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IHC supports strong family voices

Media release

13 June 2006

IHC supports strong family voices

Supporting families to take the lead when dealing with the disability sector and other agencies will be a focus of IHC New Zealand's biennial conference, called Strong Families Strong Voices.

For the first time ever IHC will be sponsoring around 250 family members to attend its conference.

Featuring local and international speakers, the conference aims to support, inform and engage families of children and young people with intellectual disabilities.

"Families are a very important focus for us. Empowering and supporting them to speak up for what they want and need, from IHC and from other providers of disability services, is our aim," says IHC chief executive Ralph Jones.

"When IHC was set up nearly 60 years ago we were an organisation by, for, and about children and young people and their families. IHC was the leading child advocacy organisation for New Zealand children with disabilities," says Mr Jones.

"Our sponsorship of so many families to attend the conference is part of this renewed commitment to families, children and young people."

The keynote speakers include Bruce Uditsky Executive Director of the Alberta Association for Community Living (AACL). Bruce was instrumental in developing Alberta's education policy on the placement of students with disabilities, which now requires that mainstreaming be the first option for students.

Anne Hughson is an Associate Professor in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies in Canada. Anne is a psychologist who has worked directly with families and individuals with development disabilities, in particular in addressing issues of abuse and sexual assault.

Tracey Richardson, Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, has six children, two of whom have the terminal disease cystic fibrosis. Tracey is an Ironman, having completed the New Zealand and the Hawaiian events.

ENDS

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