Ability Links making an impact

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New report finds Ability Links making a social and economic difference in our community


Ability Links NSW is improving the lives of people with a disability and their families and is having a real economic impact across the state according to two independent reports released this week.

According to the reports by Urbis, this innovative approach to supporting people with disability returns three dollars in economic and social benefits for every dollar invested, making a significant change in the lives of people with disability.

The program is delivered by dedicated staff known as ‘Linkers’ who work with people with disability, their families, and carers to build on their strengths and skills, and develop networks in their own communities outside of the traditional disability services sector.

Ability Links NSW is delivered by Intereach across Riverina Murray with Sue Mathieson saying the report highlights the importance of the program for the community.

“This report shows that when people have the right supports and are linked into their community, everyone benefits.

“Ability Links improves the quality of people’s lives resulting in more optimism for the future and sense of control over their lives. As the report shows, this flows through to real economic and social benefits that we all can enjoy.

“Ability Links works because it taps into the individual’s passions and interests whilst also tapping into the wealth of skills, connections and goodwill already within our regional communities.

The URBIS report says linked-in people report feeling safer, happier and more socially connected. People who engaged with the program also reported an increase in self-esteem and improvements in their relationships with family and friends.

Since its launch in 2014, Ability Links NSW has supported over 1282 individuals and families across the Riverina Murray and worked alongside community members, groups and organisations on 25051 occasions.

Ms. Mathieson said given the program’s success, she hoped Ability Links would continue into the future as part of, or alongside the NDIS. “With such strong evidence that Ability Links provides value for money and generates strong social and economic benefits to both Government and the broader community, we see a strong future for this program.

“Ability Links will support the sustainability of the NDIS by diverting some people away from funded supports and improving the capacity of individuals and communities.”

Ability Links NSW is a State Government program that supports people with disability, their families and carers to connect with their local community, achieve their goals and aspirations and live enriched and fulfilled lives.