In today’s world, the massive dissemination of information through the Internet has paved the way for stabilizing advocacies that promote diversity and inclusivity. One particular example is disability inclusion, a movement that fights for the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Local governments are performing their part in giving assistance to PWDs, primarily through providing insurance benefits, as well as processing Utah disability claims filed with the Social Security Administration.
Moreover, other non-profit organizations also take charge in spearheading the advocacy. In the state of Utah, for instance, there are multiple divisions and centers that cater to the needs of the PWD community. However, it’s completely wrong to conclude that PWDs only receive help. In fact, they also brighten the world and deliver an impact through their gifts and abilities.
Below, we’ll explore the remarkable and inspiring lives of PWDs who proved that their talents and skills cannot be contained by their condition.
Quite a celebrated name, Stephen Hawking is a scientist and professor who greatly contributed to the fields of physics, cosmology, and astrophysics through his comprehensive theories.
At the age of 21, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that caused his muscular weakness and atrophy. He was told to have only two more years to live but amazed medical professionals by reaching the ripe age of 76.
Hawking utilized a voice synthesizer to communicate and operated a wheelchair through head and eye movements for mobility. His awe-inspiring life story was brought into cinema through the biopic “The Theory of Everything.”
Andrea Boccelli was born affected by congenital glaucoma that led to his partial blindness. At the age of 12, an incident caused him to be completely blind. However, this lack of sight never became a lack of vision because he grew up to be a world-famous singer, writer, and musical producer who had reportedly sold over 75 million records and bagged many prestigious international awards.
Not everyone is familiar with acute paranoid schizophrenia, the mental illness that John Nash, a talented mathematician struggled with throughout his life. Through the film, "A Beautiful Mind," his incredible story was shared to the world. Professor Nash achieved great success in his career, and in the year 1994, he earned the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Stevie Wonder, the child prodigy of the 60s was an iconic musical figure who provided the world with his hit records and superb performances. Wonder was born blind, but his visual impairment did not obstruct his journey to becoming a celebrated musician and singer. By age eight, he was already a skilled musician and by 12, he made his debut as a recording artist.
Of course, this list will not be complete without being graced by the name of Helen Keller, the first deaf-blind person to ever acquire a bachelor’s degree. Through the help of her governess, Anne Sullivan, Keller became a renowned author, lecturer, and political activist. Moreover, she was among the leading humanitarians of the 20th century and a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The words of artist Khang Kijarro Nguyen, “abled does not mean enabled; disabled does not mean less abled” ring true in the lives of celebrated personalities whose disabilities did not prevent them from touching the hearts of many. As the advocacy of spreading awareness and promoting inclusion grows, the successes of Hawking, Boccelli, Nash, Wonder, and Keller will also continue to inspire people.