Wagga's Nicole Smith is celebrating a few significant milestones.
Ms Smith recently turned 40 and reached 12 years of working at disability support service Kurrajong's commercial kitchen.
"I find it rewarding because every day I have support. I can have a bad day or I can have a good day and there's somebody there to support you," she said.
And after persevering with her education, she's written down her own story for the first time.
"It's been a big couple of weeks," Ms Smith said.
"The story's been, I think challenging for me too. Because it's been a new chapter of different things. And I suppose turning 40 to look back and think, 'Wow'."
Ms Smith has overcome many obstacles since her childhood in the small NSW town of Blayney to be where she is today, after moving to Wagga in 2006.
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"It was challenging at times. Because ... I didn't know anyone. I had to work for it. So the first two or three years was pretty tough," she said.
Ms Smith, who is deaf and uses hearing aids, said she was unable to read as a child but wasn't diagnosed with dyslexia and given corrective glasses until she was a 12-year-old.
"Mum and Dad always knew that there was some sort of problem, they just didn't know what it was. And we were lucky that they had actually read the local paper and there was a guy that was testing people for [dyslexia]," Ms Smith said.
"But from four to 12, that's a big chunk of your life not being able to read."
As well as working at Kurrajong, Ms Smith has spent two years on the committee of Wagga's Regional Disability Advocacy Service (RDAS).
"We're advocating about self-advocacy, about standing up for our rights in the community, and knowing what our rights are and, you know, we all do have a right," she said.
Ms Smith has written about her experiences in Wagga in her short story.
"When I first started for Kurrajong, I did not like it very much but I was given a lot of support by my supervisor and my VTO helped too. I was sure there was light at the end of the tunnel," Ms Smith wrote.
"I wish I could keep writing and telling you more about me but a good story is a short story. But I can tell you this - just remember you as a person can do anything, you just have to try."
To mark this year's International Day of People with Disability, celebrated on December 3, the RDAS is hosting captioned screenings of the film The Peanut Butter Falcon at Forum 6 Cinema, which will be held on December 3 at 10am and December 4 at 7pm.
Anyone interested in purchasing tickets should call Kellie Clarke at RDAS on 6921 9225.