Strong Voices

Empowered Lives

August 5, 2022

Where would we be without the internet?

December 1, 2021

Across the IHC Group, it’s extremely important for us to protect our colleagues and the people we support from COVID-19.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, particularly in our services, we have taken advice from the Ministry of Health as alert levels have changed on everything from social distancing and more stringent cleaning to mask use and more flexible work schedules.

In late October the Ministry of Health published a Health Order that made it mandatory for certain health and disability workers to be fully vaccinated.

December 1, 2021

Ask Carlos Biggemann what needs to change in the world, and he starts with global issues – war, poverty and the destruction of the rainforests – before coming to his disability.

This doesn’t mean attitudes to disability are any less important to him. Carlos, a 30-year-old Dunedin photographer and poet, says he has to prove himself every day of his life.

December 1, 2021

The Ministry of Health has announced changes to disability-funded carer support. Carer support claims are going online in early 2022

This should make life easier and means claims will be processed faster. Families can still claim carer support using the present paper-based system. 

December 1, 2021

A trial Companion Card programme is enabling people with disabilities to take part more easily in activities in Palmerston North.

The digital card is for people who are unable to access ticketed events and venues without a support person, which means paying the extra cost of a second ticket.

The Companion Card programme was launched in August through a partnership between Mana Whaikaha, a government disability support system, and Palmerston North City Council.

December 1, 2021

The makers of Poppy have created a version of the movie with captions for people with hearing impairments, and can make the film available for cinemas to have private captioned screenings, says producer Robin Laing. After a successful 14-week run in New Zealand cinemas, Poppy is moving out into the wider world thanks to a range of international festival invitations. The film was selected for CinefestOz in Western Australia and screened in October at La Femme International, a Los Angeles-based festival for women filmmakers, and at Cinemagic Belfast, a festival of films for young people.

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

The small Rangitīkei town of Hunterville doesn’t have a lot on offer for a young man at weekends.

So it’s understandable if Jeremy Hill-Hayer decides to stay on in Palmerston North to go to a disco rather than travel home to see his parents.

Life has changed a lot for Jeremy since he moved into an IDEA Services residence in Palmerston North a year ago and signed up with a Choices NZ life coach.

July 20, 2021

Michael Holdsworth was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, making him the first person with Down syndrome to receive this honour.

He was awarded the MZNM for his services to Special Olympics and it marks his 32 years as an athlete leader, advocate and participant in two World Games and his service to the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association.

July 20, 2021

IHC now has some powerful support in its long-running legal battle to protect disabled children’s rights to a proper education in mainstream schools.

The Human Rights Review Tribunal and IHC are collecting evidence about the experiences of disabled children in the education system from parents, educators and community groups, ahead of a hearing in that tribunal.

July 20, 2021

Eight young artists have their eyes on a new prize in the IHC Art Awards 2021.

The Youth Award is a new category in the IHC Art Awards this year, for artists aged between 13 and 17 years. When entries closed on 31 May, eight of the 356 artists entering were in the Youth Award category. The winner of this award stands to win $1500.

These artists are also eligible for the overall award of $5000 and the L’affare People’s Choice Award of $2000.