life he could have.

December 1, 2021

A new Māori strategy is giving IDEA Services staff the confidence to explore cultural opportunities with the people we support.

Te Rautaki-Urupare Māori O IDEA Services 2020–2022 has been developed to increase the cultural capabilities of staff and improve the lives of Māori supported by IDEA Services.

December 1, 2021

It has been another tough year of lockdowns. And that came as a real blow to those of us who had hoped the worst was behind us in 2020.

At the start of November, with Auckland still in lockdown, the idea was born to run some online sessions in the lead-up to Christmas so that people could connect, try something new and have some fun.

‘Let’s give it a go’, was launched very quickly says Janine Stewart, General Manager IHC Programmes.

“We had been running some sessions for young families and thought we could extend them out to adults too.”

December 1, 2021

It’s hard to innovate in the middle of a pandemic.

But it might also be exactly the right time to rethink how the lives of people we support can be more creative, be more fulfilling and have more freedom.

The North Otago town of Oamaru has two IDEA Services day bases. One is located at Severn Street, just off State Highway 1, the main road through town. The other is 500 metres away at Ribble Street on the other side of the highway.

December 1, 2021

The Law Commission is reviewing the legal powers people are given to make decisions for others, something disability advocates say is well overdue.

The main law covering adult decision-making is the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act (PPP&R). It dates back to 1988 and affects many in New Zealand’s disabled community. It is one of four laws that are coming under the spotlight.