Famous People With Disabilities
Helen Keller is probably one of the most famous people with disabilities. She contracted an illness at 19 months old that left her deaf, blind and isolated. She became the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She also became a famous author, a political activist and a lecturer.
She was known and admired worldwide and a great deal of credit for that must go to the patience and intellect of her first teacher, Annie Sullivan. Had it not been for Ms Sullivan, Helen might have spent her whole life in isolation.
Today, a person with a disability might prefer to be referred to as “differently able”. Doctors, scientists, researchers and lay people alike have noted that when a person seems to have the inability to do one thing, they seem to be gifted in others. For example, a person that is blind likely has a heightened sense of hearing or smell.
High Functioning Autism
High functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome are notable examples of conditions which are often thought of as disabling, but the conditions are often accompanied by a higher level of intelligence in certain areas of the person’s life. In other words, they are gifted.
Although they were never formally diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, some historians believe that Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and many others displayed the symptoms of it, which include poor social skills, language delays and a “different” sense of humor.
Physical and Learning Related
There are many famous people with disabilities that are immediately recognized; those that must use wheelchairs, artificial limbs or some other form of assistance to move around in the world. Whether caused by illness, injury or birth defect, these celebrities have accomplished great things with their lives, despite being labeled as disabled.
Their names include Stephen Hawking, Franklin Roosevelt, Itzhak Perlman, Teddy Pendergrass, Heather Mills, Bethany Hamilton, Ted Kennedy, Jr., Sarah Bernhardt, Jessica Cox and Amy Winters. Scientists, world leaders, musicians, athletes, lawyers and actors have lived and succeeded with conditions that many of us would find difficult to overcome.
You Shall Overcome!
In addition to these famous people with disabilities, there are many others that should be recognized for their accomplishments. Anyone that sets goals for themselves and accomplishes them, despite the obstacles that stand in their way, should be admired.
Think of the most inspirational movies you have seen.
How many featured one or more people who beat the odds
and overcame great difficulty?
If you suffer from a disability, whether physical or learning related, there may be times that you feel you cannot succeed. Everyone experiences those moments. But don’t give up.
Choose one of the famous people with disabilities as a role model if you would like. Think about what that person accomplished and say, “Hey, if they could make it, I can, too!”
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