Making meaningful connections with people matters in ways most of us never stop to consider.
Ability Links NSW, which has been doing this work in the Hunter and Central Coast regions for the past four years.
The first of its kind in Australia, Ability Links NSW takes a whole-of-life approach to help people build their connections, increase their confidence and become active members of their community.
Ability Links NSW can work with you to find the right mix of sport, exercise and recreation; education, training, and other supports in your community to build confidence and broaden your networks.
Ability Links NSW also works with communities, businesses and organisations wanting to become more inclusive. Each year, an estimated 43,500 people engage with Ability Links NSW, which launched in 2013 alongside the NDIS.
In the Hunter and Central Coast, Ability Links NSW is working on several projects, linking people with community, developing personal networks and raising awareness of issues such as inclusion and access, that affect everybody at one time or another.
In schools, Ability Links NSW is running the Smart Art Challenge, to work with kids in primary and secondary public schools to raise awareness around inclusion by asking them to express what inclusion means to them in the form an artistic expression. You can find details at www.smartartchallenge.com.
The Sporting Chance initiative engages with regional sporting clubs from every code to assess their current level of inclusion and to provide support for clubs wanting to improve.
The Event Tent program supports local councils to use an inclusive Event Tent at large events to provide people with various challenges to successfully participate in events. The Event Tent houses a sensory space in which to recover from overstimulation, communication and listening aids and a friendly space for anyone to take a breather.
The Ability Links NSW culturally and linguistically diverse CALD initiative engages with people to support disability in their communities, in their language and within their cultural reference.
And coming later this year, Better Access Mapping will map the accessibility of locations and spaces, making the information available in an app or browser, enabling anyone to plan on how to access a location given their own specific needs.
Ability Links NSW works with people with disability aged 0-64, their families and carers. Linkers are located across the Hunter and Central Coast, and can come to you.
For more information visit www.abilitylinksnsw.org.au or call 02 4905 0700.