Over the past month, through the Ability Links NSW (ALNSW) program, SSI Linkers assisted 159 new people to join activities and services in their communities. The new clients added to the 100 or so people who also received continued support through the program.
ALNSW is a program designed to help people with disability, their families and carers, have their needs met within their local communities.
Photography has helped one Ability Links client who has autism.
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said ALNSW was starting to make great inroads into local communities as more people learn about it.
“There are many practical and wonderful ways that SSI Linkers can help people with physical and intellectual disability, as well as mental health concerns,” Ms Roumeliotis said.
Fatma* has experienced depression and isolation for many years while looking after her three adult children who are all on the autism spectrum. Her husband spends a lot of time overseas and Fatma said he blamed her for their children’s problems.
Fatma approached ALNSW staff, known as Linkers, at her local library where they were promoting the program. She told Linkers that she wanted to help her son, Abdul*, pursue his interest in photography and hopefully help herself overcome her depression.
SSI bilingual Linkers Reema and Saba* have since worked collaboratively to support Fatma and her family. Reema has helped Fatma join a local women’s group, and she has now built the confidence to independently join a yoga program.
Saba has found a local photography course where Abdul has been able to meet new people and improve his photography skills.
“Fatma’s story is just one of many examples of ways our Linkers are supporting people in their local community,” Ms Roumeliotis said.
“Services like this can help keep people from prematurely entering the specialist disability service system, and the more we can achieve that the better.”
*Names of participants and staff are changed to protect privacy