What is Ability Links NSW?
Ability Links NSW is a way of connecting people with disability, their families and carers in the community.
Linkers work closely with people with disability, their families and carers to support them to fulfil their goals, hopes and dreams. Providers are the organisations that offer services to people with disability and the community. Linkers work for these Providers.
There are a range of Providers around the state, you can use this website to help you find a Provider or Linker in your area.
Who can use Ability Links?
Ability Links NSW is for:
- people with disability aged 0 to 64 years
- carers and families of people with disability.
Individual, clubs, groups and businesses can also access Ability Links NSW for information and support on inclusion of people with disability. There is no formal assessment process or referral that you need to meet in order to use Ability Links NSW.
A successful approach to building inclusive communities revealed
According to Urbis Director of Economic and Social Advisory Alison Wallace, who was responsible for the three-year evaluation of Ability Links, “The program model is a winner... In 25 years of evaluating government initiatives, I have rarely come across a program that has achieved so much in such a short space of time."
The program has been particularly successful in Aboriginal communities – more than a quarter of the people accessing Ability Links are Indigenous – a major achievement.
According to Urbis Chief Economist Nicki Hutley, the findings of the cost-benefit analysis and social return of investment is ground-breaking work.
Click here to learn more about the Urbis reports. Or click on the report images to download them each.
Ability Links NSW – This is what Linkers do
Ability Links NSW now has a video showcasing what Linkers do, and just a few of the awesome outcomes they achieve for people they support in local communities!
2 Feb 2018
Grace came in contact with Vinnies Ability Links after a recommendation from her husband’s doctors.
Grace’s husband has had a stroke and is now unable to work or drive. He does not speak much English and relies on Grace for all of his communications with doctors, physios and so on.
Grace is currently her husband’s main carer, however she is working with the NDIS to have him engaged in some social activities so she can get out of the house more.
Grace worked with her Ability Linker, Katie, to find ways to gain independence. One thing she wanted to do was get her driver’s licence.
“It was very difficult to get my licence because I don’t often use computers. But Katie encouraged me to use the computer and explained things to me very slowly and clearly. This helped me a lot.
Katie has been so supportive for me. She encouraged me for months to practice for my learners drivers licence, and when I got my learners licence she helped me find insurance and register my car.”
Katie and Grace also worked together to find a course in computers, and Grace has now started studying at TAFE. She is also considering finding a job to earn some money.
“Katie has made me feel much more confident in myself and I feel like I am able to do the things I would like to do.
I am excited to learn to drive and get my licence to drive on my own.
It will be very great when I get my licence to drive on my own because it will give my husband and I so much more freedom, and we won’t have to catch the bus anymore.
I am excited to be more confident and not be scared anymore of not doing things right.”
18 Dec 2017
When Will first met his Ability Links Linker, he had been going through a tough time with severe anxiety and depression. Will was struggling to build friendships and wanted to be linked to a group where he could share his passion for anime and video games.
Through discussions with Will and other participants, the Linker saw that there was a gap in the community for people Will’s age and that met his wants and goals.
Through discussion with Will, the Linker he had an idea to start a pop culture group and asked Will if he would like to lead the group. Will said leading the group was out of his comfort zone but he wanted to give it a go. He liked the idea of showing and teaching other people about his passion for anime and video games.
Since then Will has grown into the role of club and has set up a club Facebook page, Skype to engage people from rural towns, promoted the group across the community, developed meeting agendas and identified anime movies to watch.