The Big Event took place on 5th & 6th April 2013, having been made possible through the very generous assistance of the IHC Foundation.
We can truly say that it was the biggest expo of its kind in New Zealand. Ninety exhibition stands plus a huge Youth Section showed new products and services, as well as offering visitors new experiences. A fully curated Art Exhibition called “Perspectives” was a great draw card with all the exhibits being produced by artists with disabilities. The Sensory Space gave people the chance to experience their senses and the Innovation Corner showed examples of adaptations to make life easier. An entertainment programme added a great sense of joy to the atmosphere. Quite apart from the benefits for the general public, the benefits of networking and collaborating for the providers and exhibitors were immeasurable.
There were many families that attended and many people with intellectual disabilities took advantage of the expo. Comments on the value of being able to meet such a lot of service providers under the same roof and at the same time were common.
The grant enabled us to meet some of the expenses in the Youth Section for which a number of high cost pieces of equipment were hired. This enabled young people to experience new activities in a safe, fun way, While extending them physically and intellectually. l have attached copies of some of the accounts.
Overall, we feel we achieved our objectives in promoting the concept of inclusion and were able to demonstrate the benefits of working collaboratively. The support of the IHC Foundation was hugely valued and we were very pleased to be able to recognise it at both the opening and closing events, as well as with the banners that were displayed in the foyer. We also ensured the logo was printed on the visitor handout.
With our thanks and appreciation, Yours sincerely
Chris M Ross Chairman