One foot in front of the other.

International Day of People with Disability is held on 3 December every year. Its aim is to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. We sat down with Dylan from Stepping Stones House and asked him a few questions.

What is something we should know about you?

‘My name is Dylan and I guess what I want people to know is that I am learning to walk again. Today I stood up for 15 minutes. This is a big achievement on my road to recovery.

I used to be a baker and I loved that job, even though I had to work through the night.

I was also married but when my marriage broke down I was devastated and took a deliberate overdose. I had been suffering from substance abuse disorder and mental health for a long time.

That is how I ended up in a wheelchair. I received a brain injury from the overdose.’

What has been the hardest part about this year?

‘The hardest part about this year has been not being able to celebrate birthdays and milestones with family. It’s been very difficult for me as I am very close to my family. Luckily we can do that now restrictions have eased.

Even though it has been hard, I have channelled that into my artwork. I love to paint and create. And do art and pottery classes twice a week or more. I find being creative relaxes me and allows me to express myself, something that I’m not terribly good at due to my mental health issues.

I see art as a form of therapy. I like to draw and paint people I know and watching the joy they get out of something I have created. I’ve painted all the staff and my carers at Stepping Stones where I live and I display them on my bedroom wall.’

What are you looking forward to?

‘I’m looking forward to being able to walk, unaided, and to be able to do most things myself. I’m practising hard each day. Some days are easier than others. One day, I will walk out of here. That is my goal.’

More information on how you can break down barriers for people living with disability can be found HERE.

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