Recently, the NSW Government released two evaluation reports highlighting that Ability Links NSW (ALNSW) has been very successful in reaching and linking people with disability and their families to community. 

ALNSW is producing a return of $3 for every dollar invested, significantly exceeding previous estimates, and generating significant social and economic benefits to both Government and the broader community. 

These reports represent the end of a comprehensive and independent 3 year evaluation of the operation of ALNSW, since its launch in the Hunter region from 1 July 2013, coinciding with the launch of the National Disability insurance Scheme (NDIS). 

It is now estimated that over 43,500 people are being supported by ALNSW each year across NSW. 

People who have accessed ALNSW have reported that it 'is truly different to other programs.' It is embedded within community, flexible and most importantly focussed on supporting people to take control of their lives, be more connected and self reliant. 

The program is delivered by dedicated staff known as 'Linkers' who work with people with disability, their families and carers to help them plan for their future. Linkers empower people with disability to build on their strengths and skills, while developing their own networks within their local community, outside the traditional disability service sector.  

Results also reveal that the ALNSW model has been particularly effective in supporting Aboriginal communities, with 27% of the total number of people who have achieved an outcome through ALNSW, identifying as Aboriginal. 

ALNSW is continuing to support the reforms to the disability service system as the transition to the NDIS is underway, by supporting people outside the traditional disability service system. 

The NSW Government has committed funding of ALNSW until 30 June 2018. 

Ability Links will support the sustainability of the scheme by diverting some people away from funded supports and improving the capacity of individuals and communities to have increased choice and control over their lives.

The full reports can be accessed via www.adhc.nsw.gov.au/individuals/inclusion_and_participation/ability_links_nsw

Or if you want to find out more information about how to access a Linker in your local community go to www.abilitylinksnsw.org.au/