Who are we?
I.Lead is a youth with disabilities movement led by youth, for youth. We aim to amplify the voices of youth with disabilities on any platform, at any table.
I.Lead started as the FIRST EVER Youth with Disabilities Conference in 2019, held in the Parliamentary Building in Wellington. Since then, it has evolved into a full-blown social change movement dedicated to amplifying the voices of youth with disabilities, while also upskilling them both personally and professionally to allow them to do the same for their peers.
On top of bi-annual conferences, we also provide workshops and opportunities for youth to not only have their voices heard, but to also gain skills in networking, communications and other essential skill sets that ready them for further employment, either with us, helping to run one of our many workshops and projects, or into other areas of interest.
Our bottom line – we provide a platform that holistically supports youth with disabilities to not only lead meaningful, fulfilling lives, but also speak out on how things can be made better!
The I.Lead Conference is a platform for young people with disabiltiies from across New Zealand to come together to find solutions to prevalent issues and barriers they face as young people with disabilities living in New Zealand. It is also a space of collaboration and innovation, being a platform from which we can identify solutions to these issues, as well as giving the opportunity to have them presented to high level policy and decision makers.
The first conference, back in September 2019, focused on identifying a broad range of issues in 7 key topics: Housing, Sport and Recreation, Healthcare, Employment, Education, Transport and Media. From these 7 topics came 27 recommendations of which formed the basis of I.Lead’s work with central government for the past 2 years.
Our second conference in 2022 was completely virtual – the FIRST virtual conference for young people with disabilities. This year, we focused on 6 topics – Education, Transition, Transport, Employment, Sport & Recreation and Housing. We then delivered 16 recommendations to government officials!
To sign up and be hear more about our next conference, CLICK HERE
And for more information on all things I.Lead, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
INSPIRE, MOTIVATE, DRIVE
HOW do we do this?
Run a yearly, national conference
Work directly with government agencies on policy and legislation
Connect with young people across NZ
Run workshops, events and social activities
National I-Lead Committee
The National I.Lead Committee is made up of representation from around the country.
They meet monthly to dicuss issues, policy, barriers and events. We are always welcoming new members to join the cause! When an opening becomes available on the I.Lead Committee, being an I.Lead member means you are eligible to apply for a spot on the committee!
If you are looking to make change through the telling of your story and lived experience of disability, CLICK HERE!
Kia Orana, Ko toku ingoa Kramer Hoeflich. I was born and raised in the beautiful Cook Islands on the island of Rarotonga, till I was 15 and a spinal cord injury changed my life and brought me to New Zealand. During this time, I was faced with many challenges and had to overcome many barriers to become the person I am today. This is where I found my passion to work with young people of all abilities, cultures and backgrounds, alongside them make a difference within in the community. I have a strong focus on equality, inclusion and diversity this is reflected on the projects, events and boards I am a part of.
I am a strong believer in the unique ingenuity that young people possess and the unlimited potential that is tapped when we work together as a community. I am passionate about working to change perceptions of what young people of all abilities can achieve and contribute. One of the ways I plan on doing this is by building awareness and acceptance around mental illness and breaking the taboo that surrounds youth suicide. I am a strong voice for the both the Pasifika and disability sector, my aim is to bridge the gap between disability, youth, community & government.
Kia ora, my name is Kim and I’m of the view that if life is dull, you’re not doing it right; there’s always excitement to be found if you look hard enough. I was born with a condition that causes muscle weakness but I don’t let it define me. I’m a “can girl” rather than a “can’t girl” and where people say “no” I find a “yes”. I have a passion for advocacy and helping people to get all that they need in life so they can thrive.
Kathleen is a representative of Kids with Arthritis NZ, and has lived experience with Rheumatoid Arthritis. She is also a member of YES Disability’s Youth Engagement Group, as well as being one of the founding members of the Phusion Dance Group, an all-abilities dance group dedicated to pasifika dance and culture. Her bubbly attitude and caring nature has been a welcome addition to any group or project she’s been involved in.
Niah is a major advocate for pasifika youth with disabilities. She has been a part of many different pasifika projects within the disability sector, and is a resounding voice when it comes to the nature of pasifika youth with disabilities and how they fit into their families, aiga, communities and cultures. She helped found Phusion, an all-abilities pasifika dance group that advocates for inclusiveness and cultural identity for.
CCS DISABILITY ACTION/TE POU
My name is Niz and I am 27-years-old. I have been immersed in the world of disability for as long as I can remember. I have a muscle deteriorating condition called Muscular Dystrophy, which means my wheels are basically my legs, but that without doubt hasn’t stopped me from completing school regardless of many doubts, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Practice, graduating university with an Award for Courage.
Hey, little about myself – I’m a 26 year old Palestinian working at YES disability as a youth facilitator and involved with the I.Lead team with the experiences I’ve had in my life it has ignited my passion of helping people whom have had similar experiences as I have. leading me to do a counselling degree (post grad diploma). Allowing me to use my personal experiences and qualification background to contribute to the I.Lead Committee.
Tamara is a youth ambassador for disabilities. She is a passionate, creative mother who has a vision to create a new way of portraying the system of how New Zealand sees disability. Through the journey of having autism, dyslexia and mental health, Tamara has conquered control and the voice to change the world. If there’s a will, there’s a way and, with a strong heart, Tamara has produced the X-Abilities. She is a professional artist with a number of projects that aim to help the disability sector reach it’s full potential.