Celebrities, Reality and People with Disabilities

February 13, 2009 at 8:37 PM 1 comment

According to the U.S. Census, there are 51 million people with disabilities out there and they represent 18 percent of the population.  These people are living their lives, facing their challenges and focusing on the things they love and care about just like everyone else.  The problem is that often, we just don’t hear much about them.

The good news is that is changing — albeit very slowly.  There is a twinkling of hope because the national spotlight has illuminated a few stories and brought them into the public consciousness.  Here are a few highlights you may or may not be aware of:

Model/actress Jenny McCarthy revealed that her son has autism.  Wrote a book about it and did the talk show circuit sharing her learning, challenges and rewards of raising a special needs kid.

Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame revealed to a UK newspaper that he has dyspraxia, a developmental disorder that impedes the coordination and performance of particular movements and gestures.

Debbie Phelps disclosed that her son, Olympic swimming sensation Michael Phelps was diagnosed with ADHD as a child.

Sarah Palin brought media focus to her son Trig who has Down syndrome and made a point of it during some of her public appearances, speeches and policy recommendations

I was sent a YouTube link by several people and watched the “Be Inspired, Nick Vujicic (life without limbs) video.  He is proud to tell his incredible story and over 600,000 people so far have taken the time to listen.

And hot off the press …

Scott MacIntyre, a contestant on American Idol, just made the cut and is one of the Top 36 in Season 8.  Scott is visually impaired and has been legally blind since birth.

The power of these stories cannot be underestimated.  There is a wonderful quote from one of my favorite authors, Barry Lopez.  It points out the importance of sharing these special stories and situations.  So, allow me to share it with you.

The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.”

Crow and Weasel
North Point Press

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jerry Kelly  |  July 30, 2009 at 1:07 PM

    I’m an independent publisher in central Ohio, and I’ve published a book that contributes to the understanding of what Barry Lopez is saying. Mike Newell’s No Bottom: In Conversation With Barry Lopez (XOXOX Press) holds an extensive interview between poet Newell and author Lopez, along with an insightful essay by Newell that explores key themes in Lopez’s short fiction. No Bottom is available at xoxoxpress.com and at Amazon and other web outlets.


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February 2009


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