Ability Links NSW
Ability Links NSW (ALNSW) is a new initiative created to support the ongoing reforms of the disability service system in NSW. The NSW Government has committed $26.5 million per year for a total of 248 ALNSW Coordinators across the state.
Families in every part of NSW will have access to an ALNSW Coordinator. There will be 111 ALNSW Coordinators across the Sydney metropolitan area, 35 in the Hunter region, 31 across northern NSW, 20 in the Southern Highlands and the Illawarra, and a further 24 spread across western NSW.
27 ALNSW Coordinators will be Aboriginal identified positions who will work with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.
ALNSW Coordinators will work with people with a disability, their families and carers to help them to plan for their future, building on their strengths and skills, and develop networks in their own communities to do what they want to do with their lives.
Coordinators will also work with local communities to help them become more welcoming and inclusive to people with a disability.
The Ability Links NSW Taskforce, established following the unsucessful tender process (RFT ADHC.12.03) held in 2012, recommended the establishment of new organisations to deliver ALNSW. The Taskforce recommended that the NSW Government:
- procure between two and six new entities established by a syndicate(s) or consortia of founding member organisations with ALNSW service boundaries aligned to Ageing, Disability and Home Care’s (ADHC’s) regions
- also consider proposals from high quality existing organisations not principally involved in the delivery of disability services
- commence the process of procurement for the Hunter region for the establishment of ALNSW from 1 July 2013 followed by the remainder of NSW from 1 July 2014.
The Taskforce also recommended undertaking a procurement approach which includes pre-market engagement through an appropriate notice of tender period, so that a new market has the chance of ‘seeding’, and the use of outcomes based procurement whereby prospective tenderers participate in defining the desired outcomes rather than a traditional approach involving responses to prescriptive specifications.
180 people from 114 different organisations attended the briefing sessions and a Registration of Interest (ROI) Tender ADHC.13.05 was advertised seeking submission from organisations interested in providing the Ability Links Program in the Hunter Region. The ROI Tender closed on 25 February. The NSW Minister for Disability Services, Andrew Constance, announced in his media release of 10 April 2013 that the St Vincent de Paul Society has been appointed to provide Ability Links in the Hunter Region.
Work is well underway with St Vincent de Paul Society to ensure that the 1 July 2013 implementation of Ability Links in the Hunter Region will support the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The NSW Government remains committed to the state wide establishment of Ability Links NSW by 1 July 2014. Supporting this commitment, ADHC will regularly update information on this website regarding activities and development opportunities that will be available to organisations and/or consortia interested in Ability Links NSW. More detailed feedback from the briefing sessions and ROI Tender process will be published on the eTendering website and ADHC’s website by the end of April.
Download the full ALNSW Taskforce Report (PDF).
ADHC is continuing to develop a community engagement model to identify suitable Aboriginal non-government organisations to deliver the 27 Aboriginal ALNCs.