Disability in the Media

Hi everyone! For today’s post I’ve compiled a small list of various famous people with disabilities along with a little bit of information about their disability and what exactly they are famous for.

I strongly believe in the idea that representation is a thing of significance and that the value of seeing someone who looks just like you can be an incredibly empowering and uplifting thing for people everywhere in regards to their own ambitions and dreams. This can be especially influential for things like disability where people may not feel represented in terms of famous celebrities and figures being vastly able bodied in the modern day.

I hope you all enjoy the list and that you hopefully even find out something new about a person you might not have heard of before. 🙂

Aaron Fotheringham

  • Occupation: WCMX (wheelchair moto-cross) Athlete
  • Disability: Spina Bifida
  • Aaron is a 29 year old full-time wheelchair user who has become known for being able to do tricks related to skateboarding and BMX while in his wheelchair.

Sue Austin

  • Occupation: Multimedia Artist & Reporter
  • Disability: Viral attack of the CNS which left her immobile
  • Sue is a 55 year old wheelchair bound woman who has found ways to incorporate her condition into her passion of scuba diving, using an underwater wheelchair to make famous digital underwater artwork sequences. 

Stephen Hawking

  • Disability: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis                                         
  • Occupation: Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist and Author                     
  • Stephen was a legendary researcher & professor as well as wheelchair user who often used a voice synthesiser to communicate and whose awe-inspiring story was told in the cinemas through “The Theory of Everything” (which you can watch for free via Box of Broadcasts).

Sudha Chandran

  • Disability: Loss of leg leading to artificial replacement
  • Occupation: Film/Television Actress & Dancer
  • Sudha is a 55 year old famous classical dancer who lost her right left in an unfortunate accident but went on to get a rubber one and excel in her dream field of dance.

Jack Carroll

  • Disability: Cerebral palsy
  • Occupation: Comedian and Actor
  • Jack is a 22 year old comedian who is known to incorporate his disability into his routines, he is most notable for being a runner up in ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ at the young age of 14.

Itzhak Perlman

  • Disability:  Paralysation by polio causes him to be wheelchair bound    
  • Occupation: World famous Violinist, Music Teacher & Conductor        
  • Itzhak contracted polio when he was 4 years old, limiting his mobile use and restricting him to a wheelchair. He began to learn how to play the violin while seated and since then he has gone on to release many critically acclaimed pieces of work and has even  been awarded 16 Grammys for his work. 

Alex Zanardi                                           

  • Disability: bilateral amputee (of the legs)                                                       
  • Occupation: Professional Racing Driver & Paracyclist                                
  • Alex is a 54 year old double amputee who suffered major injuries in a hand-biking relay event accident during his successful career as an F1 driver. After the amputation he turned his attention to competing in the Paralympics and has since won 3 Paralympic gold medals.

Roy Frank Mitte III 

  • Occupation: Actor
  • Disability: Cerebral Palsy 
  • Roy is a 28 year old actor and has starred in various things such as ‘Breaking Bad’ where he even played a character who also had the disorder too.

Nick Vujicic                                                                                             

  • Disability: Tetra-amelia syndrome
  • Occupation: Evangelist & Motivational Speaker/Author 
  • Nick is a 38 year old world-renowned speaker and is also the founder of an organisation for physically disabled people people called ‘Life Without Limbs’. 

~ Sairah.