Gladyss Panoncillo Receiving a NSW Carers Award


Congratulations Gladyss Panoncillo on receiving a NSW Carers Award

Posted on 26 March 2018

Congratulations to one of our Riverlink carers, Gladyss Panoncillo, who received a NSW Carers Award earlier this year for her work as a volunteer facilitator of a network of carers of children with disabilities in Western Sydney.

Gladyss (right) received the award at the Sydney, Parliament House which was presented by the Government Whip, Natasha Maclaren-Jones, Member of the Legislative Council (left).

Gladyss also was a finalist in the 2017 Blacktown City Woman of the Year Award.

Congratulations again on this wonderful recognition Gladyss!



NSW Carers Logo




Carers NSW NDIS Update

Posted on 22 March 2018

The Carers NSW NDIS Update makes it easier for carers to stay up to date with the latest NDIS news, resources and opportunities to have a say.

Visit the Carers NSW website or subscribe to receive regular email updates.



NSW Carers Logo




NSW Carer’s Line – 1800 242 636

Posted on 2 February 2018

The Carers NSW Carer Line is a National Toll-Free* number offering specialised information, support, referrals, and access to counseling and support groups, for carers and service providers.
The Carer Line is available between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, by calling 1800 242 636 (*Mobile rates apply)




NSW Companion Card








The Companion Card

Posted on 17 November 2017

The Companion Card is a not-for-profit program, funded by the NSW Government and managed by National Disability Services.

The card itself is the size of a credit card, with the name and a photo of the holder.

The Companion Card is issued to people who have a significant, lifelong need for high level of care to participate in community-based activities. The Companion Card allows a person’s carer free entry into participating venues and events.

Visit the NSW Companion Card Website for more information about the Companion Card and to find out if you are eligible.



NDIS Important Notice Banner






Short term accommodation

Posted on 18 October 2017

Following consultation and feedback with participants and providers, today the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) announces the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) price limits for short term accommodation will be increased from 30 October 2017.

Short term accommodation is a service that assists participants with complex needs to maintain their informal supports and continue living at home. The NDIS aims to ensure that people with disabilities can remain in the family home if this is the individual’s preference. The increases to the price limits will assist many participants by ensuring providers of short term accommodation services can remain financially sustainable.

The new, variable pricing structure, takes into consideration whether the support is delivered on a weekday, weekend or public holiday; as well as the participant’s requirements for standard, high intensity or one-to-one support.

Updated price guides will be published on the NDIA website and changes to the provider portal will be completed so that these prices are effective from Monday 30 October 2017. The price increases for short term accommodation demonstrates the NDIA’s commitment to working in partnership with providers to develop vibrant markets, with new price limits better reflecting the costs of delivering short-term accommodation.

While separate to the Independent Pricing Review (IPR), the changes are consistent with early findings of the IPR, which has received similar feedback and evidence. The IPR remains on track to be completed and make its recommendations to the NDIA in December 2017.

Approximately 1.3% of NDIS participants access short term accommodation supports. The NDIA is committed to supporting people with disability, their families, carers, and providers to identify and resolve issues as we work towards delivering the best possible NDIS to 460,000 Australians with disability.



NDIA changes eligibility guidelines for hearing impairment – 9/09/2017

Posted 24 September 2017

The NDIA has amended guidance for determining access to the NDIS for people with a hearing impairment. As this information is not yet published on the NDIS website it is reproduced below:

9.5.2 Early intervention for hearing impairment for people aged 0-25
The NDIA will be satisfied that a person meets the early intervention requirements without further assessment when the person:

  • is aged between birth and 25 years of age; and
  • has confirmed results from a specialist audiological assessment (including electrophysiological testing when required) consistent with auditory neuropathy OR hearing loss ≥ 25 decibels in either ear at 2 or more adjacent frequencies, which is likely to be permanent or long term; and
  • the hearing loss of the person necessitates the use of personal amplification.

This is a substantial change. Prospective participants who are aged 0-25 and meet the audiometric criteria will meet the NDIS’s early intervention entry requirement without further assessment. The change responds to evidence provided to the Agency that early invention continues to be effective into young adulthood “as the developing brain requires consistent and quality sound input and other support over that period to develop normally and ameliorate the risk of lifelong disability.”

The Agency has also developed the following additional guidance:

8.3.3. Additional guidance for hearing impairments 
Hearing impairments may result in a reduced functional capacity to undertake communication, social interaction, learning and self-management activities. Generally, the NDIA will be satisfied that hearing impairments of ≥ 65 decibels in the better ear (pure tone average of 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz and 4000Hz) results in a substantially reduced functional capacity to perform one or more activities. This audiometric criterion reflects the lower limit of what is likely to constitute a substantially reduced functional capacity to undertake relevant activities.

Hearing impairments < 65dB decibels in the better ear (pure tone average of 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz and 4000Hz) in conjunction with other permanent impairments (for example vision or cognitive impairments), or where there is evidence of significantly poorer than expected speech detection and discrimination outcomes, may also be considered to result in substantially reduced functional capacity to undertake relevant activities.

These changes appear to respond to evidence provided to the Joint Parliamentary Standing Committee on the NDIS, which has released an interim report into the provision of hearing services under the NDIS. To support these changes, the Committee recommends the NDIA:

  • monitors eligibility rates for adults with hearing impairments who are found ineligible and report on its findings in 12 months
  • reviews immediately the cases of people  with hearing impairment who were previously found ineligible and tests their eligibility against the revised guidelines.

A serious concern of the Joint Committee is that the NDIS “has disrupted a world-class system” for identifying and treating young children with hearing loss and that “an appropriate system must be immediately implemented to support the children”. The Committee recommends that Australian Hearing be formally appointed to provide an independent referral pathway for access to early intervention services for children with hearing impairment.

The report is termed ‘interim’ because the Committee is waiting for the NDIA to “urgently finalise, publish and introduce the early intervention reference packages”. If the Agency complies, these reference packages will be the first reference packages to be published.



Admission 2 Discharge Together

Admission 2 Discharge Together –

Posted 24 August 2017

The Admission2Discharge (A2D) Together website provides a number of interactive resources to improve the hospital journey and experience for people with disability.
The information and tools are for people with disability, carers, GPs, health staff and disability service providers and includes:


Admission 2 Discharge - Fact Sheet

For further information and free resources to support people with disability to get help with their life and a home that’s right for them, click here.



Helping carers to translate caring skills for job applications

Posted 16 May 2016

A new interactive website for carers looking for work has been launched by the Hon. John Ajaka, NSW Government Minister for Ageing and Disability Services and the Hon. Jane Prentice, Commonwealth Government Assistant Minister for Disability Services in Sydney.

The website SkillsLink2Work, is one of two joint NSW/Australian Government projects in the NSW Carers Strategy 2014-2019.

SkillsLink2Work has been developed to help carers to understand how the skills, knowledge and experience they have built up as carers can be used to gain employment. It is available at:

On the website, carers are asked to simply select the caring tasks they perform. The website translates these into “employer language” that can be used in job applications or in getting recognition for training. The NSW Community Services and Health Industry Training Advisory Body partnered with government to develop this website, which uses nationally recognised core skills in the two personalised reports it produces for carers.

Some of the carers who were involved in its development were present to see this new website launched. During its testing phase, they told us it will be a tremendous help for carers who are looking for work because it highlights their skills and experience.

One of the highest priorities for carers in NSW is being able to combine caring and work. This just became a little easier, especially for carers who have been out of the workforce caring full time for an extended period of time.



News from the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian

Posted 2 May 2016

Parents warned to check the Check!
A new campaign to inform parents they need to check the Working With Children Checks of the tutors and coaches they privately engage is being rolled out by the Office of the Children’s Guardian.

Working with Children's Check

The major community education initiative follows the 24-year jail sentence of a former maths tutor who had sexually abused five children in their own homes.

The #parentscheckthecheck campaign contains resources that can be downloaded and displayed. There are also opportunities to report people who are suspected of operating under the radar without obtaining a Working With Children Check.

Read the media release
Go to

Do you have a concern to report?
Do you have a concern that an organisation or individual is not complying with their WWCC obligations? Use our secure form to report your concern.

Resources for tutors and coaches
The Office of the Children’s Guardian has produced a poster for private tutors and coaches to display their name, date of birth and Working With Children Check number.

The downloadable poster and parent verification process are available at

Child safe workshops
Child Safe Check UpIn May, the Office of the Children’s Guardian is running free workshops in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Bega, as well greater Sydney centres Penrith, Woollahra, Auburn and Lalor Park.

Find out more about child safe training



Guide to help families support children with a disability

Posted 14 January 2016

“Harness the Possibilities” is a guide designed to support families develop a positive vision for their child with a disability. Click here to access the booklet.



Carers NSW Carer Line

Posted 14 January 2016

The Carers NSW Carer Line is a National Toll Free* number offering specialised information, support, referrals and access to counselling and support groups, for carers and service providers.

The Carer Line is available 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday by calling 1800 242 636. *Mobile rates apply.



New Australian Government funded service supports carers

Posted 24 December 2015

The Australian Government has recently launched a new service to support Australia’s 2.7 million carers in their caring roles.

The Carer Gateway provides information about the services and support available for people who care for someone with a disability, or who are frail due to age.

Carer Gateway will provide information for carers online and by phone:

  • Telephone: Carers can call 1800 422 737 from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm for information about services and support available.
  • Website: A range of information including practical advice on how to care, details about financial and respite support, and how to adjust when caring ends, can be accessed at (link is external).
  • Service finder: Carer Gateway website has an interactive service finder to help carers identify local services, including Commonwealth-funded organisations delivering carer support services.

This new service does not affect how carers currently access their existing support services.

For more information about Carer Gateway, visit (link is external).