International Wheelchair Day (1 March) is a day to celebrate the positive impact that wheelchairs have on the lives of many people living with disability. Wheelchairs facilitate individual independence. They also highlight the need for communities to be more inclusive and accessible.
Afford staff support many individuals with a range of needs in wheelchairs. We would like to share the story of Sebastian, one of our non-verbal Eschol Park Respite clients. With his wheelchair, Sebastian can do the things he loves and can show his happiness to others around him.
Get the Support You Need
Before joining Eschol Park Respite, Sebastian was cared for by his mum, full-time. Although Sebastian requires care for many daily activities, his enthusiasm for life shines through in his body language and facial expressions.
Develop Your Skills
Attending respite and having a change to the everyday routine helped Sebastian to develop social connections and engage in a variety of activities.
Live Independently with Support in an Afford Home
Afford supported Sebastian and his family to secure NDIS funding to work towards his life goal of moving into a group home.
During his visits to respite, Sebastian is always the life of the party. Whenever there is music playing, a smile will spread across his face and the giggles start. The staff say that Sebastian will begin ‘rockin’ out’ and ‘jiving’ to tunes, because he moves his wheelchair back and forth and makes noises to show he is enjoying himself.
Do the Things You Love
Sebastian’s wheelchair is his haven. He loves sitting in his wheelchair and listening to a book being read to him. Staff know that he is enjoying the book or activity by the striking focus in his eyes. In his wheelchair, staff support Sebastian to get into the outdoors and enjoy the cool breeze. His wheelchair gives him the freedom to get around. In Afford’s wheelchair accessible van, Sebastian can access new and different places. He can explore more of the wider community.
But what Sebastian really loves are leg massages! When sitting near his support staff, he will confidently put his legs on their lap as if to say, ‘massage please!’
This month, Sebastian celebrates his 22nd birthday! As with all birthdays at respite, all his friends will come together to sing him ‘happy birthday’ and to enjoy cake together. For Sebastian, this is exactly what he wants, being among and interacting with his friends.
In the coming months, Sebastian will achieve his NDIS goal of moving into an Afford home. Respite staff are working with the Afford Accommodation and Allied Health teams to ensure that Sebastian’s new home suits his needs and supports him to do the things that he enjoys.
On International Wheelchair Day, we are pleased to share the story of a member of our community that let his abilities soar to live the life he wants.