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For most people going to the movies, catching a train or visiting the local council office isn’t something that’s thought twice about. However, for people with a hearing impairment, it can be a very different and sometimes challenging experience. It’s a challenge that Karen Perry, a North West Alliance Linker with lived experience of hearing impairment, knows all too well, and something she is trying to change. “I’ve been to training days where I’ve been unable to hear, I’ve missed a plane because the boarding gate was changed and I didn’t hear it and I’ve gotten off a train at the wrong station and had to go all the way back to where I came from,” Karen explains. Through her role with Ability Links, Karen works with local and regional businesses, as well as community groups to increase their capacity to support people with hearing impairments.
Click on the link below to see the latest video featuring Jennifer who has received support through Ability Links via her Linker Mark Eather. It's an inspiring story of how one of our Ability Links participants followed her dream to study art at TAFE and exhibit her work among other Northern Rivers artists. Thanks to Brendan Shoebridge for his fantastic job of taking the footage and editing it for us. Feel free to take a look and forward on to anyone you think might be interested.
Ken had lost one of his arms in a motorcycle accident 25 years ago. Since recovering he has written over 300 songs but had never known anyone to put music with the songs. The Linker made contact with the music community and found Michael who offered to record Ken’s music using iPhone. Ken has trouble working technology so the Linker supported him to record his songs and send them to Michael. In his spare time, Michael records different versions of the music for Ken’s feedback. Ken had also been unable to find work since his accident, and his Linker put him in contact with Glen Industries where he secured a position in the woodwork workshop. Glen Industries have since added... View Article
An Ability Links Linker supported the promotion and delivery of the Level Up nerd festival, specifically in the role of managing and facilitating the ‘Great Debates’. Five debates were facilitated with six participants in each. The participants were young people from all abilities backgrounds, many whom would by no means be usually be known for their confidence and public speaking. Throughout the day, the Linker connected with and encouraged festival participants to get involved and give it a go. It is testament to the inclusive, non-judgmental atmosphere of the festival itself that created the conditions for young people who often experience alienation and marginalisation in mainstream activities to feel safe enough to get involved in such an outgoing public way.... View Article
Bert is a very friendly and funny young man who finds it hard to make friends. His Linker discovered that Bert loves gaming and zombies – in fact he is a bit of a zombie expert! Bert was planning on going to the Level Up day organised by Mid Coast Communities and Haven MNC, and took up the offer to run the Zombie Run activity with the Linker. Bert came along to several organisational meetings leading up to the event and was a great contributor, especially on the bag packing and pizza night. Bert was becoming quite comfortable in the Haven MNC group and even went to the movies with some of the members after one of the meetings. Bert... View Article
Rossco lives alone in his unit in Coffs Harbour and has few social connections or people he can call a friend. Rossco met with a Linker and expressed that he would like some more friends. That same day the Linker met with another person who lives in the same block of units as Rossco. After getting to know both people the Linker realised that both young men had similar interests and asked if they would like to meet. Both men agreed so the Linker facilitated a coffee meeting. The two men chatted and a few weeks later it turns out that their friendship has been going great! The two men have been to a show together at the local theatre,... View Article
Meg is normally quite shy in social settings, and as a result she finds it hard to meet friends and feel confident spending time with people who are not family. Meg and her mum contacted Ability Links for help with this. Meg loves online games, cartoons and anime, and was planning on going to the Level Up day in Coffs Harbour organised by Mid Coast Communities / Haven MNC. A Linker met several times with Meg and her mum, and Meg began to feel comfortable around her Linker. The Linker asked if Meg would like to be involved in the Level Up bag packing and pizza night a couple of weeks before the event and Meg said she would. Meg... View Article