Budding writer and Activ customer Nicholas has a goal of changing the world’s perspective on people with disability. He practises what he preaches by working towards achieving whatever he sets his mind to.
After completing a children’s book, ‘The Adventures of Fluffy and Twitch’, Nicholas’ next project was a book fit for all ages titled ‘Life with a Disability’.
This book has a deeper message, and highlights the well-rounded, full lives that people with disability live, encompassing work, friendships, love, achievements and hardships.
Taken from Nicholas’ book:
“In some ways, some people think of people with a disability as stupid. I can assure you we are not…I am just like you. Just in some things I need extra help.
Some of us are good parents, others are great painters and others are good singers. No matter the disability. One thing we are not is stupid.
As a guy with a disability all I have to say to you is, don’t judge me for my disability but judge me for my actions, for it is what we do that makes us good or bad. Like other people we make good and bad decisions. Like you, we are people and no one on this globe is perfect, so let’s not judge.”
The aim behind Nicholas’ second book was to break down barriers and teach others to not make uninformed or unfair assumptions about people with disability.
“I’ve written stories about superheroes, and stories for kids, but one day I got thinking about all the negative things I’ve heard people say about people with disabilities, so I thought maybe if they heard something that actually came from someone with a disability, they might see it from a different point of view,” said Nicholas.
“I want other people with disability to read my book and know to just not lose hope – you can achieve things you never thought you’d be able to accomplish. And I want to show everyone, guardians, support workers, the community, that if you step back and give us a chance, you’ll be surprised at what we can do.”
Nicholas, who works at Activ Employment Services Bentley, and lives independently while accessing drop-in support, has been steadily working towards his writing goals over time.
“I’ve been writing since I was a teenager, it’s very relaxing for me and I’ve always dreamt of writing my own books.”
Nicholas’ support worker Kate Engelbrecht and other support staff are helping to make that dream come true.
“I can see what Nick’s passionate about and I’m really impressed with what he does,” said Kate.
“I help Nick with editing. When he’s finished writing he’ll get me to read through it and see what I think, and I help him with spelling and proof-reading.”
The next step in Nicholas’ writing journey is collaborating with illustrators and catching the eye of a publisher, an ultimate goal for Nicholas. “I’d love to connect with someone else with a disability to do the final illustrations and sketches,” said Nicholas.
“I’ve tried to find a publisher for my books. It isn’t easy but I’d love for other people to read my writing.”
Along with writing, through Activ Pathways Nicholas has completed qualifications in business and retail, to provide him with some foundational knowledge to work towards another dream.
“I’d love to run a café that’s designed for and run by people with disability so they can come and get a coffee.” With so many projects in the pipeline, Nicholas is happy to be supported by Activ to achieve his goals.
“Activ empowers me. They know when to step back and give me a chance to take initiative and do things I want to do and know I can do.”
In the future, Nicholas would love to follow in the footsteps of his biggest inspiration, famed writer and producer Stan Lee.
“In his work, he opened my eyes and made me realise that we’re all different, but that’s not a bad thing. And that’s exactly how I see people with disabilities. We’re very smart in our own ways and you’ll be surprised about what we can achieve.”