THOSE with a disability and their carers have already started benefiting from CareWest’s Ability Links Service.
The Orange district has a team of four Linkers, with an additional two in Bathurst and one each in Cowra, Parkes and Mudgee.
Team leader Kim Gray said the Ability Links program in Orange could work individually with people with a disability and their carers to improve their access to services and events, building and strengthening community connections.
She said businesses could also approach the service for advice on how to make themselves more disability-friendly.
“We are there to lead them - whatever their goals or wishes are, we can support them to achieve those,” she said.
“There may be people without a diagnosis who are not sure where to go.”
Linker Prue McCarthy, who has cerebral palsy, will bring her personal experience to the task.
“I look back now and a service like this would have been helpful to me growing up,” she said.
Fellow Linker Ben Wilshire said he liked the program’s soft-touch approach.
“You’re not filling out forms, it’s just a nice chat and getting to know the individual,” he said.
Suzi Welch, who became a Linker after working in disability care in the past, said she wanted to help people get out in the world and live satisfying lives.
The program is open to anyone between the ages of nine and 64.
To access Ability Links through CareWest, call 1300 227 393.
Indigenous people accessing Ability Links should contact the Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council from October 1 on 6361 0561 or 6361 4742.