Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Bold and brave services to replace traditional disability service system

21 December 2012

The NSW Government is taking the initiative to deliver new ways of supporting people with a disability and ensuring that NSW is ready for the establishment of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance today released reports on the most recent stage of the Living Life My Way consultations on the design of a system which puts people with disability at the centre of decision making.

The Living Life My Way report identified the importance of the role of Ability Links NSW, a new initiative created to support the ongoing reforms of the disability services system. 

“During the extensive consultations people emphasised that mainstream and community services should be as accessible to people with disability as any other person,” said Mr Constance.

“The NSW Government has committed $26.5 million per year to the initiative which will fund a total of 248 ALNSW coordinators across the state,” said Mr Constance. 

Families in every part of the state will have access to an ALNSW coordinator who will work with them to help plan for the future, build on their strengths and skills and develop networks in their own communities to do what they want with their lives outside the traditional disability service system. 

The Ability Links NSW Taskforce was set up by the Minister to determine the most appropriate organisations to provide this new type of service. 

“The Taskforce recommends that Ability Links NSW be established by between two and six new entities which have significant track records in community building initiatives,” said Minister Constance. 

The NSW Government supports the Taskforce’s recommendations.

“We will be seeking interest from not-for-profits, social enterprises and philanthropic organisations as well as tapping into the expertise of private sector organisations which offer the necessary mix of skills, experience and relationships to establish a completely new service in NSW,” he said. 

The NSW and Australian Governments’ historic agreement to rollout the NDIS in NSW marks a new era in disability service delivery. 

“We are prepared to be bold and brave in our aspiration for Ability Links NSW to be coordinated by non-government organisations which bring value to the delivery of this new service for the benefit of people with disability, their family and carers.” 

“The introduction of Ability Links NSW lays the groundwork for the rollout of the NDIS in NSW. Ability Links NSW coordinators will help people with disability, their families and carers, to move seamlessly to the NDIS”, said Mr Constance.

Pre-market engagement for Ability Links NSW will commence in early 2013, with a new tender to follow. 

Ability Links NSW is expected to be established from 1 July 2013 in the Hunter region for the launch of the NDIS, and by 1 July 2014 in the remainder of NSW. 

Mr Constance thanked the taskforce members for their time and dedication which will contribute to the successful establishment of this innovative service. 

Copies of the Living Life My Way consultation outcomes report can be downloaded from the ADHC website.

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