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Media Releases

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  • Kempsey Regional Support integrates with Ability Options

    Leading National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider Ability Options has announced Kempsey Regional Support (KRS) has integrated with its organisation.

    CEO of Ability Options Mr Fred Van Steel confirmed the integration following a meeting with the Kempsey Regional Support Committee and Members in Kempsey.

    The Mid North Coast will transition to the NDIS from July 1, 2017 with an estimated 5,800 people in the area to be accessing their supports through the NDIS by 30 June 2019. This figure includes an estimated 2,700 eligible participants who will be new to funding.

    The NDIS gives people with disability, their families and carers a chance to advocate for supports that are aligned with their goals, offering people with disability choice and control over their supports.

    Mr. Gary Phillips, Manager Kempsey Regional Support, welcomed the integration into Ability Options. “Our integration with Ability Options will allow Kempsey Regional Support to tap into Ability Options proven NDIS experience and vast resources allowing for the uptake of new ideas, technology, reporting and the eventual expansion of our services to the local community.”

    “The landscape of the disability sector is changing dramatically and the integration will ensure that Kempsey Regional Support is ready to support Participants through the transition to the new NDIS funding model as seamlessly as possible.”

    Mr. Fred Van Steel, CEO of Ability Options said “ Our extensive experience of working with the NDIS in the Hunter, Nepean Blue Mountains trial sites and now the new districts across the Greater Western Sydney area, where we support close to 800 participants, has proven that the NDIS is life changing for people living with disability and their families.”

    “The support we are offering people under the NDIS is already having a positive impact on peoples’ lives and we look forward to sharing our person centred approach to disability support with Kempsey Regional Supports and their Participants.” concluded Mr Van Steel.

    Under the integration, Kempsey Regional Support will continue to offer the full range of services currently accessed by over 300 local people in Kempsey and surrounding areas and will also retain its much respected brand identity.

    Kempsey Regional Support has also relocated to new offices and has a new address and phone number:
    Address: 72 – 74 Elbow Street, West Kempsey 2440.
    Phone Number: 02 6561 8300.
    Web: www.krs.org.au
    Email: info@krs.org.au

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  • Nambucca Valley disAbility Services Integrates with Ability Options

    In preparation for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Mid North Coast rollout from 1st July 2017

    Leading Disability Service Provider Ability Options announced that Nambucca Valley disAbility Services (NVdS) has integrated with their organisation.

    CEO of Ability Options Fred Van Steel announced the integration following a meeting with the NVdS board and management.

    Maureen Rahman, CEO of Nambucca Valley disAbility Services said “The integration with Ability Options will allow NVdS to tap into Ability Options’ proven experience in the NDIS trial sites in the Hunter and Nepean Blue Mountains”

    “As the Mid North Coast prepares for the Rollout of the NDIS from 1st July 2017, we will work alongside Ability Options to ensure Nambucca Valley disAbility Services and our Clients are NDIS ready. This includes working closely with our Clients and Families on their individual requirements and needs.”

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme will roll out in the Mid North Coast from July 2017. The Mid North Coast district covers the local government areas of Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Nambucca and Port Macquarie-Hastings.

    The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) expects 5,800 people in the Mid North Coast to be accessing their supports through the scheme by 30 June 2019. This figure includes an estimated 2,700 eligible participants who will be accessing new funding for the first time.

    The NDIS gives people with disability, their families and carers a chance to advocate for supports that are aligned with their individual goals.

    Mr Fred Van Steel, CEO of Ability Options said “Our extensive experience of working within the NDIS trial sites, where we support over 700 participants, has highlighted the need for smaller providers to adapt their businesses practices to conform to the new model of funding.”

    “We will work closely with NVdS to ensure the transition to the NDIS is as seamless as possible”

    “Nambucca Valley disAbility Services is an outstanding organisation who have been offering disability supports to local people and their families for 27 years. We are honoured to have them join our Ability Options Community”

    Nambucca Valley disAbility Services will continue operating as its own separate entity, supporting local people and their families.

    For further information contact:
    Samantha Fenton – Communications Manager
    Ability Options
    Tel: (02) 8884 9274
    Email: Samantha.fenton@abilityoptions.org.au

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  • Manly Sea Eagles host special community day for Ability Options participants

    Manly Warringah Sea Eagles NRL team are hosting a special Community Day in partnership with Ability Options at Manly Warringah’s training ground at North Narrabeen Fitness Centre on Thursday 7 July from 10am-12:30pm

    The Community event will host guests from Ability Options National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services and the employment division including jobactive and Disability Employment Services (DES) jobseekers. Participants will come together to watch the first grade teams training session and representatives from the NRL Development team will be taking the Ability Options attendees through a special drills session specifically designed to involve everyone attending. Participants will then meet the players and enjoy a special lunch together.

    Mr. Fred J P Van Steel, Chief Executive Officer at Ability Options said this community day is a perfect opportunity to celebrate our community partnership with the Manly Sea Eagles.

    “Our organisations have a strong synergy in community values and I know that our guests are all very excited about taking part in this special community day and will appreciate the opportunity to meet and spend some time with their favourite Manly players ’’ Mr. Van Steel said.

    Manly Sea Eagles CEO Joe Kelly warmly welcomes all Ability Options guests and participants to this exciting event “Ability Options participants have been attending and supporting the team at all of our matches through-out the season and we wanted to give them this special opportunity to meet and spend some time with our players and to thank them for their ongoing support. This event will celebrate our partnership with Ability Options and is focused on the inclusion of all people within our community as well as the importance of good health and well-being,” Mr. Kelly said.

    Read the Manly Daily news article

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  • Ability Options join Sea Eagles corporate family

    Manly Warringah Sea Eagles today proudly announced Ability Options as a new Senior Partner of the Club.
     
    Ability Options support people who need assistance to achieve their goals and aspirations through in-home and every day activities, participating in the community, gaining work experience, employment and specialist allied health.
     
    A leader in the employment services sector, Ability Options place people in sustainable jobs via Federal Government initiatives including jobactive and Disability Employment Services (DES), Ability Options offer a recruitment service at no cost to employers.
     
    With a network of more than 48 group homes and offices across NSW, Ability Options opened a new Brookvale employment office in July 2015.
     
    Ability Options is also a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider focusing on supporting people to NDIS and turning their NDIS plan into action.
     
    Mr. Fred J P Van Steel, Chief Executive Officer at Ability Options, said he was delighted with the partnership with the Sea Eagles and having the two organisations working together to the benefit of both organisations members.
     
    “Ability Options and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have a strong synergy in community values and initiatives,’’ Mr. Van Steel said.
     
    “We are excited to partner with the Sea Eagles as an exclusive and strategic community partnership”
     
    “We look forward to working with the Sea Eagles in the community to build awareness and assist people to achieve their aspirations and independence through their life journey”
     
    Sea Eagles CEO Joe Kelly welcomes Ability Options as a Senior Partner of the Club and is looking forward to working together on a number of community focused initiatives.
     
    “The exciting new partnership with Ability Options is very community focused and we have already held a very productive initial planning session to clearly map out how the partnership will achieve key objectives and benefit the community,” Mr. Kelly said.
     
    “We are delighted to welcome Ability Options as a Senior Partner of the Sea Eagles.”

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  • Ability Options Annual Report - a review of 2014-15

    The financial year ended 30 June 2015 has been one of innovation, evolution and expansion for Ability Options. There have been two main focuses – the ongoing success and growth of our services in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) trial site in the Hunter and expansion of our Employment division.
     
    From our office in Charlestown in the Hunter we were providing support services to 175 NDIS participants by the end of the financial year, with many of these people new to funding. We have worked hard to innovate our service delivery, ensuring we provide choice and individualised supports that fit within the NDIS paradigm.
     
    We also integrated with Newcastle Temporary Care enabling us to further expand our Hunter region NDIS services to now include family respite and youth activities.
     
    In December 2014 we participated in the establishment of and became founder members of Olympus Solutions, a national consortium made up of employment service providers and complementary organisations. After much hard work and patience, Olympus Solutions successfully tendered for jobactive which replaces Job Services Australia (JSA). The jobactive contract, which commenced July 1 2015, represents significant growth in our Employment provision and a move into mainstream employment outcomes.
     
    We recognise and appreciate the dedication and hard work of our employees, who are key to the development of our organisational goals. We also thank all the people we support and their families for their trust, and we are committed to continuing to support those who need assistance to live fulfilling lives and achieve their aspirations.
     
    For details on new developments and a review of all our services in the 12 months ending June 2015 please view the 2014-15 Annual report. You can visit download a copy or email to request a printed copy.

  • Leading organisations partner in North Queensland, office to be opened by Hon. Coralee O’Rourke, Minister for Disability Services

    In an exciting development for the not-for-profit space, Open Minds Australia and Ability Options have partnered to bring disability, mental health and employment support services to the Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island regions of North Queensland.  

    Each year, a staggering 20%, or approximately one in every five Australians, experience a mental illness. Similarly, over four million Australians have some form of disability. With 321,500 people receiving disability support services in 2013-2014 and an annual cost of mental illness in Australia estimated at $20 billion, the Open Minds Australia and Ability Options partnership could not have launched at a better time; providing vital, much needed support in North QLD. 

    To celebrate the partnership, the organisation will hold an official opening at the new office this Thursday 19 November at, 287 Ross River Road, Aitkenvale from 2.30pm-4.00pm.  Opening the office will be guest of honour Hon. Coralee O’Rourke MP, Member for Mundingburra, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland. 

    The partnership is timely with the early introduction of NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) trial sites to the Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island regions.  Around 1600 people are expected to be eligible for the NDIS in these early transition sites, with up to 600 of these people expected to receive their funded packages by 1 July 2016. The remaining 1000 eligible people from the early transition sites will receive their funded packages from July 2016. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides individual support for people living with disability. *

    CEO of Open Minds Australia, Marie Fox, reflects the excitement of both organisations, stating, ‘we are really proud to be partnering with Ability Options, another leader in their field to bring a suite of programs supporting the communities of Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island.  Ability Options brings with them a wealth of knowledge and experience, and together Open Minds Australia and Ability Options will offer a really tailored and personalised service where empowerment and independence will be our commitment to our customers.’

    CEO of Ability Options, Fred Van Steel, is thrilled about the opportunities that Ability Options and Opening Minds joining forces will provide individuals around disability, mental health and employment supports in North Queensland and added, ‘Open Minds have a wonderful history of serving the people of Queensland and it is a privilege to be working with them to make a difference in North Queensland. There is a strong synergy between our two organisations and it comes from our passion for supporting all people to live the best life possible. We are also thrilled to be able to share our experiences from our work in the NDIS sites in NSW with the people of North Queensland.’

    -ENDS-

    Media are welcome to attend the event, please register via the contact points below.   
     
    Open Minds | Ability Options Launch
    Thursday 19 November at, 287 Ross River Road, Aitkenvale from 2.30pm-4.00pm



    For further information please contact:   Sacha Nielsen, Communications Officer, Open Minds, M 0409 048 554 or
    Shivani Jayasinghe, Marketing Manager, Ability Options, M 0408 214 180
     
     
     

    About Open Minds Australia                                                                               

    Open Minds is a leading not-for-profit organisation with a strong focus on working directly with people to enhance mental health and wellbeing.  The organisation has a long history and was founded as the Queensland Wattle League in 1912.  Over 100 years later, Open Minds has evolved to offer a range of programs and tailored support services focused on the individual needs of each person they support. This includes Lifestyle, Living, Employment and Health Streams. At the heart of what Open Minds does is a commitment to working alongside individuals and focusing on their strengths to enable individual achievement and recovery.
     

    About Ability Options

    Ability Options provide a range of services that focus on independence, empowerment, meaningful lifestyles and valued roles within community. Ability Options advocate for all people to be included as valued and respected citizens who have unique skills, gifts and personal strengths to contribute to their community and strive to deliver supports and services using a person-centred approach. The organisation aims to meet the needs and wants of each individual person through community services, accommodation, clinical services and employment.
    *Sourced from http://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/our-sites/qld
     

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  • Ability Options welcomes Newcastle Temporary Care into the fold

    Ability Options expands its offering in the Hunter Region to now include additional services for young people through the integration of Newcastle Temporary Care. Leading Disability Service Provider Ability Options announced today that community-based, not for profit, respite care service Newcastle Temporary Care (NTC) will integrate with Ability Options, effective immediately.

    CEO of Ability Options Fred Van Steel confirmed the integration following an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of NTC directors and members on Tuesday 12 May, after members voted unanimously in favour.

    “We are honoured to have an organisation such as NTC join our Ability Options ‘family’. The visions, missions and core values of both organisations are so closely aligned, and now together we can assist a larger number of people across a wider demographic to achieve their goals and aspirations for inclusion in the community”, said Fred Van Steel.

    Newcastle Temporary Care will work closely with the Ability Options Charlestown team, who’s dedicated and experienced members work with nearly 200 people in the Hunter Region assisting them to transition seamlessly to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

    “Our experience of working with the NDIS in the Hunter trial site since 2013 has shown us that the landscape of the disability sector is changing dramatically for both people with disability, who now have greater choice and control of their supports, as well as for organisations, which have to operate in a highly competitive arena.”

    “This strategic integration ensures the long term sustainability of NTC, whilst allowing Ability Options to expand its operations in the Hunter Region, filling a gap in our ‘Client Life-Stages’ strategy which will now include respite and support to families”, concluded Mr Van Steel.

    NTC will continue to offer the suite of services currently accessed by over 250 people in the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle Local Government Areas and will also retain its much respected brand identity.

    Former Chair of Newcastle Temporary Care, Brett Walker, supported the integration into Ability Options and said, “This is a positive outcome for the people we support, their families, caregivers and our employees.  It will allow NTC to continue to offer our much needed services with the added benefit of being able to tap into Ability Options’ experience and resources.” 
     

    About Ability Options
    Since 1976, Ability Options has been the best option for people who require assistance to achieve their aspirations and inclusion in the community, as we deliver life-changing solutions that truly assist the individual. We offer people a personalised solution to achieve both short and long term goals which enhance their lives and allow them to be more independent and engaged with the community.

    Our services are grouped into four main divisions - Accommodation & Supported Living, Employment Services, Community & Lifestyle and NDIS Services. 

    Ability Options is a strong and vibrant organisation with almost 600 people currently working with us across all of our divisions. Our Head Office is based in Bella Vista in Sydney and we have 11 sites across North and Western Sydney as well as an office in the Hunter Region and are currently expanding our operations into the Central Coast.

    http://abilityoptions.org.au
     
    About Newcastle Temporary Care
    Newcastle Temporary Care Ltd is a community-based, not-for-profit respite and out of hours care service for children and young adults with a disability and their carers and families, who live in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas. It was established in 1978 and has grown to provide a large range of flexible programs and support to local families of children and young adults with a disability.

    http://newcastletempcare.com.au 

  • New player will revolutionise Australian employment services

    Olympus Solutions launched in Mt Druitt last week thanks to the support of local member Louise Markus MP. Olympus has partnered with mainstream, respected service partner CareerOne to amplify their success. The pilot testing of the Olympus approach, called the Energise model, is achieving great success. Key project findings to date include:
     - Job seeker attendance is up 11 per cent against baseline
     - Brokered vacancies are up 193 per cent against baseline
     - Placements are up 63 per cent against baseline for both brokered and assisted placement.

    The Olympus vision is to be the pre-eminent national collaboration of providers who deliver integrated support outcomes for Australians. Service delivery contractors include Break Thru, Ability Options, NORTEC, iEmpower, Workpower, Communicare, White Lion, MDA, Suremploy and indigenous employer experts Pindarri.

    Managing Director Nic Bolto said “Employers should have a single point of contact when working with employment providers. They also need a responsive network of providers that can give them the support to manage an increasingly diverse workforce. Together through Olympus and CareerOne, we can deliver that.”

    Olympus has collaborative national coverage of 173 sites, $181m in combined revenues, $44.3m in cash reserves and 2,312 staff. In addition to systemic collaboration, members receive centralised training and development, performance support, marketing and national employer liaison.

    Organisations who previously delivered services in a region can now do so as part of a more effective, linked up national group. Communities of innovation and practice sharing have been created within the membership network.

    For further details, please contact Managing Director Nic Bolto on 0488 656 205.
     

  • Fred Van Steel CEO of Ability Options and Ross Lewis, CEO of Break Thru People Solutions

    Australia’s pre-eminent employment services providers Ability Options, Break Thru People Solutions, Nortek and Communicare have come together, along with service delivery specialists iEmpower, Workpower,  White Lion, MDA, Suremploy and indigenous employer experts Pindarri, to form the joint venture company, Olympus Solutions.

    Olympus Solutions has the capability to service large and small employers nationally with a one stop shop solution based on a succinct and streamlined national response to employment needs of businesses right across Australia, at no cost to the employer.

    Two of the founding partners of Olympus Solutions, Fred Van Steel CEO of Ability Options and Ross Lewis, CEO of Break Thru People Solutions, pictured here, met prior to Christmas to discuss the joint venture’s innovative approach to employment and employer relations.

  • Ability Options celebrates the talents of their clients through Ability Awareness Day

    Ability Options hosted its fourth annual Ability Awareness Day at Castle Hill RSL in Castle Hill on Tuesday 5 August 2014. The event, hosted by Triple M broadcaster Tom Herschell, celebrated the independence, understanding and acceptance of people with disability to build stronger connections between people with disability and their communities.

    Around 200 participants, staff, family and carers attended the day as well as special guests, former paralympic silver medalist and more recently grand finalist on Australia's Got Talent, known as 'The Other Superman' Paul Nunnari, South Sydney legend Mario Fenech, who congratulated all participants and acknowledged the importance of celebrating Ability Awareness Day and the work of Ability Options. Their message to our clients was to believe in themselves. Set their sights high to achieve their dreams and nothing can stop you if you put your mind to it.

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