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Ability Options, a not-for-profit services organisation, recognises the importance of National Reconciliation Week and the steps we as a community should take to understand the issues face by First Nations people through their Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). A Stretch RAP consists of elements that allow workplaces to build strong relationships, respect and opportunities within your organisation and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
As part of that ongoing commitment to reconciliation Ability Option’s is pleased to announce its partnership with Evolve Communities, a Cultural Awareness Training Group to deliver an extensive Cultural Awareness Program to be delivered to all 1150 employees.
The 7 Steps Cultural Training program will roll out in two phases over the next two years.
In embedding reconciliation initiatives such as these, Ability Options highlights the importance of maintaining workplaces of diversity, inclusion, and cultural understanding through relevant staff training.
Ability Options CEO, Julia Squire, commented: “Our Stretch RAP is an important part of meeting our Mission. It has advanced and will continue to advance inclusion and reconciliation within our organisation and our wider communities. A partnership with Evolve Communities to deliver cultural awareness training to all our Ability Options staff will assist all my colleagues in developing a cultural understanding of community and make Ability Options an even stronger organisation as a result.”
The role of Evolve Communities will be to provide guidance, mentoring and training around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and culture, enhancing the progress of Ability Options Reconciliation Action Plan which was established in 2016. As a majority-owned Indigenous business, certified by Supply Nation, Evolve Communities provide wisdom of Indigenous cultures which hold the keys to solving a broader range of problems in business, in society and globally.
“We are so thrilled to partner with Ability Options who have impressed us with their deep commitment to reconciliation and understanding of allyship” - Ms Aunty Munya Andrews said.
Evolve Communities Co-Director, Carla Rogers agrees: “At Evolve, we are passionate about creating a kinder and more inclusive Australia. This takes the 97% of the population like me who aren’t Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander to step up. Ability Options are providing their staff with the knowledge and skills to be allies.”
In totality, this is in-line with the Ability Options’ vision to inspire and lead communities, and mission to support people to achieve their aspirations and inclusion in the community.
For further information; Samantha Fenton, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager
Direct: 02 8884 9274
Mobile: 0488 299 081
James Nutt was severely injured at age 19 in a serious assault leaving him with a significant disability. James was forced into Aged Care services for several years as a young man because other services weren’t available. It took him 14 years to find suitable services and accommodation with Summer Foundation supported by Ability Options.
James believes it was imperative for him to appear before the commission to present his story. He stated,
“I believe every Australian should have choice, control and independence to make our decisions. I want everyone to know my story as it should not happen to anyone else”.
James has made massive efforts supported by his service provider Ability Options to submit a statement to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and he has travelled from Newcastle to Melbourne to tell his story in person, supported by two Disability Support Workers.
“The teams from Ability Options and Summer Foundation have really supported James to ensure his story is heard and to change services for the better” said Julia Squire CEO Ability Options
Danielle Hazelwood, Manager – Support Coordination at Ability Options, said
“James is really passionate about appearing before the Royal Commission, so we contributed by proving supports to James to travel to Melbourne from his home in Belmont. It took us about 20-25 hours of coordination hours to plan the logistics. The main focus was to ensure flights and accommodation were suitable for James’ complex support needs and for him to have the support of the Disability Support Workers he has chosen.
James’ story could help change services for people with a disability forever and we are proud to be part of his efforts. He’s a very determined gentleman and we are doing everything we can to help. The Commission has also been fabulous in enabling James to be there in person”
Julia Squire added " Even though James’ flights, transfers and accommodation have been taken care of by the Royal commission, he has had to dip into his NDIS funding for the additional hours required for support coordination as well as, two 24/7 support workers for the visit. This means that the appearance in Melbourne at the Royal Commission has been a direct cost to James personally. We hope this can be addressed and also by the Royal Commission into Violence Abuse and Neglect in Disability to help everyone who wishes to tell their story”
Contact Sam Fenton for more information or interviews
Direct: 02 8884 9274
Mobile: 0488 299 081
Brenda Odewahn, CEO of Olympus Solutions is pleased to announce that Olympus Solutions have been awarded ParentsNext contracts from the Department of Jobs and Small Business. The new contracts will be delivered in four employment regions from July 1 2018.
The four new contracts will see Olympus Solutions, the employment division of Ability Options, extend their existing ParentsNext service from three sites and one outreach on the Central Coast NSW to offering the service across the Hunter, Sydney North & West, Greater Western Sydney and Sydney South West.
ParentsNext providers work with eligible parents to help set education and employment goals, develop a pathway to achieve their goals and link them to services and activities in the local community.
Brenda Odewhan, CEO said of the service which has been delivered by Olympus Solutions on the Central Coast since 2016, “Its a pro-active initiative where we have seen parents, who were previously relatively disengaged from support, linked to support services and community amenities they didn’t know existed and are now accessing to benefit both themselves and their children” Said Brenda
“A recent example of this was a young parent, Kadee whose goal was to become a police officer. Kadee didn’t finish her HSC, so thought her career goal was unattainable. By linking with the ParentsNext service, Kadee was informed of the DALE Program that operates from the Better future Hub at Wyong. Kadee enrolled to undertake her HSC and accessed the onsite crèche to enable her to attend classes.”
“We have many more success stories with people such as Kadee who have benefited from the service. I know our dedicated ParentsNext team is very much looking forward to supporting more parents to realise their goals for further education, training and personal development to achieve their long term goal of employment” concluded Brenda.
For further information contact:
Samantha Fenton - Marketing and Communications Manager
Tel: (02) 8884 9274 or 0488 299 081
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
Tel: (02) 8884 9274
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.
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