Bridget Snedden honoured as an Officer in New Zealand Order of Merit Huge congratulations to Bridget Snedden, President of DSi, who has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours, making her an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), for services to people with learning disabilities. Bridget advocates tirelessly for people with Down syndrome, and other intellectual disabilities, to have the same opportunities and experiences as every other person. Bridget's deep love for her children, including her son Alex who has Down syndrome, has taken her on this path. At the age of 5, Alex was rejected by his local school. “This experience of rejection taught me how society viewed people with intellectual disabilities, so I committed to changing it for him and others like him,” Bridget says. “I learnt how to create a good life for Alex, and I then shared what I knew to support other families of disabled children - Alex has been an excellent teacher.” Bridget has spent 30 years breaking down barriers to enable people with intellectual disabilities to live independently in their communities, free from discrimination. “It is not hard to be motivated to do what you can to make a difference when you see how many people with intellectual disabilities are treated in our society. Everyone has the right to live, love, work and be educated alongside their family, friends and neighbours. I believe I have an opportunity to influence change, whether that's locally or internationally and always in the best interests of our members, families and people with Down syndrome.” New Zealand Order of Merit.