Strong Voices

Empowered Lives

December 1, 2021

The Government has announced the very welcome news that it will establish a new standalone Ministry for Disabled People.

This marks a fundamental change in the way people are viewed and valued as equal citizens. IHC has pushed for this change and for the Government to see individuals’ lives in their entirety – their income, support, housing, transport and more – rather than defining people by health need and diagnosis.

July 20, 2021

In May and June four ‘wellness’ workshops gave family carers the opportunity to connect with other parents of children with intellectual disabilities. The events were hosted by the IHC Family-Whānau Liaison team after speaking with carers who were looking for connections with others who could share their experiences. Each workshop had its own theme. In Levin the focus was on healthy eating and nutrition tips. Participants enjoyed a soup-making demonstration. In Whangārei families learned ways to minimise stress.

July 20, 2021

Donors to IHC now have an easy way to claim their 33.33 percent tax rebates on any donation to IHC – and other charitable organisations over the past five years. As a donor you decide whether to re-gift or keep your rebate. Supporters can sign up to to do this. Although there is no upfront cost, there will be an automatic charge of 10 percent plus GST taken out of the Inland Revenue donation tax rebate to pay for this service.

July 20, 2021

Rhonda and Rex started their road trip early on a crisp May morning, their car loaded with gifts for school libraries.

By the end of the day they had covered 170 kilometres and delivered books to 12 primary schools, ranging from the small, rural View Hill School in the Canterbury foothills to Pegasus Bay School on the coast.

Rhonda James and her brother Rex McGiffert, who has Down syndrome, were distributing four children’s books about intellectual disability to each school on behalf of the IHC North Canterbury Association’s Books in Schools project.

July 20, 2021

Young Wellington woman Katrina Sneath has found work at a unique hotel in the New South Wales Blue Mountains.

Timing is everying. Katrina, 25, had completed two years at the University of Sydney’s uni 2 beyond programme just in time to join the first intake of trainees in Australia’s first social enterprise hotel.

Hotel Etico is a guest hotel in the historic Mount Victoria Manor that runs a work, training and live-in programme for people with intellectual disabilities.

May 4, 2021

It all started with Timoti. He wanted to learn to take photographs and his dream expanded to include nine other people and a course with a professional photographer.

Timoti Schweizer-Marunui, who is keen on videography, says he spent most of his time filming “everything” and “everybody” on his tablet.

May 4, 2021

Wellington IT student Evie Randall went public about her struggle to find work. It worked. She had so many replies she had to call her job coach.

Evie, a ‘straight A’ student, had been rejected for more than 40 jobs. Her disability was standing in her way. She has autism and was non-verbal until about four or five. Later, at high school, she was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety.

Evie is her own best advocate. She’s smart, hardworking and clear about where she is headed. All she needed was a chance to prove herself. 

May 4, 2021

IDEA Services has now held more than 40 community workshops around the country for families and friends of the people we support, as part of the National Services Review.

The workshops give family and whānau the opportunity to learn more about how IDEA Services operates and to give their ideas about how our programmes could work better. Many are co-hosted by an IDEA Services Area Manager and an IHC Association Chair, and are facilitated by external consultant Connect+Co.

May 4, 2021

Hidden around Virginia Lake in Whanganui are specially decorated stones designed to intrigue and inform people about a rare genetic syndrome known as cri du chat – or cry of the cat.

They have been hidden by Rachel Dempsey, a local woman who wants to help people understand cri du chat, which affects her and around 20 others in New Zealand.

May 4, 2021

Autism researcher Hannah Waddington is looking for 48 Wellington families to take part in a study to test the limits of a play-based therapy that is achieving great results for young children.

Hannah, a Victoria University of Wellington educational psychologist and senior lecturer, is looking for families with children between the ages of one and four-and-a-half years to be part of the New Zealand-first clinical study.

She says a child may already have a diagnosis of autism, or a parent or guardian may suspect their child is showing signs of autism.

May 4, 2021

Associate Housing Minister Poto Williams took a look at some new Accessible Properties (AP) houses in Manurewa earlier this year and used them as a backdrop to talk about improved protections for tenants.

It gave tenant Tracey Harris a chance to show off her new home in Tokatoka Lane, Manurewa and talk to the Minister.

“I’m privileged to be in a brand-new home, and it was great to show her through,” Tracey says. “She was just amazed at my whole house.”