The Disability Trust merged with the Disability Accommodation Support Service provided at the time by The Housing Trust. This saw four group homes and the Independent Living Service all come under the Trust’s management. Since then both services have grown and we have opened two additional group homes.
The merger also included the auspice of the Active Linking Initiative (ALI) based in the Southern Highlands. The ALI service provides support to the residents of boarding houses to enable them to participate in community based activities including recreation, leisure, cultural and educational programs.
Services in the Southern Highlands and South West Sydney have grown significantly since.
The Disability Trust undertook a further strategic merger with Illawarra Vocational Services (IVS), a federally-funded supported employment service for people with disabilities, now known as Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE). IVS was originally established in the 1980s as an initiative of The Disability Trust and the organisations had retained strong links throughout the period. Since the merger we have doubled business income and secured the viability of the service. We have also built outlet capacity, with IVS now employing more than 50 supported employees – up from 23 prior to The Trust’s involvement.
The Disability Trust successfully gained funding to operate a Mental Health Project providing community living support to people with psychiatric disabilities in Macarthur and Wingecarribee. Since then we have established a fully-funded respite house for people with disabilities, and received recurrent funding for respite services vacation and after-school care for children with disabilities. Offices in Mittagong have grown accordingly and we operate a new day program and respite services in Goulburn. Services in the Southern Highlands are thriving and are a highly valued part of the community services landscape of the area.
This began another period of significant growth resulting from the rollout of the NSW Government Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC) initiative, Stronger Together, and new Federal funding. State funding saw flexible respite increased, independent living services expanded in the Illawarra and Eurobodalla, and a Transition to Work service set up in the Shellharbour area. The Trust also took over operation of day programs in Goulburn and Wollongong, and ADHC approved the establishment of two new accommodation group homes for people with very high physical support needs in South Western Sydney.
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