Disability is not inability
The people discussed in this article are those brave and heroic people who have achieved a lot of success in their lives despite of all the hindrances they faced being physically disabled.
These valiant people have amazed the world with their courage, determination, strength and amazing will. These people have overcome all the obstacles they faced and never let their disabilities come in their path of glory. With their determination these extraordinary individuals have made a difference in the lives of a lot of people.
Some of such personalities who have touched the world with their remarkable stories and amazing talent are given below:
ALBERT EINSTEIN (MARCH 14, 1879 – APRIL 18, 1955)
When talking about the famous disabled people the first name that comes to the mind is that of the great Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein who is the greatest scientist of the twentieth century and the greatest physicist of all time had a learning disability in the early parts of his life. Till the age of three he could not speak and was severely dyslexic and autistic.
As he grew older he started to focus on the only thing he was exceptional at and that was mathematics. Soon he fought his disability and entered into the world of theoretical physics where he changed the face of physics and science forever. His theory of relativity is said to be the most revolutionary theory of physics. He won a Nobel Prize for his photoelectric effect theory in 1921.
HELEN ADAM KELLER (JUNE 27, 1880 – JUNE 1, 1968)
Disability: Blind and Deaf
H. A. Keller
Helen Adams Keller was an American author, political activist and lecturer. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller’s teacher, Annie Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become known worldwide through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Sullivan taught Helen to communicate by spelling words into her hand, beginning with d-o-l-l for the doll that she had brought her as a present.
A prolific author, Keller was well traveled and was outspoken in her opposition to war. She campaigned for women’s suffrage, workers’ rights, and socialism, as well as many other progressive causes. In 1920, she helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Keller and Sullivan traveled to over 39 countries, making several trips to Japan and becoming a favorite of the Japanese people. Keller met every US President from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson and was friends with many famous figures, including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin, and Mark Twain.
STEPHEN HAWKING (JANUARY 8, 1942)
Disability: Motor Neuron disease or a variant of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
Stephen Hawking is perhaps the world’s most famous living physicist. A specialist in cosmology and quantum gravity and a devotee of black holes, his work has probed the origins of the cosmos, the nature of time and the universe’s ultimate fate — earning him accolades including induction into the Order of the British Empire. To the public, he’s best known as an author of bestsellers such as The Universe in a Nutshell and A Brief History of Time, which have brought an appreciation of theoretical physics to millions.
Though the motor neuron disorder ALS has confined Hawking to a wheelchair, it hasn’t stopped him from lecturing widely, making appearances on television shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Simpsons — and planning a trip into orbit with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. (He recently experienced weightlessness aboard Zero Gravity Corporation’s “Vomit Comet.”) A true academic celebrity, he uses his public appearances to raise awareness about potential global disasters — such as global warming — and to speak out for the future of humanity: “Getting a portion of the human race permanently off the planet is imperative for our future as a species,” he says.
Hawking serves as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, where he continues to contribute to both high-level physics and the popular understanding of our universe.
“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.” — Stephen Hawking.
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (DECEMBER 16, 1770 – MARCH 26, 1827)
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Beethoven grew up in Bonn, Germany in a very unhappy home. He was forced to practice the piano by his father, an abusive alcoholic who would punish him mercilessly when he made mistakes. By the time he was twelve, he was earning a living for his family by playing organ and composing. He was eventually known as the greatest pianist of his time. One of Beethoven’s favorite foods was macaroni and cheese. He also loved strong coffee – exactly 60 coffee beans to one cup.
Beethoven never married even though he proposed to plenty of women who rejected him (he wasn’t very attractive and he had a rather nasty temper). Yet in spite of his unpleasant personality, Beethoven is best defined by his music.
His first two symphonies are very much in the same style and form as those of composers that came before him, most notably Franz Joseph Haydn, his teacher. But Beethoven’s writing–as seen in his third symphony–had developed beyond that of his teacher. Named Eroica, his Third Symphony was so different from the ones that had come before that it changed music forever. Its originality and innovation even inspired others to change the way that they composed. It was originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte. But when Beethoven heard that Napoleon had proclaimed himself Emperor, he went into a rage and destroyed the title page.
Although Beethoven gradually lost his hearing, he continued composing. He composed many of the most famous musical works of all time, such as his Ninth Symphony, after he had become totally deaf.
MARLA RUNYAN (JANUARY 4, 1969)
One of the women representing the Unites States in the 1500 meter track event at the 2000 Olympics was Marla Runyan. The American runner finished seventh in her preliminary heat and rose to sixth in the semifinals to qualify for the finals. During the final race, Marla lost track of the major competitors. She finished in eighth position, 3.20 seconds behind the gold medal winner. In 1996, Marla set several track and field records at the Paralympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Following that success, Marla wanted to compete in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney — even though she is legally blind. The 31-year-old runner has been diagnosed with Stargardt disease. This is a condition that leaves her with a limited ability to see what is in front of her. In Sydney, Marla became the first legally blind athlete to compete in an Olympics.
It is a great achievement for any man to perform extraordinary acts – but it is even more so when this is done despite a terrible disability.