Take a moment to look around the space where you are. How does it make you feel? Pleasant? Sad? Relaxed? A space that is organized and personalized to your individual tastes can make a dramatic difference in the way you think and feel. That is why Nathan knew a bedroom makeover was the perfect fit for him when he received his Sunshine Dream in 2013.
Nathan lives with Cerebral Palsy Quadriplegia and uses a wheelchair as his main source of transportation. His Sunshine Dream was completed just before graduating high school and he attributes the space to helping him graduate with honours. Now 25 years old, his customized space has helped inspire him to start his own public speaking career. He can often be found in his room, writing new speeches, and putting presentations together.
But how can a bedroom affect a young person’s future? Nathan’s mother Leora explains that “It’s made so that he can independently do a lot of stuff on his computer. He uses his computer for everything.”
Nathan’s Bedroom Makeover featured a new TV, a custom work desk installed at a height for his wheelchair accessibility, and an exercise machine that has helped him maintain his physical health.
Given Nathan’s limited use of his hands, his work desk features special functions for him to be able to access his keyboard comfortably. Having a work area of his own has been crucial in helping Nathan find his passion: public speaking. His business, called Rolling with Nathan, provides informative presentations to nursing and other care programs about what it’s like to live with a disability, and what it means to be a good caregiver. Most recently, the pandemic has allowed Nathan to operate his business entirely from his downstairs bedroom area, where he hooks his computer up to his TV screen to deliver virtual presentations.
“I enjoy educating everyone of the importance of inclusion and diversity, as well as helping spread awareness for persons with disabilities,” says Nathan. “I look at myself as abled, rather than disabled. Despite many challenges, I feel my disability is not limiting. So, I am here today to get involved and make a difference in the community, using my voice to help others.”
Despite a slowed-down business now that it is summer, Nathan is determined for September 2021 to be better than ever. He is planning to integrate accessibility presentations into his work and continues to inspire others by showing them that with a positive attitude, anything is possible.