IHC Media provides pathways to leadership and creativity
Out of challenges can come great opportunities and that is certainly the case with IHC Media.
IHC Media is an online platform launched in 2022 with content created for and by people with intellectual disabilities.
IHC Media was born out of the COVID-19 lockdowns. “The first lockdown in 2020 caught us all by surprise,” says IHC General Manager of Communications Gina Rogers. “We had to think quickly of a way for us to connect with the people we support and for them to connect with each other.”
It began as a ‘Give it a Go’, which live-streamed Zoom sessions into IDEA Services houses during lockdown. It was then decided to make it a permanent thing and take it into the wider community.
“We want a way for the people we support to tell their own stories and create pathways for leadership and creativity,” says Gina.
IHC Media was launched in 2022 with IHC Live offering livestreamed Zoom sessions of music therapy, drumming and dance. There will eventually be three channels. The second, IHC Korero, launches this February with interactive webinars on self-advocacy run by David Corner, IHC’s National Self Advocacy Coordinator. A third channel, offering a gateway to further education, is in the planning stages.
IHC Live’s 2023 calendar includes Music with Ahjay, Drumming with Chewy, Dance with Jolt, Draw with Lindsey and Move with Bex. Ahjay Stelino is a song writer and music therapist. Chewy Wilson has been playing drums (Djembe) for about 20 years and has a passion for all music, especially world music. Christchurch-based Jolt is an innovative and inclusive dance company. Lindsey Myers is an artist and graphic designer working in the IHC Communications team. Auckland-based move therapist Rebekah Williamson (Bex) works with PHAB, an organisation promoting self-reliance and enhancing social opportunities for disabled and non-disabled people.
“Anyone can join these 45-minute sessions,” says Gina. “You just need to go to ihcmedia to register. And work out how to chrome cast from your device to a smart TV.”
Support is still required from carers and support workers during the sessions. “Often during the sessions you will need to mute and unmute your microphone and it’s important to have someone standing by to help with this,” Gina says.
Brothers Quintin and Joshua, who live in rural Canterbury, attend the IHC Live sessions and are looking forward to the 2023 programme.
Their family says, “Our young men look forward to the sessions, especially Jolt dance and joining with their Jolt friends on Zoom. They also like joining with friend Chewy in the drumming and Ahjay who does music.
“All the presenters’ programmes provide a balance of familiar and new content. They work hard to make the sessions personal and to have communication with each attendee.”
Caption: Quintin (left) and Joshua are enthusiastic regulars at IHC Live sessions.