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Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability

ASID NZ 2018 Conference

Responding to the call: Building partnerships that enrich lives

Changes to philosophy, practices and supports are everywhere.   Both opportunities and challenges exist for everyone. We need to be well informed and to work with new partnerships to ensure positive changes occur for all people with intellectual disability.  This includes those often marginalised - children and families living with disadvantage, people with high and complex needs, and people already involved with other social systems, such as the justice, education and health sectors.

Monday 2 – Tuesday 3 July 2018

Rydges Wellington, 75 Featherston Street, Wellington (

Conference Programme

Please click here to download the ASID NZ 2018 conference programme (as at 27 June 2018).

Sunday 1 July
4:30pm Welcome Function

Monday 2 July
9:00am Mihi and Conference Opening
9:30am Keynote speaker: Sarah Leitch, BILD    Presentation  /  Video
Concurrent sessions
3:45pm Keynote speaker: Dr Sheridan Forster    Presentation  / Video
6:30pm Conference Dinner

Tuesday 3 July
8:50am Opening Day 2
9:00am Keynote speaker: Judge Andrew Becroft, Children’s Commissioner for New Zealand  Presentation  /  Video
Concurrent sessions
2:55pm Keynote speaker: Dr Martyn Matthews  Presentation  / Video
4:00pm Conference Closing

Keynote Speakers

Dr Sheridan Forster

C:\fakepath\sheridanDr Sheridan Forster is a speech pathologist and a researcher with a particular interest in people with severe and profound levels of intellectual disability. She is interested in how personal contact is made and maintained with people who may not use or understand speech. She is interested in how meaning is shared and how feelings are validated in people with profound intellectual disability.

Sheridan is trained in Video Interaction Guidance and has found this to be a pivotal method for listening to support workers and family members, and supporting them further enhance the communication skills of those people who are often most isolated in services.

Sheridan strongly believes that in order to work towards the inclusion of people with severe and profound intellectual disabilities authentic relationships must be established - this takes good practice and good policy. These relationships in which meaning making occurs can then act as necessary bridges to enable contact to be made with the broader community.  

“How do I need to be in order to be with you?” Building partnerships that enrich lives

I am approaching this keynote in a similar way to which I translate information into Plain English. I ask what is the topic, what does it mean to me/you the listener, and what do we need to do now?

So, who are people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities and what is interacting with them? What does this interaction mean to me, possibly you, and importantly the everyday person in the community? Finally, what needs to happen now to improve the lives of people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities and the very real issue of creating authentic, reciprocal, mutually meaningful relationships and partnerships.

In this presentation I will draw on research, clinical practice, and the very real issue of sitting down with a person with PIMD and thinking “how do I need to be in order to be with you?”

Judge Andrew Becroft

C:\fakepath\Judge Andrew Becroft2Judge Andrew Becroft was appointed the Children’s Commissioner for New Zealand for a two year period from June 2016.  Prior to that he was the Principal Youth Court Judge of New Zealand from 2001 to 2016; and was appointed a District Court Judge in 1996. 

After graduating from Auckland University in 1981 with a BA/LLB (Honours) degree, he practised in Auckland until 1986 when he then assisted with the establishment of the Mangere Community Law Centre and worked there until 1993. He then worked as a criminal barrister in South Auckland until his appointment to the District Court in Whanganui, from 1996.

Judge Becroft is a former council member of the Auckland District Law Society and the New Zealand Law Society. He is the Patron of the New Zealand Speak Easy Association Inc., which assists those with various forms of speech impediment, and is the Chairperson of the Board of the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship (NZ) Inc.

Judge Becroft is married with three children, aged 22, 21 and 17.

Child and Youth Centred Practice – Fad or Foundation?

There has been an explosion of knowledge about neuro diversity and neurodevelopmental issues.  Not without reason has the 2010s been called the decade of the teenage brain.  History may well judge – harshly. Well-meaning and committed as we might be, we have probably failed to properly identify, diagnose and provide help for a cohort of teenagers who have dropped out of the education system, have become increasingly disconnected from the community, and overrepresented in health and criminal justice statistics. This is one of the real challenges facing any of us who work with teenagers.  How can we improve our practice. What does being child/centred in this area actually mean?

Dr Martyn Matthews

C:\fakepath\Martyn MatthewsCurrently National Clinical Practice Leader, IDEA Services, Martyn is the lead health professional for a large not-for profit organisation. He has worked with people with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders for almost 30 years which has been split between his two passions: early intervention for children and families, and developing services for people who have severe challenging behaviours or have come to disability services via the criminal justice system. Originally from Yorkshire, but living in NZ for 16 years, along the way he’s held a number of clinical and management roles both in the UK and NZ.

Martyn completed his PhD in Psychological Medicine with Otago University and his research investigated the mental health treatment and support needs of people with autism spectrum disorders. Martyn was part of the NZ Autism Spectrum Disorder guideline development and implementation and is a current member of the joint Ministry of Health and Education ASD Living Guideline Group. 

Science and values: it’s just the sound of ideologies clashing

Research over the last few years has provided growing evidence that people with autism have increased risk of mental health problems, particularly anxiety, but also depression, bipolar disorder and ADHD. This presentation will outline findings from New Zealand research on the mental health of adults with autism, using both hard data from assessments plus perspectives obtained via face to face conversations with people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. In addition, it will outline the latest neurobiological research on autism and how this can be incorporated into practice.

Disability support services in New Zealand are rightly built on strong values and human rights principles. However, there is new and evolving science in neurobiology and neuropsychiatry which has much to offer regarding our understanding of autism and mental health. Bringing values and science together does raise some difficult questions, particularly in relation to people with autism and severe intellectual disabilities:

  • What do we do if science shows our values of community participation and presence might be bad for a person’s mental health?
  • Can positive behaviour support be useful for mental health problems?
  • Why do we rely on psychotropic medications which have limited evidence of effectiveness?
  • How do we best support people who don’t show much change despite well designed behaviour support plans and high doses of psychotropic medication?

In order to answer some of these questions, a model of support for people with autism and severe intellectual disabilities will be presented.

Sarah Leitch

C:\fakepath\Sarah_Leitch1Sarah’s strengths and experience are in providing organisational and workplace development programmes and supporting communities of practice that have the aim of improving quality of life for vulnerable people and their families and reducing levels of restrictive practices.

Her work at BILD often focuses on providing advice and direct support to individuals, services or organisations who wish to successfully implement and maintain Positive Behaviour Support and a culture of good support.

With over 25 years’ experience mainly but not exclusively working in the field of learning disabilities Sarah has been a registered manager of a home for children with autism, a service manager with development responsibility for sexual abuse treatment services as well as the behaviour advisor for a large voluntary organisation.

She also has a Master’s degree in Mental Health undertaken at Guys Hospital and a Master’s degree from the Tizard centre in Analysis and Intervention in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  She was lucky enough to have attended the Tizard when Professor Jim Mansell, Julie Beadle –Brown and Glynis Murphy were teaching on the programme and her subsequent practice has been much influence by all that she learned during those two years.

Sarah is BILD’ Development Manager, and among other things has responsibility for the ongoing development of the Centre for the Advancement of PBS and the highly respected PBS  Coaches programme which  is a programme for practice leaders .

She has presented at many conferences and has recently co-authored a guidebook for practitioners.

  • Person-centred reduction planning and action
  • Developing individual restrictive practice reduction plans – A guide for practice leaders

Working Together to improve quality of life.  Supporting implementation of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) in the UK and NZ.

During this presentation I will: 

  • Briefly explain what Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is and why it is important
  • Give  an overview of the history and  challenges that have  arisen from  the  implementation of PBS   in health and social care services for people with IDD in the UK
  • Describe some of the UK initiatives that have been developed   to prevent dilution of PBS and promote its sustainability.
  • Introduce a PBS workforce and organisational development framework that was created by BILD in response to some of these challenges. 
  • Talk about our experiences at BILD of applying   an enhanced model of PBS practice leadership using coaching and  developing communities of practice in the UK.
  • Reflect on our new partnership with Explore in NZ and what we have learned already from working alongside them.
  • Present an in built programme evaluation   model that will support programme improvements and hence improvements to quality of life. The model measures the success and progress of individual outcomes, learning outcomes, practice outcomes and organisational outcomes.


All fees are in $NZ and include 15% GST (Goods and Services tax).


Early Bird


18 May 2018
25 May 2018


From 19 May 2018
26 May 2018

ASID Member - Full



ASID Non-member - Full



ASID Member - Day



ASID Non-member - Day



Student / Self Advocate



Full Conference Registration includes all conference sessions, morning and afternoon teas, lunches during the conference and one ticket to the opening welcome reception.

One Day Conference Registration includes all conference sessions, morning and afternoon teas, and lunches during the conference for the day of registration.

Self Advocate Registration is available for anyone with an intellectual disability.

Delegate registration cancellation policy: All registration cancellations are subject to a $100.00 administration fee.  If payment has not been made, the administration fee will be charged.  If payment has been made, a refund of the balance will be given provided written notification is received prior to 5:00 pm Friday 8 June 2018.  After this date refunds will only be made at the discretion of the organising committee.  Substitutions will be accepted but should be notified in writing to Paardekooper and Associates.

Social Functions

Welcome Function

The Welcome Function will be held on Sunday 1 July, 4:30pm – 6:00pm in the Pre-function Space, Level 1, Rydges Hotel.  One ticket is included in all registrations.

Conference Dinner

Join us at Rydges Hotel, from 6:30pm in the Grand Space for a 3 course buffet dinner.  Continue the networking with your fellow delegates and make some new acquaintances.  Tickets cost $65.00 (dinner only) and a cash bar will be available.


Special conference rates are available for conference participants at the accommodation options listed below.

This rate is available for the Sunday 1 July and Tuesday 2 July 2018.

Rates are subject to availability at the time of booking. Nights outside of these dates can be requested but cannot be guaranteed at the discounted rate. Be sure to get in early!  Bookings are subject to availability.

Room rates are in New Zealand dollars (NZD) and include goods and services tax (GST) of 15%.

Please note, your credit card details may be required to secure your reservation.

Rydges Wellington HotelC:\fakepath\rydges wellington
At Conference venue

75 Featherston St, Pipitea
Phone: +64 4 499 8686

Room rate: $209 bed and breakfast for one person or $239 bed and breakfast for two people per night
Guest Check In from 2pm, Check Out by 11am.

At 4+ stars, Rydges Wellington is centrally located on downtown Featherston Street with a unique combination of harbour and city outlooks. This Wellington accommodation is within walking distance to Lambton Quay, Westpac Stadium, Queens Wharf and Wellington Railway Station making it ideally positioned in the heart of the capital and includes free WIFI.

To Book: Phone +64 4 499 8686 or email the hotel, and quote “ASID2018”.

Cancellation Policy: Any cancellations made after the 2nd May 2018 will incur a cancellation fee equivalent to the whole duration of the stay.

In an event of a no-show – a no show fee equivalent for the night’s accommodation is to be charged directly to the guest.

In an event of an early departure or amendment in number of night’s stay based on initial reservation – a cancellation fee for the nights’ accommodation will be charged.

ibis Wellington HotelC:\fakepath\ibis wellington
900m (4 minutes walk) to Rydges Hotel Wellington, Conference Venue

153 Featherston Street
Phone: +64 4 496 1880
22% Discount on our flexible rate of the day

Guest Check In from 2pm, Check Out until 11am

Ibis Wellington, a 3.5 star hotel with 200 contemporary guest rooms, is in the heart of the city near the bustle of Lambton Quay and walking distance to Parliament, TSB Arena, Westpac Stadium and Te Papa. Visit Vivant Restaurant and Bar for breakfast, lunch and dinner; situated on the ground floor

To Book: Please book online at: or email quote “ASID Conference 2018”.

Cancellation Policy: Rates are subject to availability. Full amount of stay is payable in advance by credit card at booking time. The amount due is not refundable even if the booking is cancelled or modified.

Conference Exhibitors and Supporters  

C:\fakepath\ALL NZ LOGOS 

Call for Papers

The New Zealand ASID conference Call for Papers has closed.

The New Zealand ASID conference Call for Papers has closed.

The presentation streams are:

  • System transformation
  • Citizenship
  • Challenging behaviour/ dual disability
  • Health and wellbeing across the lifespan
  • Children and young people

Choose from one of the following format types:

  • Paper – 25 minutes
  • Workshop – 55 minutes
  • Poster

Presenting gives you an opportunity to:

  • share the great work you do
  • challenge yourself to innovate
  • influence practice
  • build relationships with others in the sector

Memorable presentations are:

  • engaging
  • useful for the audience
  • supported by evidence

Can you do this? Of course you can!

Mentoring available!

Never presented before?  Want to know how to include a person with disability as co-presenter?   We will support you to develop your ideas for a presentation – contact Jonathan Goodwin at  to be connected with someone who can help.

Submissions close Friday 2 March 2018.

Mark in your diary and start planning your presentation!

Key Dates

November 2017 - Call for Papers opening

March 2018 – Call for Papers closing

March 2018 – Early bird registration opening

May 2018 – Standard registration

Sharon Brandford & Jonathan Goodwin
Conference Co-chairs


Paardekooper & Associates 
Conference organisers
ASID NZ 2018 Conference 
Monday 2 – Tuesday 3 July 2018

Rydges Wellington, 75 Featherston Street, Wellington, New Zealand 
Phone: +64 4 562 8259