Strong Voices

Empowered Lives

July 20, 2021

It’s interesting to think now and then about the idea that the next generations will grow up to do jobs and have experiences we haven’t even thought of yet.

This edition of ‘Strong Voices’ contains some great examples of young people breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes and cutting their own paths in the world.

May 4, 2021

IHC members can now renew their memberships for a one- or three-year term. The fee remains at $5 for a one-year membership, and members will be sent reminders before their memberships expire on 30 June. A three-year membership costs $15 and members will receive reminders in the last year of membership. Regardless of what option people select, they receive the same membership benefits. From 1 July 2021 the BNZ will no longer accept cheques.

May 4, 2021

Call IHC Community Connect – 0800 442 311 to connect directly to our Community Liaison, Volunteering, Library and Advocacy teams. The freephone number is answered Monday to Friday, 9–6pm. Our aim is for people to have to tell their stories only once and be connected to the right places.

May 4, 2021

As New Zealand’s major banks phase out the use of cheques, IHC and other disability service providers are asking banks how they will maintain access to banking services by disabled people.

 Many disabled people rely on cheques, but several banks have already stopped issuing chequebooks and soon will no longer accept cheques. Also, thanks to COVID-19, fewer businesses are accepting cash.

May 4, 2021

The New Zealand Disability Support Network (NZDSN) says money laundering legislation and the phasing out of cheques by banks require new approaches and practices from everyone involved.

In April NZDSN invited a small group of disability service providers to a Banking Issues Forum to brainstorm what needs to happen.

NZDSN has been approached by these providers about the requirement of some banks to have guardianship orders in place for people to be supported to have their own bank accounts.

May 4, 2021

Hamish Gilbert completed a gruelling 100km cycle ride through Hawke’s Bay in gale-force winds as part of his mission to earn gold in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award.

The ‘Adventurous Journey’ section was a three-day hard slog and the third and final requirement for his gold award. Hamish had meticulously planned his route and every detail of the journey. “It was headwinds all the way,” he says. “By the time I arrived home I was very tired. I was very pleased with myself.”

May 4, 2021

Two long-established organisations that are going out of their way to include young people with intellectual disabilities have attracted partnership funding from the IHC Foundation.

Recent grants to Outward Bound and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award acknowledge their strong values of inclusion and their ability to respond to people with intellectual disabilities, says IHC Foundation Executive Director Jan Dowland.

May 4, 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations are being offered to New Zealanders in stages so that people at high risk get the vaccine first, including our frontline workers.

Some have already been vaccinated. One of the first was Laura Brown-Thomas, a Support Worker in Hutt Valley. She says it was an easy decision, and a simple and painless process.

“We’re on the front line – our job is working with vulnerable people, protecting them in this pandemic,” says Laura. “Whether New Zealand is COVID-19-free or not right now, it’s important to protect each other.”

May 4, 2021

Taonga Peita turned four years old in May. He’s probably the youngest social media influencer in New Zealand with 58,000 followers on Facebook.

But a spike a year ago sent him way above that. A video of Taonga singing and jiving to Alicia Keys’ This Girl is on Fire went viral just before lockdown with millions of views. Now every video posted and every milestone Taonga reaches are watched and celebrated by people across the globe.

March 9, 2021

Close to 50 community workshops will be held by May to develop local approaches to services around the country. This is part of the National Services Review by IDEA Services.

“We recognise that no two communities are the same, and so it is crucial that we understand what is important in your area. Our goal with these workshops is  to develop a localised approach for people with intellectual disabilities,”  says IDEA Services Chief Operating  Officer Joan Cowan.

March 9, 2021

Charlie Waigth was a lifetime crusader for his daughter Catherine and for people with intellectual disabilities throughout the country.

Charlie died in Auckland on 9 November 2020 at the age of 96, after working for 50 years with IHC.

It was a personal crusade at first. Charlie and Mary’s daughter Catherine was born in 1961 with Down syndrome. They were living in Takapau in southern Hawke’s Bay when Catherine turned five, and there were no services for her. Charlie set out to change that.