Let’s explore and get to know more about some of the 5 disabled people who have become successful despite their disabilities.
1. Stephen Hawking – Although he has been confined to a wheelchair by the motor neuron disorder, he is still known as the world’s most famous and still living physicist. His specialty in Cosmology, quantum gravity and an enthusiast of black holes where his work included examining the origins of the cosmos, the nature of time and the universe’s eventual fate, has earned him honors which include being inducted in the Order of the British Empire. His best known works also include best-sellers The Universe in a Nutshell and A Brief History of Time. He still continues to do lectures, making TV appearances and arranging a trip into the orbit.
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2. Marlee Martin – She is an Academy Award winning actress who, despite being deaf, is considered to be one of the most successful actresses with disabilities. Her disability is due to genetically malformed cochlea which she had since she was 18 months old. Other than an Academy Award, she has also received a variety of awards from different institutions including the Golden Globe Award.
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3. Stevie Wonder – Despite being born blind, he is on the list of amazing people with major disabilities. Stevie Wonder is a musician, singer and songwriter who has more than 30 U.S. top ten singles which includes “Overjoyed”, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”, and “Superstition”.
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4. Nick Vujicic – Nick has been born without legs and arms. But even if he doesn’t have any of these limbs, he can always be seen smiling full of positivity. Up until now, he continues to give motivational speeches and lectures all around the world.
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5. Matthew Sanford – At the age of 13, Matthew had been in a car accident which killed his father and sister. The accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. Upon turning 25, he discovered Yoga and its power that supplies the mind and body. Sanford is the founder of the Mind Body Solutions.
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6. Christopher Reeve – Is an American actor, internationally and best known for portraying the iconic role as Superman. He is also film producer, director, screenwriter, activist and an author. In 1995, during an equestrian competition, he got thrown off his horse which rendered him paralyzed from the neck down. Despite this, he persevered and even founded the Christopher Reeve Foundation and co-founded the Reeve-Irvine Research Center. With both focusing on human embryonic stem cell research to help people with spinal-cord injuries. He still made numerous guest appearances in films and TV shows. Even in the final days of his life he pushed for Proposition 71 to be approved, which would then establish the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine where $3 billion of the state funds would be for the stem cell research.
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7. Richard Branson – Before becoming a business magnate, he suffered from dyslexia which greatly affected his academic performance as a student. Despite this, he discovered that he has ability in being able to connect with other people. He was told by his school headmaster that he would either end up in jail or be a millionaire. The latter was evidently what became of him when he founded the Virgin Group, comprising of more than 400 companies. He has been given numerous awards for his humanitarian activities, charities, contribution to music and pioneering achievements in business ventures and the like. Based on Forbes list of billionaires in 2012, Branson is listed as 6th richest person in the UK. His estimated net worth is $4.6 billion.
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8. Bram Cohen – Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, Bram didn’t let it get in the way of developing programs that would help other people share large files with each other over the Internet. Bram developed BitTorrent , a file-sharing program or peer-to-peer program, widely used for uploading and downloading small or big files over the Internet. He is the co-founder of CodeCon and was also the co-author of Codeville. With his love for numbers, puzzles and math-related topics, he designed several puzzles including gear-based puzzles like the Gear Shift and multiple Rubik Cube variant called the Bram’s Fortress. Some of his designs are already available for 3-D printing.
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