Our stories

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Dreams Becoming a Reality – Craig’s Story

11 Mar 2017

During a recent workshop Craig, a Deaf participant, indicated that it was his dream to be able to have more people in his community communicate with him in his language.

Craig told the story of Martha’s Vineyard in America, where everyone on the island was taught to sign from birth.

The Linker suggested to Craig that if he was willing to teach others, there may be some in the community who would like to take the opportunity to learn.

Craig and his Linker decided to run sessions at the local Library with 37 people attending the first session.


Harmony Day

10 Mar 2017

Ability Links creates chill-out zone at 2017 Cessnock Harmony Day Festival at TAFE park on March 18

Harmony Day celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity and promotes inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. That includes people with a disability and their families and carers.

The 2017 Cessnock Harmony Day Festival will include a ‘chill-out zone’ – a quiet place for children challenged by the sensory stimulus associated with the festival. Ability Links has created the chill-out zone and will have various items such as fidget toys, weighted blankets, books, and sensory toys available. A hearing loop, designed to help people with hearing impairments enjoy the entertainment, will also be available for free hire.

Read more about the Cessnock Harmony Day Event



Lego Clubs

2 Mar 2017

Schools from across the Eastern Suburbs, New South Wales came together to celebrate Social Inclusion Week 2016. Paddington Public School partnered with Ability Links to coordinate the day and promote the benefits of Lego Clubs in schools. 

Click here to learn more about the Lego Clubs.

Meet Up

22 Feb 2017

When Brian first made contact with Ability Links NSW via their Central Coast office in Gosford, he talked about his desire to build and deepen his social connections in the community.

Brian was feeling isolated and disconnected from his community, with no family nearby and no social connections to friends or neighbours, when he was introduced to Ability Links by a support coordinator at the Central Coast Disability Network.

He felt that his situation was heavily influenced by his impaired hearing, and he was becoming increasingly frustrated and depressed.

Click here to read the whole story.

Creating Inclusive Spaces

20 Feb 2017

Maitland Park Bowling and Sporting Complex club secretary Philip Penfold has come to know Ability Links NSW through the valuable work the Maitland team has done in the community.

Armed with that knowledge, he came to Ability Links looking for support to create a more user-friendly, accessible and inclusive club.

Maitland Park Bowling and Sporting Complex is a not-for-profit club which has operated in the local community for 115 years. Approximately 17 different user groups make use of the facility on a weekly basis. Click here to read the full story.

AUSLAN for everyone

20 Feb 2017

A simple conversation between Maitland-based Linkers and the Teacher of the Deaf at Maitland Grossmann High School, Michael Healy, has generated a brilliant example of inclusivity in a mainstream school, which set a new standard for other schools to follow nationwide.

Maitland Grossmann High School now offers Auslan classes to all of its students, with Michael Healy, Teacher of the Deaf, currently teaching Auslan not only to his students in the Deaf and Support unit classes, but also offering Auslan as a subject to all other mainstream students. Click to read the whole story.

OOSH Social

13 Feb 2017

Lilyarna was first referred to Ability Links through the family’s Early Intervention Service for social connections. 

Lilyarna’s grandmother, Cheryl, was looking for ways to help Lilyarna develop her social skills, but there were limited opportunities for her to interact with kids her own age outside of school.  The linker and Cheryl discussed some of the activities that Lilyarna might enjoy, which included arts and crafts.  They talked about local options including Out of School Hours Care (OOSH) after school.  Click to read the whole story here.

Giving Back - Zoe's Story

11 Feb 2017

Picture: Zoe next to a fountainWhen I was 14 months old when I was diagnosed with clicky hips.

Since then I’ve had several failed operations on both hips, the latest of which when I was 21.

After my latest operation, I spent two weeks in hospital because the operation really knocked me around. My mobility was not good and I had to have a walker.

Prior to the operation, I had started a Cert III in Community Services at TAFE, however, by the time I was ready to go back I had fallen behind.

Click here to read Zoe's story

Social Upskilling

8 Feb 2017

Val is a pensioner and a carer/guardian for her adult son who has a disability. She lives with her husband and her son in the beautiful Hunter Valley Region.

Val and her family relocated to the Hunter some 20 years ago from Sydney. Although she was happy to leave the hustle bustle of city life, she has since at times felt she is living a very isolated existence. Since moving she has had minimal contact with her family who live interstate and has not developed new social connections and friendship circles. She felt “frustrated” with her inability to access the internet to connect with her family and friends around the country.

Click here to read Val's story

Nurturing Growth

6 Feb 2017

Nigel’s life had taken an unexpected turn leaving him homeless living in his car for months. While the ocean views from his beach front parking spot are of some comfort, the lack of a safe, secure home, coupled with the challenges of his post-traumatic stress disorder, were making life difficult.

Click here to read more of Nigel's story.

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