Four Influential People with Disabilities
How do you perceive individuals with disabilities? This is an important question. Do you see people with disabilities as being capable individuals who are able to make positive contributions to society? Unfortunately, many people do not necessarily believe this about those with physical, mental, or emotional impairments. A more negative viewpoint of individuals with disabilities and their capabilities seems to pervade society today. How can we help to change culture’s wrong perception of individuals with disabilities?
AWARENESS IS KEY TO REDUCING NEGATIVE ATTITUDES TOWARD PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Did you know that people with disabilities have done amazing things throughout history? It’s true. Understanding the incredible things individuals with disabilities are capable of will help to reduce negative attitudes surrounding them.
WHAT GREAT THINGS HAVE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES ACCOMPLISHED THROUGHOUT HISTORY?
The following is a very short list of people with disabilities who have made highly valuable contributions to culture:
- Frieda Kahlo – Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist with disabilities who made a distinct mark on the art world. She broke a major racial barrier by being “the first Mexican artist of the 20th Century whose work was purchased by an international museum.” Kahlo suffered from polio as a child and later had health issues with her spine and legs.
- Ludwig van Beethoven – It is the rare person who is unfamiliar with Beethoven. His talent and musical accomplishments are spectacular. Even more spectacular is the fact that he was both an incredible composer and had a hearing-related disability, which eventually turned into deafness. Even while he was deaf, Beethoven continued to change the world of music.
- John Nash – John Nash, who was represented in the 2001 film, A Beautiful Mind, was a mathematician who made incredible discoveries and “ground-breaking” insights into game theory. The amazing fact is John Nash was schizophrenic. Despite his disability, Nash was given several awards over the course of his life for his work in mathematics.
- Sudha Chandran – Sudha Chandran is an award-winning professional dancer who regularly appears on TV and in films. She is also an amputee. Ms. Chandran’s right leg was amputated after an accident she suffered. After her amputation, she did not relinquish her dream of dancing. As a result of this determination, she is very successful.
HOW DO YOU PERCEIVE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES?
If you do not have a disability, we ask you to take look at how you perceive individuals with disabilities. We hope that you see them for who they truly are: amazing people who are just as capable of greatness as anybody else, disabled or not. This is something to celebrate!