15 Great and Inspiring People with Disabilities

It is the desire of every person in this world to perform some extraordinary task. Peoples try their best to do best thing or act during their life. It is normally said that it is a great achievement for any man to perform extraordinary acts but this thing becomes of more importance when this is done in the presence of a major disability.

There are different peoples in the history of mankind who performed extraordinary tasks despite of major disabilities. When someone with a disability is able to overcome all the hardships of life then it becomes a legend and golden history. It takes a lot of strength and a complete no-fear attitude to go as far as these highly successful people with disabilities have. We have selected this article in order to discuss about some great peoples of history who performed extraordinary tasks despite of major disabilities.

1. Sudha Chandran

Sudha Chandran is considered as a golden and great legend of human history. She was born to family in Chennai. She completed the degree of Masters in Economic from Mumbai. She remained one of the most talented students of her university and she also got certain certifications on different achievements. But unfortunately, on one of her return trips from Mumbai to Chennai, she met with an accident that resulted in amputation of her right leg.

After a successful therapy, she was given an artificial leg and after that she did different excellent tasks. She performed different extraordinary tasks despite of this major disability. One of her achievement with this ability includes that she got enough fame after becoming most accomplished dancer of the Indian Subcontinent. She received different invitations from different parts of the world to perform the dance shows in their countries. She received different awards from different organizations on her extraordinary performance.

Photo by Emmnuel David

Photo by Emmnuel David

2. Marla Runyan

She is also included in the list of great peoples with major disabilities. It is said about her that at the age of nine, she suffered from a problem which was considered a form of macular degeneration that left her legally blind. Despite this major diability, she performed different extraordinary tasks. She remained there time national champion in the women’s 500 meters race. There are also different types of research studies on her that shown the fact that she also won four gold medals in the 1992 summer Paralympics.

In 1196 Paralympics, she also won silver in the shot put and gold medal in the Pentathlon. She was also officially declared as first legally blind Paralympian to compete in the Olympic Games that were arranged in Sydney at that time. She has also written her autobiography under the title of “No Finish Line”.

3. Vincent Van Gogh

Mr. Vincent Van Gogh is also included in the list of great peoples of the world with major disabilities. He belonged to an average family and he was a famous Dutch painter. He is also regarded as one of the greatest painters of the world. There are different types of research reports that have clearly shown this fact that his paintings contributed well towards the modern art. He had total portfolio of more than 900 paintings and drawings during his 10 years painting career. Some of his paintings were considered as most expensive paintings of the world. In 1889, he suffered from depression and was admitted to psychiatric hospital. His problem continued to worsen over tine and on July 27, 1890, at the age of 37 he shot himself in the chest. His last words were” the sadness will last forever”.

4. Ludwig van Beethoven

He is regarded as one of the best composers in the history and is also included in the list of great peoples with disabilities. The history also remembers his great tasks in golden words. He gave his first public performance as a pianist at the age of 8 years. At the age of twenty, he gained fame all over the world as a great pianist. In 1796, began losing his hearing. Despite of this problem, he immersed himself in his work and he created some of the music history. He achieved different milestones despite being completely deaf for the last 25 years of his life.

5. Frida Kahlo

She is also included in the list of most inspiring peoples of the world with major disabilities. She is considered as a renowned Mexican painter who created different inspiring and beautiful paintings. It is said about her paintings that most of them being self-portraits which reflected her pain and sorrow. She mainly used different vibrant colors in her paintings that were mostly influenced by the cultures of Mexico. It was also achievement of Frida Kahlo that her work was purchased by an International museum. She suffered from the problem of polio at the age of six and due to this problem her right leg remained thinner than the left. She disguised this problem be wearing long, colorful skirts throughout her life. It has been conjectured that she also suffered from spina bifida, which is a congenital disease that could have affected both spinal and legal development. She also faced immense pain due to these problems but she never compromised on her work.

6. Christy Brown

Christy Brown is also included in the list of great peoples of the world having major disabilities. He was an Irish author, painter and poet who had severe cerebral palsy. He was born in Dublin and he one of the 13 surviving children (out of 22 born) in a catholic family. He was disables by cerebral palsy. He was incapable of any movement for many years due to this problem. Different doctors of that time also considered him to intellectually disable as well. His mother showed great efforts towards her son and she continued to speak to him, work with him and tray to teach him. There are different types of research studies that have shown this fact that one day he snatched a piece of chalk from his sister with his left foot in order to make on mark on slate. At that time, first time in his five years of age, only his left foot responded to his will. At that time, he was able to communicate with the help of his left foot. His autobiography under the title of “My Left Foot” also got sufficient fame across the world.


7. John Nash

He is also included in the list of great peoples of the world with major disabilities. It is said about him that at young age he was interested in different scientific experiments and most of the experiments were carried out him in his room. He got fame due his expertise in mathematics and his work in game theory, differential geometry and partial differential equations are considered as ground breaking. He got the education of chemical engineering, chemistry and mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1959, John Nash faced a severe problem and many persons claim that this was due to the fact that an organization is against him. In the same year he was admitted to hospital where he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. After initial treatment, he recovered somehow but he remained hospitalized for 9 years where he was also given shock therapy. After treatment of 9 yeas, he returned to home and he started his work with more zeal and zest. He received different awards and recognition including the memorial Prize in Economic Science in 1994.


8. Jean-Dominique Bauby

He is also included in the list of great peoples of the history having major disabilities. He was a well known French Journalist and author and editor of French fashion magazine. In 1995 he felt pain in his heart and after that he faced a severe heart attack. Due to this problem, he remained in coma for 20 continuous days. After getting recovery from this problem, he suffered from a very rare neurological disorder which is known as Locked-in Syndrome. This problem is recognized as the perfect mental state which also remains stable but the body is paralyzed from head to toe. He was only able to move his left eyelid in this situation. Despite of this major disability, he wrote the book, The Diving Bell and Butterfly by blinking when the correct letter was reached by a person slowly reciting that alphabet over and over again. He died just after two days of publication of his book.

9. Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is also included in the list of most inspiring of the world having major disabilities. He is a British theoretical physicist and has over 40 successful years of meaningful career. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is also a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy if Sciences. In 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has written numerous books and his public appearance has made him an academic celebrity.

Unfortunately he is severely disabled by motor neuron disease. This problem has different symptoms in different peoples depending upon the severity of the problem. The symptoms of this problem firstly appeared while he was enrolled at Cambridge and at that time he lost his balance and fell down a flight of stairs. During this critical situation his head hit at the earth. When he was 21 years old, the doctors declared that he would not survive more than two or three years. In 2009, he lost his control over different parts of the body including arms, legs and voice and at the end of 2009 he totally became paralyzed.

10. Hellen Keller

Hellen Keller is also included in the list of great peoples having major disability. She was an American author, political activist and lecturer. There are different types of research reports that have clearly shown this fact that she was the first deafblind person to get Bachelor of Arts degree. She also campaigned for women’s suffrage, worker’s right and socialism. She also helped to found American Civil Liberties Union. She travelled to more than 35 countries.

11. FDR

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is also included in the list of most inspiring peoples of the world having major disabilities. He is considered as famous and beloved U.S president who helped and guided the nation successfully through world war II. During his entire service, he remained all the time in his office. He was a wheelchair user. Upon starting his political career in gusto, he contracted polio while drinking water at a campground and became paralyzed from the waist down. Due to public fear, the news of his disability was kept in secret for several years. Despite his major disability, he served the nation in a memorable manner.

12. Ralph Braun

The list does not end here as it also contains the name of Ralph Braun who was late founder of the Braun Corporation. The Braun corporation is one of the leading manufacturers if wheelchair, accessible vehicles etc. He was also named as “Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama. He had born with muscular dystrophy. He started his career in 1996 when he created the first wheelchair accessible van with hand controls. In 1991, due to his untiring efforts, the Braun’s company created first accessible minivan. In addition to this, he also served the nation in different ways.

13. John Hockenberry

He is also included in the list of great peoples with major disabilities. He was an American journalist and author. He won different awards including Emmy Award and Peabody Award. He is considered as the most successful journalist but unfortunately he suffered from spinal cord injury. He is also the author of the book “Moving Violations.

14. Marlee Matlin

She is also included in the list of most inspiring peoples having major disabilities. She was an Academy Award winning actress. She is considered as one of the most successful actress who was deaf. She has been deaf since she was 18 months old due to genetically malformed cochlea. She also received different awards from different organizations including the Golden Globe Award.

15. Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is also included in the list of great peoples with major disabilities. He is considered as one of the most beloved singers of the world. He is a musician, singer and songwriter who was born blind. He has recorded more than 30. U.S top ten hits including his singles “Superstition”, Sir Duke” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You”.


  1. Karen Hoyt January 19, 2014
    • bapu bobhate India April 12, 2015
  2. roshitha June 27, 2014
  3. venky July 16, 2014
  4. Rajuvarma August 6, 2014
  5. THERESA HAGGAI September 1, 2014
  6. kamlesh kumar yadav September 9, 2014
  7. shrawani November 22, 2014
  8. KOWSAR January 15, 2015
  9. Riya Singh February 2, 2015
  10. Riya Singh February 2, 2015
  11. Yasmin Elahi February 3, 2015
  12. sudha March 6, 2015
  13. sheeba March 31, 2015
  14. Dharmesh May 4, 2015
    • akhilesh July 30, 2015
    • tating74 August 9, 2015
  15. Anu reddy May 28, 2015
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  18. hari August 9, 2015
  19. Mohan Thulasingam November 12, 2015
  20. barath kumar November 22, 2015
  21. Tejaswini December 13, 2015
  22. suvarna December 22, 2015
    • chandan May 3, 2016
  23. rafath June 16, 2016
  24. dinesh doddi August 7, 2016
  25. Nazeerunnisa September 8, 2016

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