Strong Voices

Empowered Lives

August 5, 2022

Where would we be without the internet?

July 20, 2021

In 50 years of indoor bowling tournaments Marjorie Bloor has never picked up a ball. But she has picked up a knife and buttered loads of sandwiches for the players’ morning and afternoon teas.

This year Dannevirke celebrates a long and special relationship between its indoor bowling clubs and IHC. This is a town that has always said yes to supporting local people with intellectual disabilities.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Dannevirke Combined Indoor Bowling Clubs IHC Tournament and Marjorie has been volunteering at the event from the start.

July 20, 2021

Northland families with disabled children are withdrawing from contact with other people because of the sheer stress of trying to manage the children with little support.

IHC Family Liaison in Whangārei Jim Callaghan says families are barely coping because of the shortage, particularly of respite care that would give parents and carers a break.

The problem can be made worse by a child being excluded from school or from the few respite facilities available in Whangārei, leaving nothing on offer.

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.

July 20, 2021

‘Stand Tall’ is a new app designed to dodge those tricky money situations – like getting to the end of the week and finding there’s no cash left for dinner.

The app is being developed by IHC and online gaming company InGame to make handling money easier for young people with disabilities who want to be independent.

July 20, 2021

North Taranaki’s old and rare pōhutukawa – at risk from either falling into the sea or myrtle rust disease – have been given a second chance at survival.


A partnership between an IHC plant nursery, local iwi and the Department of Conservation is ensuring a new generation of young plants will soon be growing on the cliffs at Paparoa Reef, south of Wai-iti – but not quite so close to the edge.

July 20, 2021

Accessible Properties is carrying out improvements to IDEA Services properties throughout the country as part of a Healthy Homes programme. This will ensure homes are insulated and heated to the appropriate levels. Assessment of properties has started and those that need the most work will be given priority. Contractors will keep in touch with Service Managers to let each area know when Accessible Properties will be assessing properties and doing the improvements. Accessible Properties is committed to meeting the Government’s requirements for providing healthy homes.

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

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.