Humans are capable of incredible feats. People all over the world, from all walks of life are doing amazing things in their own unique ways. And people with disabilities are no different. Arguably, people with disabilities are some of the most driven and proactive people around. Take Stephen Hawking for instance. “Obviously, because of my disability, I need assistance. But I have always tried to overcome the limitations of my condition and lead as full a life as possible,” he said. “I have traveled the world, from the Antarctic to zero gravity.”
From artists and athletes to musicians and beautiful minds, the world is graced by people with disabilities.
Here are seven more you might recognize:
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR won more elections than any other American President in history. FDR may have lost the use of his legs when he was stricken by polio in 1921, but he remained one of the most influential and critical players in WWII. His leadership and charisma is iconic to date.
“Men are not prisoners of fate, but prisoners of their own minds.” -FDR
“The Genius” began to lose his sight at an early age. By about seven, he was completely blind, but Ray Charles grew into a pioneer of soul music. Having mastered the process of reading braille with his hands, it was only a matter of time before Charles took his competency to the piano. Ears the world over are thankful for his hits.
“There are many spokes on the wheel of life. First, we’re here to explore new possibilities.” -Ray Charles
Nicholas Vujicic is a worldwide YouTube sensation and motivational speaker. He travels the world to shed light and inspiration on audiences as he explores life with tetra-amelia syndrome (being born with the absence of all limbs).
“I encourage you to accept that you may not be able to see a path right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.” -Nick Vujicic
Nothing could stop Frida Kahlo from emerging as one of the more recognizable painters in history. Not polio. Not spina bifida. Not even a major bus accident. Kahlo had too much talent and saw her world as a canvas.
“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” -Frida Kahlo
Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham
Made famous through his daredevil antics on the Nitro Circus tour, Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham is an action sports hero in a wheelchair. Wheelz has spina bifida but travels with a band of dirtbikers, skaters and beyond, under the direction of Travis Pastrana, to perform wild ramp stunts in his chair alongside other professional action athletes. Wheelz is an inspiration to the action sports community and people with disabilities.
“I’m not in a wheelchair. I ride one.” -Aaron Fotheringham
Are there athletes, celebrities or other famous people with disabilities that you admire? Share them in our comments as we at VMI look to empower and inspire more people every day! We’re thankful we have the opportunity to build vans that enable people with disabilities the mobility to further impact their surroundings.