Port Augusta Ability Expo 2016

EXPO: Anna Welch, Leanne Reschke and Jayne Hargreaves at the 2016 Port Augusta Ability Expo.

EXPO: Anna Welch, Leanne Reschke and Jayne Hargreaves at the 2016 Port Augusta Ability Expo.

Gladstone Square was the site of Port Augusta’s first Ability Expo last Friday, demonstrating there are many services available for those with a disability.

The inaugural event saw about 16 different disability service providers provide information and get valuable exposure.

The result is the hard work of organising by the Port Augusta Inter-Agency Network.

Caring Choice Team Member Anna Welch said it’s important to build community service recognition for people with disabilities.

”It’s so they know what’s out there, we’re all here together, working with each other,” she said.

”Because everything is changing within the way that services are now presented and used or used by the people that need them.”

One major point for community members is changes to the federally-funded National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The NDIS will provide about 460,000 Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need.

It’s planned to work as an insurance scheme, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life.

Carers SA Team Member Leanne Reschke said there has been confusion and angst towards the changes in Port Augusta.

But she hopes with this event, people can realise there’s plenty of help available, an important note for an area facing unique challenges.

Aside from knowing what services are available and how to access them, Port Augusta faces problems many regional towns have.

“There’s a severe isolation in service provision for our regional areas and that’s where we are, even though despite that isolation, we’re here and we’re united,” she said.

“We want to work hand in hand, not just the people with disabilities but their families and carers as well to get through the hard times in life.”

One new organisation to Port Augusta is Caring Choice Australia who offers important services to those with a disability such as Aged Support, Disability Case Coordination and Respite Houses.

Caring Choice Team Member Kathy Scarce said the expo helped the organisation after being in metropolitan Adelaide and now expanding into regional SA.