Disability awareness Highlights

Disabilities Do Not Hinder Achievements

There are several outstanding individuals in the world that did not let their disabilities hinder their progress and achievements because the bigger the desire, the bigger the success. Having disabilities should never be the reason why you can’t live up to your dreams.

These are a couple of individuals that overcame their disabilities to leave their imprint on the world.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking, a world renowned theoretical physicist, was diagnosed with amyotrophic sclerosis at the mere age of 21. However, he survived 55 years with this incurable and painful disease that caused him many disabilities. Throughout his battle with this neurological disease, he lost his ability to speak, walk and live as an independent person due to his paralysis. Despite the effect ALS had on his mental health, he did not give up due to his disabilities. He went on to propose ground breaking theories on relative physics such as the Hawking radiation theory on general relativity. He was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award.

Helen Keller

When Helen Adams Keller was just 19 months old, she had been diagnosed with an unknown disease that lead to her being deaf and blind her whole life. She worked with her teacher, Anne Sullivan, to learn how to read and write. She published a total of 12 books and an autobiography. She was the first deaf and blind woman to get a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Sudha Chandran

Sudha Chandran, a well known Bollywood actress and dancer, had to get her leg amputated because of a car accident just four months before her birthday. Her amputation had devastated her, and she experienced anxiety and depression that rose from her inability to pursue her passions in dancing, especially Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance form. Despite that limitation, she used an artificial leg called the Jaipur leg and received both national and international praises for her beautiful Bharatanatyam performances. She was casted as the lead role for a Telegu movie Mayuri which was dubbed into the Hindi movie Naache Mayuri.

Michael Edgson

Michael Edgson, a Canadian retired Paralympian, was born visually impaired, competed from 1984 to 1992, and collected 18 gold medals in the Paralympics. Throughout his career, he set 9 world records and received the BC Disabled Athlete of the Year Award three times.

1984 Games for the Physically Disabled (Long Island, United States)
4 Gold, 2 Silver, 4 World Records

1986 World Championships for the Physically Disabled (Gothenburg, Sweden)

1988 Paralympics (Seoul, South Korea)
9 Gold, 4 World Records

1990 World Championships for the Physically Disabled (Assen, Netherlands)
1992 Paralympics (Barcelona, Spain)

4 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 World Record

American Foundation for the Blind. (n.d.). Helen Keller Biography. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.afb.org/about-afb/history/helen-keller/biography-and-chronology/biography

Singh, V. (2018, July 02). The Inspirational Story of Sudha Chandran to Leave You Teary Eyed. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.lifepositive.com/blog/inspiration/inspirational-story-of-sudha-chandran

Swimming Canada. (2016, September 07). Michael Edgson. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.swimming.ca/en/michael-edgson/

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