Many people who have a disability do not let it prevent them from leading full and rich lives, indeed some are an inspiration to both disabled and non-disabled people alike. Below is a list of disabled people who have achieved outstanding success respectively their disability.
1. Stephen Hawking is probably one of the world's best known high achievers with a disability. He is an internationally renounced physicist / mathematician who supersedes from Motor Neurone Disease. At 35 he was Cambridge's first Gravitational Physics Professor and received the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics Award. He has written a best selling book which was later made into a film called A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes.
2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the 32nd President of the United States. He contracted Polio in 1921 which left him paralysed from the waist down. Refusing to accept his paralysis he tried different therapies and methods to try and walk and did master walking short distances using iron braces and a cane. He was careful not to be seen in a wheelchair in public. He established a foundation to help others with Polio and directed the March of Dimes program which was originally funded an effective vaccine.
3. Another successful politician, Pat Stack is a left wing revolutionary and part of the Socialist Workers Party committee. A child born from a Thalidomide pregnancy he uses a wheelchair. A great political mind and brilliant orator he holds meetings every year at Marxism in London and wrote 'Stack on the Back' for the Socialist Review until 2004.
4. David Blunkett was an MP, Education Secretary, Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions at various times. He has been blind since birth and has never let this fact hold him back in any aspect of his life.
5. Tanni Gray Thompson OBE is probably the best known disabled athlete, representing Britain in distances from 100m to 800m. She has won 14 Paralympic medals including 9 gold's and she has broken over 20 records. She has also won 5 London Marathons as a wheelchair athlete and has become a TV presenter.
6. Marla Runyan is a legally blind marathon runner and has set several track and field records at the Paralympics in Atlanta, 1996. She has represented the US at the 2000 Olympics and became the first legally blind athlete to compete in an Olympics.
7. Itzhak Perlman is an Israeli-American violinist, conductor and teacher. He is a renowned musician who contracted Polio at age four and today uses crutches or a wheelchair and plays the violin while listed. In 1986 he received the Medal of Liberty from President Reagan. He is also an advocate for people with disabilities and promoters laws to allow easier access to buildings and transport.
8. Francisco Goya (1746-1828) was a Spanish painter who suffered an illness which left him deaf at 46. He went on to create some of the best known Spanish art of the 19th Century. He provided inspiration for the work of later artists including Picasso and Monet.
9. Helen Keller was an American author, political activist and lecturer who was blind, deaf and mute. She was the first deaf and blind person to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree.
10. Albert Einstein, the famous mathematician and physicist, had a learning disability and did not speak until he was three years old. He found mathematics and writing difficult at school but went on to become one of the best known scientists of all time winning the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921.
Source by Michael R Browne