Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Differently Able Great Achievers

The term differently abled is sometimes proposed as a substitute for disabled or handicapped.
Differently abled emphasizes the fact that many people with disabilities are quite capable of accomplishing a particular task or performing a particular function, only in a different manner or taking more time or effort than people without the disability in question. It can also be taken to mean that a person who is incapable of one act may nevertheless be capable of many or even most others. These are useful reminders, but the fact remains that differently abled has won little acceptance among the general public and is often criticized as being both awkward and condescending. 

An even more notorious example is the use of challenged in combinations, such as physically challenged, that are normally formed with handicapped or disabled. The purpose of this proposed substitution is to emphasize the positive aspect of the challenge that a particular condition presents over the negative aspect of hindrance or incapacity. However, the widespread parody of this usage in such expressions as vertically challenged for "short" or melanin challenged for "white" has effectively eliminated this construction as a serious alternative to disabled or handicapped.

How many people look at persons who are Deaf, Blind, Austistic, Mentally challenged, and those who have Multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy and thought these are the disabled people?

The world's most famous disabled people:

Some of the world's most famous disabled people is as under:

Albert Einstein

Einstein is the great scientist of the twentieth century and notable physicist of all time. It is told that he had learning disability in his childhood. He could not talk till he was three and could not read till he was eight. Despite such problems he later became the noble prize winner for his contribution to the Physics. His theory of relativity is considered as a revolutionary development of Physics. He got Noble Prize in Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the Photoelectric Effect and for his research in Theoretical physics.
The Mathematician/Physicist who had a learning disability and did not speak until age 3. He had a very difficult time doing maths in school. It was also very hard for him to express himself through writing.

Alexander Graham Bell

Had a learning disability

Had dyslexia

Christopher Reeve

Never has a person with a disability commanded so much media attention in recent history. Christopher Reeve, crippled after a horse-riding injury, wants to be up on his feet & wants to help others stand confident too. His life is now dedicated to harnessing the power of medical research to get up & ride again.

David Blunkett

The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP is without doubt Britain's most famous guide dog owner. Often photographed with his guide dogs - Ted, Offa and Lucy - David Blunkett also holds the powerful political post of Home Secretary. Joining the Labour party aged 16, he was elected to Sheffield City Council aged 22. He was the council leader from 1980 to 1987 until he was elected MP for Sheffield Brightside. Seen as the archetypal municipal Socialist, he is in many senses a traditional Labour man - beard-wearing and blunt-talking. Arguably, he is a role model for disabled people who just want to get on with their lives.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt had Polio, was governor of New York State then elected President of the United States for 4 terms.

George Washington

Had a learning disability. He could barely write and had very poor grammar skills.

Spanish painter (1746-1828): At age 46, an illness left him deaf. He went on to create the most famous Spanish art of the 19th century.

Helen Keller

(Devoted Life to Persons with Disabilities) She was Blind, Deaf, and Mute

Ian Dury

movement/walking disability, resulting from polio. Hits from 1978 ("Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick") into 1980's. Recorded "Spasticus Autisticus" which was banned from radio, not surprising, as lyrics could be mis-construed as disabled-ist

John Milton

Milton is the great English poet and widely known for his epic "Paradise lost". However, before writing this famous epic he became blind at 43. Blindness could not make him stop form practicing literature. This great poet is considered as the most learned English poet as he had knowledge in different disciplines including theology, philosophy, history, politics, literature and science before starting to write poems. He got his matriculation degree form the Christ's College, Cambridge in 1625 and became graduated in the same college in Mater of Arts in 1632.

Lord Byron

"Mad, bad and dangerous to know", Britain's great romantic was also born with talipes, a club foot. It is said that he "walked with difficulty but wandered at will". He toured Europe extensively and captured the popular imagination through his poetry and his personality. From gloomy egoism through to satiric realism he was renowned for his writings, his sexual ambivalences and his championing of Greek independence from the Turks. Disability activist Tom Shakespeare summed him up in the following way: "Most of his poetry hasn't stood the test of time, but he was a blockbuster in his day, and like very few other heroes, his name is still used as an adjective - 'Byronic', meaning dashing."

Lord Nelson

Viscount Horatio Nelson is certainly Britain's greatest naval hero. His skill as a naval commander is, of course, well-documented. He won crucial victories at Trafalgar in 1805 and the Battle of the Nile in 1798, during the wars with revolutionary and Napoleonic France. What is less often remarked upon is that a great part of his naval career and his major victories were won as a disabled person. Going ashore in Corsica following the fall of Toulon, a French shot flung debris into his face leaving him without sight in his right eye. Later, an assault on Tenerife resulted in a shattered right elbow - back on his flagship the arm was amputated. He carried on as a disabled seaman for nearly ten years, securing his most important naval victories at the Battle of the Nile and the infamous Battle of Trafalgar - where he died on October 21, 1805. Contrary to popular belief, he didn't say "I see no ships". Instead he said, during the Battle of Copenhagen, "... I have only one eye. I have a right to be blind sometimes" and, raising his telescope to his blind eye, "I really do not see the signal".

Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven is the great German composer and musician who was deaf at the later part of his life. In his early life he was famous as a pianist. He got the primary knowledge of music from his father, Johann van Beethoven who was a musician in the electoral court. He has some mysterious power which led him to create famous composes one after another. He went Vienna and learned many things from some of the prominent musicians. After his age of 28, he started becoming deaf and his personal life was not so peaceful. He composed many piano Sonatas such as Waldstein, Appassionata etc.

Marla Runyan

This American prolific runner is the first competitor of Olympic as a blind. From her birth she is blind. With her mental strength she competed with the other athlete at the highest stage of the world in 2000. She also participated in the Para Olympic in 2000. Marla set many records in the Para Olympics in Atlanta. She showed the world that quality and mental strength can make everything possible. 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 semi finals 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.  Michael Bolton

 This famous pop and rock singer was deaf in his life but he achieved all obstacles and become famous in the music world. He is famous for his soft rock ballads. Bolton's album sold 53 million albums. His biggest success came in the mid-thirties as a solo vocalist and he got his first contract for his record at the age of 15. Some of his famous solo works are Everybody's Crazy, Soul Provider, My Secret Passion etc.

Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin is a stand-up comedian and an actress. Some of her films include A Dead Silence, My Party,A Hear No Evil, A Bridge to Silence, A Walker, and A Children of A Lesser God. In 1987, she captivated the world by winning the Academy Award for Best Actress in the film A Children of a Lesser God. Marlee Matlin became deaf in infancy due to Roseola infantum. However, deafness has not disabled her or her career.

Robin Williams

(famous Hollywood Star) was diagnosed to be suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) as a child. He never refuses a role related to medicine e.g Awakenings, Patch Adams.

Sarah Bernhardt

French actress (1844-1923) Disabled by a knee injury, her leg amputated in 1914, she continued starring on stage until just before her death. She is regarded as France's greatest actress -- "The Divine Sarah".

Stephen Hawking

Physicist/mathematician has Lou Gehrigs Disease and is in a wheelchair. He needs a computer to speak. This famous scientist is considered as the greatest scientist of the twentieth century after Einstein. Haw king's big bang theory and black hole theory has turned the attention of the world. He is the professor of Mathematics of the University of Cambridge. Though he is now about to be paralyzed, he is teaching through a computer supported a machine by which his world are compiled. His physical illness could not make him stop form his research. His famous book is "A Brief History of Time".

Sudha Chandran

(Indian actress and classical dancer) This brave lady dances with a Jaipur foot. She has acted in a movie on classical dance called "Nache Mayuri" & today acts in a variety of TV serials.

Tanni Grey-Thompson

Tanni Grey is the famous athlete of the Para Olympics. This disable athlete is a wheel chair user in her life. She won 16 medals including 11 golds and she holds over 30 world records in Para Olympic. She also won London marathon for six times. She was awarded OBE for her contribution the disabled sport. Tanni Carys Davina Grey-Thompson OBE - to give her full name and title - is the disabled athlete that most people instantly recognise. Formerly Tanni Grey - the Thompson was added following her marriage in 1999 - she has competed in Paralympic Games since 1988, representing Britain at distances ranging from 100m to 800m. She has won fourteen paralympic medals including nine golds, and has broken over twenty world records. As a wheelchair athlete she was also the winner of five London marathons - in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2001. In recent years, she has established herself as a TV presenter - including BBC TWO's From the Edge disability magazine programme.

Thomas Edison

Edison is the great inventor who has over 1000 patents and his inventions are in various fields used in our daily life. In his early life he was thought to have a learning disability and he could not read till he was twelve and later he himself admitted that he became deaf after pulling up to a train car by his ears. He first could able to turn the attention of the world after inventing Phonograph. His one of the most popular invention is the Electric Bulb. He also developed the telegraph system. His invention of carbon telephone transmitter developed the carbon microphone which was used in the telephoned till 1980. He also became a prominent businessman and his business institution produced his inventions and marketed the products to the general people.
Tom Cruise

(Hollywood Star): is severely dyslexic  
Vincent Van Gogh great Dutch artist  Van Gogh's mental illness, possible epilepsy, and breakdown –all these physical disabilities weren't a put-down.

Walt Disney

He had a learning disability. This famous producer, director, animator has earning disability in his early life. Disney is famous for story telling, and he has some intuitive power of making animation and theme park design. Today's world Disney world is the plan of this prolific animator but he could not see his own creation as he was died before the completion of this project. Disney land is now very popular among the children.

Woodrow Wilson

U.S. President from 1913-1921. Had a learning disability - he was severely dyslexic.


  1. really overwhelming to hear all these achiever's feat.... great to have such people in this world... hats off to all these guys...

  2. shronika-
    hats off these guys who didn't feel discouraged and fought with the respsctive problems and shined like gems. and also thanks to Prof. Ujjval buch who collected all the information and present it so nicely. HATS OFF TO YOU TOO Mr. UJJAVAL. well, there courage and will power are the only things that made the world call the "DIFFERNTLY ABLED" instead of "disabled".

    But I'm a bit dishertened because I'm not able to find any indian personality who could add to my joy and give me inspiration to always go ahead in my life. Are there no indian who have proved to the world even after being differntly abled?

  3. really it was helpful for school project