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27 Jan 2015


Ability Linkers: helping the helpers

Able and willing: Jenny Yang and Joseph Cheung.

“We believe that people should not be limited by their disability in their own mind, and should feel free to contribute positively to their communities, with love, and without feeling locked up,” Joseph said.

To help them broaden their reach into the community they are seeking funding for a mobility scooter, which is how they came to meet Ability Links NSW Linker Li Hua Chu.

Li Hua is a bilingual Linker based in SSI’s Campsie office. She met Jenny and Joseph at a National Disability Insurance Scheme information session organised by the Chinese Parents Association.

Li Hua has been with the SSI Ability Links NSW program for just two months but has made many links and, much like Jenny and Joseph, she does what she loves.

“Quite simply, I enjoy helping people,” Li Hua said.

“Ability Links NSW is about supporting the individual, and I enjoy working directly with people to help them achieve their goals.”

Jenny developed polio at 18 months of age, and requires a walking aid and a modified steering wheel to drive.

After contracting tuberculosis in his hip at the age of five, Joseph also requires assistance walking and has a raised boot for balance.

Walking can become quite tiring for them both. With a scooter they would not need to worry about driving, parking and walking long distances.

“We want to save our bodies so that we can serve the community longer,” Joseph said. What Li Hua finds interesting about working with this particular couple is that their goal is not a personal one, but a communal one.

“By helping them achieve their goal of increased mobility, I am in fact helping the broader community who will benefit from their greater outreach.”

Joseph and Jenny migrated from Hong Kong 10 years ago when Jenny was asked to join the Bread of Life Ashfield congregation as Pastor.

“I first came to Australia about 20 years ago with a group of Taiwanese artists to meet with local artists, all with various disabilities, and all so wonderful and smart,” Jenny said.

“Being invited back to live in Australia and to share my knowledge and spiritual work is a great privilege.”

Joseph is also happy to be living in Sydney, closer to family he has here, and able to share 40 years’ experience working in the disability sector.

Joseph says he was born with a natural concern, and when his father died when Joseph was 11 years old, he took on the father role for his family

“I helped my mother raise my younger twin sisters who were born with an intellectual disability, and I skipped university and went straight to work after finishing high school,” Joseph said.

“Jenny and Joseph are just two of the many people being supported by Settlement Service International through the Ability Links NSW program, and I’m happy to celebrate International Day of People of Disability with them,” Li Hua said.

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December 3, 2014


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