Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Ability Links NSW launches in the Hunter

6 June 2013



Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance has today launched Ability Links NSW (ALNSW) in the Hunter, marking an important step towards the National Disability Insurance Scheme which begins next month.

St Vincent de Paul Society was named as the provider of ALNSW in April, with 14 local area coordinators to be on the ground in time for the NDIS launch, rising to 39 by the middle of next year.

"Ability Links is about building a person's informal networks beyond the disability sector to assist people with disability to live the life they want," Mr Constance said.

"Greater participation and inclusion enriches everyone's experience in their community."

Ability Links NSW coordinators, to be known as Linkers, will work with people with disability, their carers and friends to make them aware of what mainstream services are available within their community and in turn assist these services at a practical level to cater for the disability community to be more welcoming and inclusive.

ALNSW is a key foundation in a self directed system and together with the NDIS marks a new era in disability support. The NSW Government has committed $26.5 million per year to fund a total of 248 coordinators across the state.

"The program is designed to promote the rights of people with disability to be valued and equal members of their community," Mr Constance said.

"There will be 39 Linkers working across the Hunter area as part of the NSW Government's commitment to the roll out of the NDIS.

Member for Newcastle Tim Owen said excitement is building in the Hunter as people with disability in the region will be among the first in the country to enter the NDIS.

"For too long, people with disability have been confined to a system that fails to cater for their individual needs and aspirations," Mr Owen said.

"Through the NDIS, people will be empowered to make decisions about their care and support, putting them in control of their futures."

Ability Links NSW is an initiative of the Department of Family and Community Services, Ageing Disability & Home Care.

For more information about Ability Links NSW visit www.adhc.nsw.gov.au/abilitylinksnsw.

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