Riley is 24-year-old young man, who has just moved out of home for the first time. Previously living with his parents near Mt Tambourine, Riley found himself without access to public transport, which limited his ability to go out into the community and experience true independence.
Living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy means that Riley has had progressive muscle degeneration and weakness his whole life. But that doesn’t stop him from living his young life. He loves to build Lego in his spare time and watch YouTube, as well as going out to the shops or even up to Brisbane.
As a young person living with disability, Riley is keen to challenge the views of people with physical disabilities and show that he is just as capable of living an independent life, where he can make his own choices, as anyone else.
“I wish people would not assume that I’m not all up there in the head, as it were, I wish people knew that just because someone is in a wheelchair doesn’t mean they have mental disabilities as well.” Riley said
When he was living with his parents, he still tried to be as independent as possible – but going out took more planning and reliance on others to get Riley where he wanted to go. Now, in his one-bedroom apartment at Southport, Riley has freedom to live how he wants.
“Previously they had to get me into the van, then get the van to places, then drop me off and I’d be on my way. Now I can just go at any moment I want, it’s all up to me now. It makes a huge difference – I could be out the door independently in 5 minutes now.” He explained
Through the provision of a Home Support Grant, Youngcare were able to fund some household essentials for Riley, such as a fridge, microwave, washing machine, toaster/kettle, iron, dining table and chairs, and a couch to make his new house a home.
“The NDIS will never fund this kind of stuff – so the Home Support Grant took the stress away to find the money to move and furnish a home. It really does allow moving out to be more of a possibility.” Riley said
Without the chance to live independently in his own place, Riley doesn’t think he ever would have moved out of his parents’ house. A share house would not have suited his personality or personal goals for his life, and it was so important to him to have the opportunity to live alone.
“[living in a share house] I probably wouldn’t have moved out. It feels too similar to how they used to do it. Honestly whenever I’ve done respite and stayed with people, I would have gone insane if I had to stay there longer than I did,” He explained
“Because of Youngcare I can finally get out and about, and have all the things I need to live by myself. These grants are so important for people in similar situations to me.”