Strong Voices

Empowered Lives

August 5, 2022

Where would we be without the internet?

July 20, 2021

'Poppy' – starring Libby Hunsdale and Ari Boyland 
Writer and director – Linda Niccol


'Poppy' reached the big screen in May and struck a chord with young women refusing to be defined by their disabilities. Ella Davenport from Lower Hutt and Ava Saba from Gladstone reviewed the movie. 


By Ella Davenport (with some help from mum) 

I went to see the movie 'Poppy' with my mum. It’s a story about Poppy’s life. She lives with her older brother and she pretty much takes care of the house. 

July 20, 2021

Tayla Sloot sees a lot from her wheelchair. And she knows that her disability is a barrier that prevents people getting to know her. 

But worse than that, Tayla knows her wheelchair can be frightening for young children. She’s seen young children hide behind their parents, too scared to approach her. 

Tayla, 25, thinks this is because children have limited awareness of those who have disabilities, and her solution has been to write a book about her life to reach out to school children. 

July 20, 2021

Most IDEA Services frontline support workers have now received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination.

IDEA Services has been busy ensuring staff and the people we support have the crucial information they need about the vaccination, communicating directly with the Ministry of Health and, at a local level, district health boards.

“We’ve been engaging with the newly appointed Disability Equity Leads, whose job it is to coordinate vaccinations for the disability sector,” says IDEA Services Director of Nursing Prudence Lennox.

July 20, 2021

Banks have put even more distance between them and their more vulnerable customers by ending cheques.

This leaves disabled people wondering how they can pay bills and withdraw money as bank branches continue to close in cities and towns all over New Zealand.

Cheques have now been consigned to history at ANZ, Westpac, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB, SBS, Rabobank and The Co-operative Bank, and ASB finishes with cheques on 27 August. Some retailers are also moving away from cash payments.

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.

July 20, 2021

There’s a huge gap at Hirepool in Lower Hutt where Colin Bailey used to work. He’s retired from the Hutt Road branch after more than 30 years on the job.

Colin’s farewell barbeque was an emotional day for everyone as Hirepool staff from across Wellington, along with Regional Manager Stuart Drew from Hawke’s Bay, came to say goodbye.

“He does leave a gap here – 100 percent,” Stuart says. “He swept the yard, kept it clean. No-one did it as well as he did. His work here was exceptional. He brought an excellent work ethic, a great sense of humour, a cheekiness.”

July 20, 2021

Colin Bailey was in the first New Zealand team to compete in the Special Olympics. He won bronze in the freestyle event at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1983.

He was 22 years old and a very strong swimmer but Lee Bailey, his mother, says he had no killer instinct to make him want to win.

“It took a while to get that killer instinct into him. He was happy just to swim.”

Colin first learned to swim when he was seven or eight years of age on a family boating holiday on Lake Rotorua – and discovered something he was extremely good at.