http://www.toiletmap.gov.au Ability Links NSW participated in the NSW Accessible Toilets Project which included identifying and visiting regional toilets and carefully surveying them to ascertain accessibility.
It turns out that when looking at public toilets in detail, not all of them meet the demands of people with accessibility needs.
The Newcastle Herald writes: A “First of its kind” social inclusion program trialed in the Hunter is having a “profound effect” on the lives of people with disabilities, Urbis analysts say.
The Urbis reports show an estimated 43,500 people were engaging with the Ability Links NSW program each year, returning $127 million in community benefits during 2015 and 2016.
The program was piloted in the Hunter in 2013 when it was rolled out alongside the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It takes a “whole-of-life” approach to help people overcome social isolation, lack of confidence and skills and other barriers, and had achieved “remarkable outcomes,’’ Urbis says.
Click here to read the whole article in the Newcastle Herald.
When Ill health, combined with physical disabilities forced Kevin to use a mobility scooter to get around, he began to notice the difficulties faced by scooter users in his home town.
After becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of awareness of mobility scooter access within his local community, Kevin thought it was time to take action into his own hands and become an advocate for local scooter users.
Every parent knows getting your children to want to go to school can be tough, but for Kellie, it was tougher than most.
Due to ongoing bullying, Kellie’s kids didn’t want to go to school and she found it difficult to communicate with her children without conflict.
After connecting with a local Linker and discussing her situation, the Linker suggested the family go along to a new program happening locally called “Horses Helping Humans” and organised funding for the family to attend.
Art has always been a passion of Narelle, but after relocating to a regional town and needing to leave work due to her mental health condition, Narelle felt she was unable to do the thing she loved most.
After being referred to Ability Links, Narelle told her Linker that she felt isolated and disengaged from the community.
Together the Linker and Narelle sat down to explore Narelle’s aspirations, resulting in a suggestion to run art classes for other people with a disability in partnership with local Regional Arts Board; South West Arts.
As a result of this conversation, the Linker set up a meeting with the Regional Arts Board who agreed to run a series of art workshops, led by Narelle, for people who live with a disability and are socially isolated.
A conversation at a Friday morning coffee group prompted a Cessnock Linker to develop new ways to link single mothers and enable them to support one another.
At a regular coffee morning run by the Salvation Army, a Cessnock-based linker became involved in a discussion with a group of mums about their need for support. They talked about how an activity, like a craft group, might be a good way for them to interact with other mums, most of who are single-parents.
The team decided to start with mosaics - the Salvation Army Captain agreed to supply the materials, and the Linker arranged morning tea. Flyers were made up and eight mothers attended the first craft morning, along with their three children.
When Robert was first referred to Ability Links he was feeling down about the state of cleanliness of his home and a bit lonely.
Previously, Robert had been a very house proud man, however, severe arthritis combined with Myoclonus meant he was unable to do many of his day to day house chores, which in turn was making him anxious and depressed.
So when Robert met up with his Linker he asked for support to help him find someone that could help him clean his home and have the patience and understanding to help him sort personal belongings.
Fortunately, Robert’s Linker knew just the right person for the job.
Through regular outreach visits to the Abermain Public School play group, Cessnock-based Ability Links coordinator Cherie Pauling met the schools’ engagement coordinator, Cheryl-Ann Leggatt.
Cheryl-Ann supports community engagement at the school and runs a weekly playgroup for school-based families and local community members to attend.
Cheryl-Ann had previously run a support group for parents of children with additional needs at the school called the Special Needs Network. Feedback from the families she was working with was that they would benefit from some extra support, prompting her to explore her options around re-establishing the network. She invited Ability Links to support her.