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Top 10 Extraordinary People With Disabilities

It is a great achievment for any man to perform extraordinary acts – but it is even more so when this is done despite a terrible disability. This list looks at 10 people who have made a major mark on society through their actions or through succeeding against all odds.


Sudha Chandran


Disability: Amputee

Sudha Chandran was born to family in Chennai, South India. She completed her Masters in Economics from Mumbai. On one of her return trips from Mumbai to Chennai she met with an accident resulting in the amputation of her right leg. She was given an artificial leg and despite this terrible disability, she became one of the most accomplished and acclaimed dancers of the Indian Subcontinent. She has received and still receives invitations to perform all over the world. She has been honored with numerous awards and has performed all over the world. She appears often on Hindi television and in films.


Marla Runyan
January 4, 1969


Disability: Blind

At the age of nine, Runyan developed Stargardt’s Disease, which is a form of macular degeneration that left her legally blind. Marla Runyan is a three time national champion in the women’s 5000 meters. She won four gold medals in the 1992 summer Paralympics. In the 1996 Paralympics she won silver in the shot put and gold in the Pentathlon. In 2000 she became the first legally blind paralympian to compete in the Olympic games in Sydney, Australia. She holds various American records such as 20,000 Road (2003), All-female Marathon (2002), 500m (2001) , Heptathlon (1996). In 2001, she co-wrote and published her autobiography ‘No Finish Line: My Life As I See It’


Vincent Van Gogh
30 March 1853–29 July 1890

529Px-Vincent Willem Van Gogh 106

Disability: Mental Illness

Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch Painter and is regarded as one of the greatest painters the world has ever seen. His paintings have immensely contributed to the foundations of modern art. In his 10 year painting career he produced 900 painting and 1100 drawings. Some of his paintings today are the most expensive: Irises was sold for $53.9 Million and Portrait of Doctor Gachet was sold for $82.5 Million. Vincent Van Gogh suffered depression, and in 1889 was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. His depression worsened over time and on July 27, 1890 at the age of 37 Van Gogh shot himself in the chest. He died two days later. His last words were “the sadness will last forever”.


Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven.143180205 Std

Disability: Deaf

Beethoven is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers in history. He gave his first public performance as a pianist when he was only 8 years old. He studied in Vienna under the guidance of Mozart. By his mid-twenties he had earned a name for himself as a great pianist known for unpredictable and brilliant improvisations. In the year 1796 Beethoven began losing his hearing. In spite of his illness he immersed himself in his work and created some of the greatest works of music. Beethoven’s finest works are also the finest works of their kind in music history: the 9th Symphony, the 5th Piano Concerto, the Violin Concerto, the Late Quartets, and his Missa Solemnis. And he achieved all this despite being completely deaf for the last 25 years or so of his life.


Frida Kahlo
July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954


Disability: Polio

Frida Kahlo was a renowned Mexican painter who created striking paintings, most of them being self-portraits reflecting her pain and sorrow. She painted using vibrant colors that were influenced by the cultures of Mexico. She was the first Mexican artist of 20th century whose work was purchased by an international museum. Kahlo contracted polio at age six, which left her right leg thinner than the left, which Kahlo disguised by wearing long, colorful skirts. It has been conjectured that she also suffered from spina bifida, a congenital disease that could have affected both spinal and leg development. Although she recovered from her injuries and eventually regained her ability to walk, she was plagued by relapses of extreme pain for the remainder of her life. The pain was intense and often left her confined to a hospital or bedridden for months at a time.


Christy Brown
June 5, 1932 – September 7, 1981

Christy Brown

Disability: Cerebral Palsy

Christy Brown was an Irish author, painter and poet who had severe cerebral palsy. Born in Crumlin, Dublin to parents Bridget and Paddy, he was one of 13 surviving children (out of 22 born) in a Catholic family. He was disabled by cerebral palsy and was incapable for years of deliberate movement or speech. Doctors considered him to be intellectually disabled as well. However, his mother continued to speak to him, work with him, and try to teach him. One day, he famously snatched a piece of chalk from his sister with his left foot to make a mark on a slate.
At about five years old, only his left foot responded to his will. Using his foot he was able to communicate for the first time. He is most famous for his autobiography My Left Foot, which was later made into an Academy Award-winning film of the same name. The Irish Times reviewer Bernard Share said the book was “…the most important Irish novel since Ulysses”. Like Joyce, Brown employed the stream-of-consciousness technique and captured the Dublin culture in his use of humor, language and unique character description.


John Nash
June 13, 1928

John Nash1

Disability: Schizophrenia

John Forbes Nash is an Noble laureate American mathematician whose work in game theory, differential geometry and partial differential equations are considered ground breaking. At a young age he was interested in scientific experiments which he carried out in his room. He studied Chemical engineering, chemistry and mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University. Later he was awarded a Fellowship at Princeton. In 1959 John Nash started showing severe signs of paranoia and started behaving erratically. He believed that there was an organization chasing him. In the same year he was admitted involuntarily to the hospital where he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. After treatment he was again admitted to the hospital this time voluntarily for 9 years were he given shock therapy. After returning from the hospital in 1970 he gradually started recovering. His work was becoming more successful and resulted in various awards and recognition. Prominent among them are John von Neumann Theory Prize in the year 1978 and Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in the year 1994. An Academy Award winning film named ‘A beautiful Mind’ starring Russell Crowe was made which was loosely based on his biography.


Jean-Dominique Bauby
April 23 1952 – March 9, 1997

Baubysonsmos 468X3242

Disability: Locked-in Syndrome

Jean-Do was a well-known French journalist and author and editor of the French fashion magazine ELLE. In 1995 he suffered a massive heart attack causing him to go into a coma for 20 days. After coming out of the coma he found himself with a very rare neurological disorder called Locked-in syndrome, in which the mental state is perfectly normal and stable but the body is paralyzed from Head to Toe. In the case of Jean-Do he was able to move only his left eyelid. Despite his condition, he wrote the book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by blinking when the correct letter was reached by a person slowly reciting the alphabet over and over again. Bauby had to compose and edit the book entirely in his head, and convey it one letter at a time. To make dictation more efficient, Bauby’s interlocutor, Claude Mendibil, read from a special alphabet which consisted of the letters ordered in accordance with their frequency in the French language. The book was published in France on 7 March 1997. Bauby died just two days after the publication of his book.


Stephen Hawking
8 January 1942

Lucy Stephen Hawking

Disability: Motor Neuron disease or a variant of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)

Stephen William Hawking is a British theoretical physicist, whose world-renowned scientific career spans over 40 years. His books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity and he is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and in 2009 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Stephen Hawking is severely disabled by motor neuron disease, likely a variant of the disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS). Symptoms of the disorder first appeared while he was enrolled at Cambridge; he lost his balance and fell down a flight of stairs, hitting his head. Worried that he would lose his genius, he took the Mensa test to verify that his intellectual abilities were intact. The diagnosis of motor neuron disease came when Hawking was 21, shortly before his first marriage, and doctors said he would not survive more than two or three years. Hawking gradually lost the use of his arms, legs, and voice, and as of 2009 was almost completely paralyzed.

Buy Hawking’s mind-blowing book A Brief History Of Time at!


Hellen Keller
June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968

070625114232 Anne Sullivan Seated With Helen Keller Lg

Disability: Blind and Deaf

Helen Adams Keller was an American author, political activist and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller’s teacher, Annie Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become known worldwide through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Sullivan taught Helen to communicate by spelling words into her hand, beginning with d-o-l-l for the doll that she had brought her as a present. A prolific author, Keller was well traveled and was outspoken in her opposition to war. She campaigned for women’s suffrage, workers’ rights, and socialism, as well as many other progressive causes. In 1920, she helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Keller and Sullivan traveled to over 39 countries, making several trips to Japan and becoming a favorite of the Japanese people. Keller met every US President from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson and was friends with many famous figures, including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin, and Mark Twain.

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • Fallennyte

    Very cool list. Thanks!

  • hAx0r

    wtf… Stephen hawking should be no.1

  • really

    very intresting hawkins is way more intersting than pussy as helen keller so what she was blind and deaf no one cares hawkins is brilliant

    • Durrr

      Be blind and deaf at birth and write a novel. Can you imagine doing that? Of course not. While Hawking is incredibly intelligent, he suffers from no mental disabilities.

  • Owly

    Inspiring list :)

  • Jack

    Nice list

  • BravehisTickle

    Stupendous stuff!

  • Avi

    Does FDR fall into the disabled category?

  • Giantshredder


  • b_ott14

    @ really (3): o look! you cared sooo much about hawking that you even made sure to spell his name correctly!!!


  • hAx0r

    You also missed Leonardo da Vinci who had dyslexia

  • b_ott14

    you also missed barack obama, cause he is black….

    lol jk jk guys, nice list

  • Magnificent people! Since I have my own disabling disease (thank God for modern medicine!)I found this list particularly significant.

  • EngineerAdam

    Really makes you think about what we could do if we didn’t make excuses.

  • Karl

    @hAx0r (2): No. Helen Keller DESERVES the #1 spot. She was blind, deaf and mute at birth. Yet she can still speak. She is an inspiration to all people who think that they cannot do it. Some of you there wanted Hawking to be at the #1 spot because he’s so smart, well probably you haven’t heard of Helen Keller’s full story yet.

  • Jojo

    I don’t think depression is a disability because then half the population would be disabled, beside you would need to list all the talent people who commited suicide such as Virgina Woolf,James Robert Baker, Rembrandt etc

  • evilspwn

    the french journalist’s story is truly inspiring. makes me regret wasting the last 22 years of my life. although annoyed to see a fellow chronic depressant’s suicide story.

  • lala

    awesome list… also, Van Gogh was so distresses that he cut of a part of his ear and gave it to a woman.

    Weird people, but then brilliant in their own might. well done.

  • knight_forked

    Very nice and inspiring list. Not to demean your efforts tiktik, here’s a web site listing a few more:

  • willo

    whilst Hawking is a great man, and very smart, he is more of a popular culture figure. He is well known and famous largly as a result of his disability, as a scientist he wouldnt be considered one of the greats in his field.

  • coolguy

    Hawks is smart.
    But stupid at the same time.

  • flgh

    No Josh Blue?

  • Jediknight

    The Beethovem one is sad, not being able to hear the music you created

  • Hmmm…

    The first entry has a typo. It’s “Helen Keller” not “Hellen”

  • nepratini

    I was hoping to see David Helfgott on here. They made the movie Shine starring Geoffrey Rush about his life.

  • Emmett Brown

    What about Ironside and Captain Pike?

  • WiseMenSay

    great list!

    i thought maybe David Blunkett might have been on. he’s blind, but rose to become the British Home Secretary under Tony Blair. in fact Blair’s cabinet included Blunkett, Gordon Brown (half-blind), Jack Straw (tinnitus) and John Prescott (bulimic). that has to be some sort of record.

  • Neil

    I cannot beleive that someone posted that ‘Depression isn’t a disability’!

    All I can say is: try it.

    Depression, often a disease of the genius, is a sickness I would not wish upon my worst enemy.

    As for the list: Great stuff! Makes you feel humble to realise that the greatness of a person is not contained in looks or physical appearance, but what is locked up inside our minds.

  • Dave

    What about Franklin D Roosevelt?

  • wahhhh!

    “Depression, often a disease of the genius, is a sickness I would not wish upon my worst enemy.”

    What a wuss… life is hard, get over it.

  • MagpieMagic

    Another good list. Been impressed with the last few days offerings

  • jmount43

    @really (3): In response to your comments about Helen Keller: you’re an idiot.

  • Maximuz04

    @really (3):
    I wouldnt put it in these words but I think Keller isnt as important as Hawknigs in terms of world wide importance, but im a science guy

    @b_ott14 (11):
    LoL!!!!!!!!!!!! i assume you really dont mean it :)

    @willo (18):
    Are you crazy? do you even know what hawkings is famous for?

    @William Shakespeare (24):

    @Neil (27):
    I kind of agree with the guy that said this is wussiness. I wouldnt make it that… blunt, but I think everyone has something they could potentially be depressed about. For example, myself, I grew up not being very attractive, thus not getting much love from the ladies at first sight. I could have 1) been depressed about it and blamed everyone else or 2) worked on my personality and tried that route… needless to say I am not depressed and have had my fair share of women. See what I mean?

  • romerozombie

    I think you’ll find number one is actually called Anne Frank.

    Btw the lists lately have been consistently brilliant.

  • nicoleredz3

    Oh my wow… Extraordinary, is right. I think these ppl are great, and only them were designed to handle such disabilities; if I were in almost any of these scenarios, I may give up on life easily! Not them, they persevered! :-)

  • nolod1207

    Great list though i think as a bonus or a number 11 slot should be drummer Rick Allen from Def Leppard. Loses an arm and still manages to perform on the drums is mind blowing.

  • Shagrat

    How about Bill Gates, Sir Isaac Newton, Mozart, Da Vinci (again), Beethoven (again), Dan Aykroyd, Steven Spielberg, Michael Jackson, Satoshi Tajiri (inventor and developer of Polemon), Albert Einstein and Van Gogh (again) – – – – – all of whom are considered to have varying degreees (or have been diagnosed with); Aspergers Syndrome.

    And if you think being an Aspie is NOT a disability – try living with it!

    A couple of sites with lists of famous Aspies

  • Shagrat

    Oh sorry, tiktikhappy: Very Very good list – truly inspiring: as are all those athletes who compete in the “Special Olympics” every four years – often more courageous and dedicated than ‘non-disabled’ athletes

  • Arsnl

    I was expecting to see ben underwood on this list. He was blind and used echolocation to move around. Also tomorrow will be a year since he died.
    I would also mention pam dirac. He had a mild form of autism.

  • Lynne

    Depression is not at all a disability, and who claims so are obviously people who wouldn’t know anything about it or haven’t been severely depressed themselves.

    Source: me

  • Zorra

    @Karl (#14)I don’t think you’ve gotten all of Helen Keller’s story either. She was perfectly normal until she was about 3 or 4 when she was extremely ill with a case of scarlett fever that caused the loss of her eye sight and hearing. She was never mute, actually quite the contrary, there are reports of her screaming with rage before meeting Annie Sullivan.

    She is so extraordinary because in a time when women in general did not earn college degrees she earned several while overcoming the fact that most books were not written in braille, and not being able to hear her professors speak. She also was able to speak fairly clearly given the fact that as far as she could remember she had never heard any one speak and couldn’t even see their faces to understand how to shape her mouth for different sounds.

    Helen Keller’s case was also important because most parents would have institutionalized her with out trying to help her, which was the common practice back then with any child with a disability. She gave people hope that children, if worked with enough could live full lives even with a disability.

  • oouchan

    Awesome list, tiktikhappy! I only knew of some of these and found the stories inspirational.

    @nolod1207 (35): I agree! To still be able to play at that degree with only one arm is amazing.

  • Swifty66

    I have to agree with Zorra on this one. As an educator of children with special needs, i see Kellers influence every day. Just the idea that special needs children have hopes and inspirations like everyone else was quite a novel idea at the time. Great list!

  • YoungAnabaptistRadical

    @Maximuz04 (32): There is a huge difference between having depression and “being depressed.” If you’re depressed about something, it passes. (“I’m depressed that the Giants weren’t in the playoffs.” Then something cheers you up.) Depression, on the other hand, may be triggered by an event, like a death or end of a relationship, but it’s more along the lines of…there is no cheering you up, even your favorite activities don’t interest you anymore, and you’re completely without hope.

  • jayneblonde002

    What about Michelangelo who went blind as a result of painting the Sistine Chapel?

  • Swapie

    Where is Natalie du Toit?

  • Swapie
  • krypto092108

    Where is Terry Fox?

  • youllforgetit

    I’m really upset about the comments about depression not being a disease. It can be completely debilitating, and I don’t think anyone can say otherwise until they’ve actually been diagnosed with clinical depression.

    Anyhow, great list. : )

  • gr8flddfn

    “he lost his balance and fell down a flight of stairs, hitting his head. Worried that he would lose his genius, he took the Mensa test to verify that his intellectual abilities were intact.” huh…

    @krypto092108 (46): fellow b.c’er?

    And the person in the 3rd spot on this list, that is just astounding!.

  • msulli222

    The fact that some people here are saying that depression is not a disease demonstrates that these people have never dealt with it. Depression is not just feeling bad for an extended amount of time. It is the genetic result of a chemical imbalance of certain hormones needed to maintain “normal” moods. Since there is a chemical imbalance, there is often very little a depressed person can do. Depression can be triggered by major life changing events, or it may be that there is no trigger. Depression is not something you can just “snap out of”. Lord knows I and so many other people wish it were that easy. But, saying that clinical depression is not a disability is like saying that people with schizophrenia should just “snap out of it”. Granted, depression is easier to treat than schizophrenia, but point is, both statements are highly incorrect and insulting.

    • Kelsey

      Thank you so much for posting this. It's so frustrating when people tell me to just "get over it" when I have no control over the chemical production in my brain!

  • MommaDuck

    For those who state that depression is not a disability…It depends on what type of depression the person suffers from. There are many different types of depression. Here is a very good website for explanations:

    As the above website states major depression is disabling and interferes with the persons ability to function as they normally would. Depression can be crippling and life demolishing. True some types of depression are brought on by tragic events and this type is just as painful as any other type. When you have no idea why you feel so completely sad and feel like there is no reason for you to be alive so much so that you are willing to kill yourself, well friends it’s terrible. It’s not being a “wuss” and you can’t just snap out of it. If you have never suffered from it, despite having horrible occurrences in your life, then it is hard to understand and grasp how a person can feel this way…for no reason. You’re trapped inside your horrible thoughts of yourself and cannot escape them no matter how hard you try. I understand people’s views of the depressed as someone who just wants attention or to blame their problems on anything but themselves. But like I said before you can’t understand it until you have lived it. Being a sufferer myself since a very young age I have often struggled with family members and friends being rather upset with me because of depression and it’s affects. But, although frustrating, I have never returned their anger. I have never blamed this problem on anyone or anything. It’s something that I didn’t even know about until I was an adult and seeked treatment. Most of which worked for awhile but eventually would fail. The most helpful was the unconditionally love from, most, of my family and friends. From treatment to treatment they stood by supporting me. I’m still struggling to this day with severe depression, which manifests occasionally through debilitating panic attacks.

    So all of this is just to say: Until you’ve lived through it you cannot tell anyone to just cheer up and stop being a “wuss”. Try to be compassionate to others. Instead of being ignorant about something learn about it before making such demeaning comments.

  • MommaDuck

    @msulli222 (50): Thank You.

  • El the erf

    I am busy.
    All I have to say is…
    Blade runner.

  • Happypants78

    @ b ott(9) Who cares if he spelled Hawkings name wrong, Did he spell anything right in that sentence?

  • ZibbyYamala

    nice list! i didn’t even kno some of this . . .

  • Hodari

    I’d like to inform you all about few extremely skilled and disabled people whose stories i have heard:

    Anton Pagani, from Illinois, was completely blind, but was able to whistle, play harmonicca, and a cello with his feet, at the same time.

    Albert J. Smith from Pedham, Massachusetts, hhad olny one arm, but worked as a paper-maker. He once papered the walls of Ripley’s believe it or not! office in New York.

    Willie Boular from Kansas, was bilnd, mute, and had both legs amputated, but he still once built a 46000 brick-sidewalk in less than 8 hours.

    One-legged C.A. Traff could walk on crutches 330 centimeters high, but he had only one leg.

    Armless woman, Joan Whisnant, could play guitar with her feet.

    J. Oscar Humpfred was armless, but owned and managed his own garden.

    José Silva lived 11 years normally, having an arrow in his head.

    Thomas Greene Bethune was blind, and very autistic, but as being a savant (dont make me explain), he could play tho differend song on the same piano at once, and sing a third one at the same time.

  • Scratch

    @MommaDuck (51):

    Well said. I have never experienced depression myself, but I have close friends and family who suffer from it. One person described it as a deep dark hole with no light at the top. I cannot relate to this feeling personally, but it is a seriously debilitating condition.

    It is difficult for those who have never experienced mental illness to relate to sufferers. The first reaction of many is to counsel sufferers to shrug it off or focus on the positive. After all, these people reason, how hard can it be to control your own mind? The brain is simply not that simple of an organ and our souls can suffer from ills just as much as our bodies.

  • Keller_Fan

    @Zorra (40):

    Actually, Helen Keller was 19 months old when she had what the doctors at the time called “Scarlet Fever,” NOT thee or four years old. She had just been learning to speak at the time of her illness–hardly more than a few words–and had not mastered basic communication skills.

    (Check out the Wikipedia page about her. )

    Other than the ability to grunt and scream, she could not associate words with objects and concepts until she was educated–some four years later.

    Helen Keller was trained to communicate, first using the manual alphabet, then by writing/reading Braille, then “reading lips” through touch, and finally, though vocalization. In actuality, her ability to speak through vocalization was never perfected to the point where she could be clearly understood–one of her great disappointments, according to many biographers.

    There’s a fascinating film clip of Helen Keller “speaking” from 1930:

  • asdf

    Vincent Van Gogh should’ve been higher on the list in my opinion.

  • M Mac

    This list impressed me greatly and I can only commend the people on it.

    Disability is in many ways possible to if not overcome at least to adapt to.

    I feel an honourable mention should go to the Royal Marine Captain who after losing a leg was to be discharged from the forces. He re did the full course and passed, trust me on this it is tough even for the very fit and strong.

    The posts on depression are interesting, some know what it is about some do not. Depression is a killer, and contrary to popular belief cannot be easily treated, anti depressants often make matters worse.

    This is a field I am well versed in being a manic depressive leaping from on emotional level to the other with no warning or control.

    For a long time I was borderline suicidal and when serving in the Army this is not a particularly good thing as you put others in harms way.

    Snap out of it just dont work, neither does medication for many, it is a disease and a serious one.

  • Moonbeam

    Let me think… whose comment here impresses me more? The ones that say stuff like ‘snap out of it,’ ‘get over it,’ ‘wussies’? Or the heartfelt comments like the ones by @YoungAnabaptistRadical (43):, or @msulli222 (50):, or @MommaDuck (51):

    It’s a shame that people feel hurt by the posts that make depression seem like a character weakness rather than a debilitating mental illness. Must be those who don’t get it, went to the Tom Cruise Movie Star School of Psychiatry. Either that or they are dopey kids who want to intentionally cause people to become upset for laughs.
    @youllforgetit (48): I feel kinda’ bad that you’re upset by them. Typically I skim over and ignore the especially dumb or purposely outrageous comments rather than feeling hurt or being baited into getting angry. After all read this from:@Maximuz04 (32): “I grew up not being very attractive, thus not getting much love from the ladies at first sight. I could have 1) been depressed about it and blamed everyone else or 2) worked on my personality and tried that route… needless to say I am not depressed and have had my fair share of women.” It shows you the intellectual level all the naysayers are at. As if felling a little down because he felt unattractive for a period of time is anything close to clinical depression! Too funny!

  • Jojomccid

    Why no Marlee Matlin? She is one of the youngest and the only deaf person who won the Best Actress awards in Oscars for acting in the movie “Children of the Lesser God”.

  • Fattone

    Why is Anne frank absent from this list?

    • Steve

      What disability did she have?

  • signe

    There is just nothing worse than people saying “just snap out of it” to people who are depressed! It makes you feel even worse, like you are being an inconvenience to the people around you, and pushes you even closer to the edge! Everybody who suffers from clinical depression would love to “just get over it”, there is nothing you want as much as stop feeling the way you are feeling and thinking the thougts you are thinking, but there is just no way you can do that!

  • O Rama

    @Really: (3)

    WTF! I hope you’ll be blind and deaf so you’ll put your dirty foot into your mouth.

  • randomprecision24

    Jim Abbott, a major league pitcher, threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians for the Yankees back in ’93, despite not having a right hand. He would balance hias glove on his right err nub, and after throwing the pitch would slip his glove onto his left hand to prepare to field the ball.

  • Hogarth

    My favourite band are the Specials.

  • Hogarth

    @Maximuz04 (32):

    Congratulations, you’re both ugly and stupid. Why don’t you go look up the meaning of ‘depression’, wipe the drool off your chin and take a nap?

  • deepthinker

    Great list. Locked-in syndrome seems to be one of the scariest things a person could go through. Being a severe claustrophobic, it haunts my dreams. I could not imagine being completely sane and mind aware, and not being able to move. Now I will obsess about this all day. Awesome list!

  • Flock O’Seagulls

    I nominate “really” for this list. Despite obviously being a complete moron, he managed to log onto this site and make a (nearly incomprehensible) posting. Congratulations!

  • Lifeschool

    A good list there tiktikhappy, many well deserved entries and a healthy light on topics people would rather not talk about in the main.

    Physical illness can be exceptionally frustrating but if you lose your mind you lose everything; even a basic sense of who you are. As you can probably guess, I have suffered from Depression (with a big ‘D’) before – and for seven years could not see any way beyond it except death. As many commenters have pointed out, you cannot simply control the mind, and silly thoughts can run round and around and around and around and around and around and around (ad infinitum) beyond the point where you can’t think, can’t feel emotion, can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t get out of bed. A black cloud stagnates growth, ambition, and any kind of feeling beyond blackness. Hope (as strong as a rope when young) becomes as bare as a single thread, and one can only watch it freys itself away.

    I tried things – all the alternative methods (the drugs didn’t work) – keeping a diary, talking it out, all kinds of therapies, all kinds of natural medication. Even then it took three solid years of ‘limbo’ to finally begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel. The black cloud finally stopped raining on my mind, and I began to realise I was a blank sheet of paper – no emotion, no memories, no nothing – and began to rebuild a new ‘me’ from absolute scratch.

    I was 27 by the time I was able to think about opening my heart for the very first time. All I can say is that it is possible, no matter what. I maintained a job throughout, although God knows how. Life is not a basket of roses even now.

    Even now.

  • Ratface

    Manic depression is something I would never wish anyone to have. Not even the insensitive and ignorant. You feel like you’re so fucking empty that you might collapse in on yourself, and when someone asks what’s wrong you’re forced to answer ‘nothing’ because you honestly don’t know. I don’t think there’s any way to explain it… You feel like you’re drowning, you get physically I’ll and vomit, some cut themselves, not to get attention but to feel something and be able to actually do something about it. It’s like your mind is attacking itself. I really understand those who can’t comprehend this as being real, some people just can’t. There is no cure, but worse, there is no proof that it exists save for peoples word. If you don’t believe in it, that’s ok, you have that right. But don’t ever tell someone who believes they suffer from it that it doesn’t exist. You may end up feeling quite guilty.

  • undaunted warrior

    @Lifeschool(71) Thanks for sharing,it takes some courage to put this on the net – I just hope you grow from strenght to strehght

  • alexman

    the french guy and the blind and deaf girl obviously didnt have a clue what was going on and they were just used to make money or further political causes.

  • Lifeschool

    I feel like I want to say this….to any readers disturbed by Depression…

    Love – Can Build A Bridge,
    Between Your Heart and Mine.
    Love Can Build A Bridge,
    Don’t You Think It’s Time?
    Don’t You Think It’s Time?

  • meg

    Frida Kahlo was also in a horrific bus crash where poles went through her body and pinned her there for quite awhile. The polio probably wasn’t super bad for her, until the accident. If I remember right, it cost her the ablity to have children.

  • nyota0uhura

    How do you run races when you’re blind? I mean, how is it possible to stay in a straight line running as fast as you can, when you obviously don’t have a stick or anything else to guide you? That’s pretty amazing.

  • krypto092108

    I don’t think Anne Franke had a disability, and being a Jew or any other religion or culture, or either gender is a disability, these days…

  • Maggot

    @nyota0uhura (77): How do you run races when you’re blind?

    There’s a difference between being totally blind, versus “legally” blind.

    An excerpt from Runyan’s website:

    “While those of us with Stargardt’s struggle to read print, signs, and even a menu, we usually have pretty good mobility skills. This is due in part because our peripheral vision remains intact. And this is why I can run. Running doesn’t require perfect acuity. I can see the ground beneath my feet, although it doesn’t look the same as it does to everyone else, but I can see it well enough to avoid major obstacles and step up and off curbs.”

  • debsfullcircle

    Eloquently put, LIfeschool. Having suffered from Depression myself since early adolescence, I have since learned, that when necessary, I can “borrow” other people’s hope to get by…..

    Good list. I would say that, although Stephen Hawking may have contributed to human knowledge, Helen Keller contributed hope, which is something that a person of any intellect can grasp.

  • David Hyde

    Sir Arthur Sullivan, of the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, suffered for years from kidney stones. often he was in terrible agony while composing beautiful cheerful music.

  • PT

    I’m guessing you’ve never heard of Tanni Grey Thompson. If you wan’t an inspirational athlete she’s the one

  • qwerty

    depression is not a disablity. been there, done that. its not pleasant but its far from a disease or a real disbility.

  • bassbait

    stephen hawking is quite the looker.

    No, but seriously, great list. I think there ARE people that could have been missed, but I don’t know any personally. I think some good achievers are Devin Townsend who transformed his bi-polar disorder into frantic insanity in music form, and maybe more? I have no clue.

  • agginym

    how does having polio effect your abilities as an artist?

  • Voltaire

    Helen Keller deserves #1 more than Hawking no doubt about it. But the disability of Jean-Dominique Bauby is still the most disturbing one. Just horrible.

    @Avi (7):
    Ofc he does. He had polio, too.

  • JP

    And what about Michel Petrucciani?

  • Voltaire

    @agginym (85):
    First of all nobody said it would. The problem is not “having” polio but the chance to be paralyzed after that. Not to mention the muscle pain. But Kahlo had also a very bad accident. So it’s not clear what caused her suffering exactly. It’s just clear that polio wasn’t helping.

  • jmount43

    He may not merit being on this list, but what about Tom Dempsey? He was born with only half a foot and yet went on to become the kicker for the New Orleans Saints and also went on to kick the longest field goal in NFL history-63 yards. That’s pretty extraordinary if you ask me.

  • Voltaire

    @qwerty (83):
    A severe depression is very, very serious. Van Gogh most likely had a bi-polar disorder though, which means that he was more productive but also more suicidal.

  • CandJ

    I’m an OT and mainly work with Autistic people And I also work with the special olympics,everyday I’m in awe of these incredible people,I’d put each and everyone of them on the list,if I could.
    Thanks for this great list.
    And Helen Keller was an amazing woman,who certainly deserves her spot at #1,their all amazing though.

  • Chester

    @jmount43 (89):
    He was born without toes not without half of his foot. Missing “half of your foot” would be much more than your toes. He also wore a modified shoe with a flattened and enlarged toe surface which actually gave him kind of an advantage…

  • lrigD

    First of all, a question: how exactly was Anne Frank disabled? I really can’t find any reason…

    Secondly, very inspirational list! I really liked it. It’s amazing how much people can overcome if they put their mind to it.

  • Cosmo312

    Stephen Hawking is too high. Hawking is admirable, because he kept going despite his disease, but his disability didnt interfere with his ability in theoretical physics that much. Others on the list had disabilities that they overcame with greater determination, against greater odds.

  • Maggot

    @randomprecision24 (66): Jim Abbott, a major league pitcher, threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians for the Yankees back in ‘93, despite not having a right hand.

    Good call RP. I was thinking of him myself as I was reading down the list and comments. Not surprising that an ardent baseball fan such as you would be quick to nail it. If not you, then no doubt bucslim. Here is a pic of Abbott celebrating that performance:

    As if tossing a no-no wasn’t amazing enough, he played in the league for ten years, not an easy feat for anyone. He was also a member of the 1988 Olympics USA baseball team, pitching a 7-hit complete game in the gold-medal match, earning the victory (though it was only a “demonstration sport” at the time).

  • Cosmo312

    @Shagrat (36): No offence intended, but I have noticed an odd pattern – people with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar, and even occasionally autism, have often wanted them not to be classed as mentally ill, but just as basically normal people who “think differently”, with campaigns like the “Campaign for Abolition of the Schizophrenia Label”, as part of the “Anti-psychiatry” movement.

    People with, relatively speaking, very mild mental illnesses, on the other hand, often seem desparate to have their problems classed as mental illnesses, even when they can easily be explained as just character differences, as with many cases of aspergers, or lack of intelligence or appropriate education in one area, as with many cases of dyslexia.

    As for the people you mentioned with aspergers – I have seen people with aspergers, and whenever I see people claiming to have it as an excuse for their actions or abilities, when they clearly dont have it, it is really disappointing. Take Gary McKinnon. He is claiming aspergers explains his actions. I saw him last year being interviewed, in front of a large audience, on live TV. He spoke confidently, he maintained eye contact, he spoke clearly and never hesitated.

    I know these diseases exist. Dyslexia is real, aspergers is real, a whole manner of mental illnesses cause people troubles, even if they are relatively mild.

    But when people who clearly dont have the diseases use them to explain character flaws, or failings in one or more areas, or to get an unfair advantage over other people – thats pretty disgusting.

  • tripsyman

    @Cosmo312 (97):

    Quote “I have seen people with aspergers, and whenever I see people claiming to have it as an excuse for their actions or abilities, when they clearly dont have it, it is really disappointing”

    My boy is (fairly) high functioning autistic and it is very hard for anyone, including some doctors, to spot that he has this disability. The point I am making is you may think someone “clearly” doesn’t have a disability but it is not always an easy thing to spot.

    My lad looks perfectly normal which in itself contributes to his disability as people don’t see the mental illness so when he behaves “abnormal” they misinterpret it as bad behaviour.

    When we see a wheelchair or someone with a visible disability (Downs syndrome for example) we understand the problem. When the disability is invisible we often jump to the wrong conclusions and can get a bit judgemental. For the disabled person this only makes the situations even harder to deal with.

  • Chester

    Yeah none of the people Shagrat mentioned were proven to have the Asperger syndrome. In fact most of them are highly unlikely. Not to mention that having Asperger is not that bad. The idea that Aspergers are ingenious is an urban legend – usually their IQs are pretty average.

  • Chester

    @Cosmo312 (96):
    Why is it “disappointing”? McKinnon faces up to 70 years in jail just because he hacked Pentagon and NASA computers. In his position I would fake any disability possible…

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    Extreme cases of depression that are caused by legit chemical problems in the body is a disability. But now every teenage girl and emo kid in the world starts bitching about how they have depression and blame it for all their problems. That is not a disability, that is an excuse.

  • Miss_Info

    Im surprised this list has so many comments so far.. What about George Gordon Lord Byron ?? he had club foot!!! Does that count ????

  • MagpieMagic

    What about Heather Mills? Shes an amputee and one of the worlds biggest attention seekers…. Thats an extraordinary achievement right?!

  • MommaDuck

    @Scratch (57): Thank You.

    To make the point clear anger wasn’t really the emotion I was feeling towards the posters who chose to show their ignorance by stating, “Just snap out of it.” It was more like pity.

  • kim

    @MommaDuck (51):
    well said!
    i dont suffer from depression myself, but my father does severly and is on zoloft to treat it!
    my mother also is using zoloft, and although is a bit of a family secret, im fairly sure my grandparents use it aswell…. :(
    it was hard reading your post only because i can relate this to my family and its hard to believe this is what they feel sometimes, and certantly felt before the zoloft…
    occasionaly my father goes back into these… moods, how should i act around him when it happens! i love him, but i dont really see alot of him, and when his in a mood, the family just go quite, and we walk around on egg shells for few days and make any excuse to get out of the house…

    clinical depression is a life changing illness that doesnt just effect the direct sufferer….

  • Maggot

    @Miss_Info (101): What about George Gordon Lord Byron ?? he had club foot!!! Does that count?

    I would say NO, because what is considered to be “extraordinary” about Lord Byron, or his accomplishments rather, were not hindered in any way by his disability. He didn’t necessarily have to overcome anything, though perhaps growing up with a disability did shape his personality and resultant creativity. But physically, it was no hindrance IMO. As opposed to say, club-footed American football placekicker Tom Dempsey, who holds the record for the longest field goal in NFL history (since tied by another player). Although one could argue that, as a kicker, having a club foot might actually be an advantage.

    Dempsey’s kicking shoe is on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH:

  • Jillian

    Jean-Dominique Bauby had a massive stroke, not a heart attack that led to his Locked-In Syndrome. There was a rencent episode of House M.D titled Locked-In starring rapper Mos Def and it was told from the patients point of view, very good episode that shows the reality of this unusual and devestating illness.

  • MagpieMagic

    I’d never heard of locked-in syndrome. Is it a common disease? Cant even begin to imagine how awful it must be for the patient!!!

  • MagpieMagic

    Nevermind. Just re-read the list and saw that it says its very rare. My bad

  • stung4ever

    How about Julius Caesar with epilepsy?

  • nuriko

    inspiring list! :)

  • highrollinwooded

    I truly believe that my ex boss was depressed/bi-polar??
    She made our lives a living hell! Extremely low self esteem(even though she is very pretty and thin) she ran our office like the it was a Nazi death camp! Hmmmm????????

  • Winston

    Too American

  • MommaDuck

    @kim (104): It’s hard to know how to act around someone who suffers from severe depression. What I can tell you is what I don’t like to hear…obviously snap out of it, cheer up. But what did help me is when loved ones would just say I love you, I understand, what can I do to help? Every sufferer is different and you really just have to love the person and be encouraging.

  • applesaucebitch

    spooky… i watched ‘diving bell and the butterfly’ just last night

  • ezmm

    Frida did not have polio…or any other disease
    she was the victim of a horrible bus accident where a metal tube punctured her body, severing her uterus and causing severe back injuries.

  • Shagrat

    Cosmo 312 (96) – You make an excellent point: Non-Aspies or Auties who maintain that they ARE and that their condition gives them an excuse to be rude or arrogant are, as you say disappointing.

    The genuine article would never use it as an excuse to be rude or behave badly – in fact, quite the opposite; they usually regret that they have behaved badly because of their condition. Of course there are those whose level of function may preclude the feelings of regret; but that, too, is simply their condition and not an excuse per se.

    The person you exemplified is simply taking advantage of a condition which confers social awkwardness and innate apparent rudeness to BE rude and arrogant simply because that’s what he prefers to be – he’s NOT an Aspie.

    That said – Aspies CAN learn to make eye contact if they constantly remind themselves to do so. I often do not make eye contact (I simply find making eye contact in a one-on-one conversation REALLY awkward and intimidating for me – I get really self-conscious and my words falter and dry up. Also, Aspies can speak confidently (and if they are talking about a personal obsession, will do so ad infinitum, ad nauseam – – – and VERY confidently! I am a teacher by profession, and have had other jobs where speaking in public was a necessity – in fact i currently deliver workplace sessions on skin cancer to groups all over Victoria here in Australia and can speak confidently and well – because I am passionate about the topic and I know my material: the fact that there are multiple people in my ‘audiences’ makes it easier because I DON’T have to make individual eye contact!

    However, despite my own situation, I agree with yours – that those who aren’t but claim they are – just so they can indulge themselves are simply crass.

    Finally – Aspies and Auties who are aware of their condition (as I am) do not consider their condition a Mental Disorder. It’s a DEVELOPmental one.

    Lastly Romerozombie – are you a moron? Anne frank was the female Jewish diarist who died in Auschwitz during World War 2 as a part of the Holocaust – – – NOT the blind/deaf exemplar of No.#1 on this list.

  • Mabel

    Very good list. I especially like Helen Keller; we learned about her in school as kids, but I didn’t know until I got to college and took a class on Mark Twain that he was a great admirer of hers. He thought her writing was “electric.”

  • CandJ

    I hate to be a know-it-all but Anne Frank actually died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

  • macph

    Jason becker should be here. Jean Bauby is entirely pwned by Jason Becker. why? while bauby is busy constructing words, becker with his als is composing music without playing his guitar. well, just my 2 cents…

  • Maggot

    @ezmm (115): Frida did not have polio…or any other disease

    A quick google search finds sources all over the web mentioning both her polio at an early age and also spina bifida, though the latter is often described as “conjectured” or “undiagnosed”.

    she was the victim of a horrible bus accident where a metal tube punctured her body, severing her uterus and causing severe back injuries.

    Yes, that too. It was while convalescing from this accident that she began to paint, and it seems more so that it was her resultant mental pain and anguish that inspired most if not all of her works. The list entry could’ve gone into this a little more, and unfortunately doesn’t mention the accident at all. Though it does say “she recovered from her injuries” in passing…an erroneous editing omission perhaps?

  • porkido

    Not only is this just cut-and-pasted from Wikipedia, but the Frida Kahlo entry doesn’t even mention the horrific bus accident, which was the cause of much of her suffering.


    (no pun intended)

  • Hogarth

    @Cosmo312 (96):

    Interesting that a number of mindless fascist puppets on here are deriding Gary MacKinnon simply because they, with their obvious psychological training and psychic powers, cannot see the symptoms of the disorder he has been medically diagnosed with. Curious that they condemn him for what he is doing to the mentally-ill, rather than condemning the disgusting way in which the American government is treating him. He is a mentally-ill computer nerd who, through the obsessive behaviour common to the autistic (Asperger’s being in the Autistic spectrum of disorders) hacked into Pentagon computers looking for information on Area 51 and UFOs. The reaction of the USA is to condemn him as a terrorist and threaten to jail him for the rest of his life. And you smug, arrogant bastards giggle behind your hands at his foolishness simply because you were “disappointed” that you tuned in to an interview with him and weren’t treated to an Aspie freak show? You make me sick.

  • timmy the dying boy

    Interesting list, one quibble though. Beethoven’s deafness was a very gradual thing; he was stone deaf for only about the last eight years of his life. You can really hear this in the music, as he became more deaf, the middle range went first, so there’s a period in which he emphasizes the high and low registers. This is most apparent in his piano music.

  • Anonymous

    #10 – I used to watch Sudha Chandran act in K Street Pali Hill (a [poorly] ended TV drama series). I had no idea that she’s an amputee.

  • freddo34

    You guys should read about Nick Vujicic – born with no legs and no arms and still doing absolutely amazing things – you can see clips of him on youtube

  • Glenn

    It’s shameful that no one mentioned Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Being confined to a wheelchair with polio is sad enough but to also have to contend with a crippling global depression and then World War 2 makes the experience that much more exacerbating. From the same era it should be noted that Winston Churchill was a sufferer of severe depression and it doesn’t help when your country is being pounded into dust while your citizens expect you to keep everyone’s hopes alive. The only problem with the depression issue is seperating the ones who suffer from a bona fide mood disorder from those who have a personality disorder. The former are trapped in something that always feels bleak even when things are going splendidly while the latter only goes into a funk when things aren’t going their way. The former needs compassionate encouragment bereft of medication. The latter needs a kick in the ass and told to grow the fuck up.

  • Vera Lynn

    Wilma Rudolf? She was premature and later contracted polio. She was the youngest, or one of the youngest of 22 kids (Yikes!) Went on to run as a sprinter in the Olympics. Unbelievable!!

  • hunter

    #5 picture – It’s Hyde from That 70s Show!

  • Samzilla

    @romerozombie (33): I;m pretty sure he’s refrencing an episode of “Arrested Development” where Gob keeps mistaking Anne Frank for Helen Keller

  • msulli222

    @ qwerty – Depression- real, clinical depression- is not something you can say “been there, done that” about. There are really, really bad times that sufferers of depression recover from, but apart from those, each day without depression is a small daily struggle. Eventually you get used to it, and the little daily battles don’t seem so difficult or monumental anymore. Often, they’re hardly even notable. Suicidal thoughts come to mind for no reason, but it gets easier to dismiss them with practice and determination that you pull from who-knows-where. Those thoughts are not unusual and usually occur daily. But, if you let yourself fall to that black place just once, it can take days, weeks, or months to recover from it.
    So, if you have had depression that you have just snapped out of to the point where you can say “been there, done that”, to the point where it is not still a part of your life, you were not suffering from clinical depression- which is defined by a chemical imbalance in the brain. However, if I have misunderstood the intent of your statement, and depression is still a daily struggle for you, please understand that it is harder for some people than others.

  • gothic

    Where in the world is the ‘8th Wonder of the world’? I’m talking about Stevie Wonder?

  • bombom

    i’m not challenging van gogh’s depression, but didn’t he have epilepsy too?

  • MItchellbob

    Da vinci definitely shouldve been on there. what with dyslexia and ectrodactyly, he easily tops van goh

  • Spud

    What? No Marlee Matlin? Oscar winner, Golden Globe winner, 4 time Emmy Award nominee, one of the early supporters for closed captioning in the US..who is Deaf SHOULD BE on this list!

  • tiktikhappy

    Thank you All for appreciating the list. This is my first list which is published on the Listverse.

    Some of the comments were like this is a “Copy/paste from Wikipedia” or its “Too American”. A little explanation. Yes most of the material is used from Wikipedia as well as some other sites as I did not knew their history completly. As far as this list being “Too American” I never intended to do on purpose. By the way I am Indian.

    Thanks All again
    Sunil Pawar

  • Shagrat

    CandJ (118) – you are absolutely correct: apologies for the brain-fade……… bad!

    gothic (131) – or Ray Charles! There are several others as well but they escape me.

    However, if we’re gonna name blind muso’s then there is an Australian Aboriginal (I’m sorry, I don’t recall his name) who is blind and partially deaf who found an old guitar lying on a tip (city dump for our American brethren – and sistren). He took it home and tuned it up by ear and then taught himself to play it. OOPS! – Meant to mention – he’s also left handed which means he not only taught himself to play guitar despite being blind and partially deaf – – – he also had to learn it upside down because it was strung for a right-handed player when he found it and so he left it that way!!! Pretty damn impressive.

    He’s released a couple of albums too – as well as having accompanied several very big Country stars out here and Yothu Yindi; a band made up of indigenous members who paly songs based around indigenous themes.

  • @MagpieMagic (108): Nevermind. Just re-read the list and saw that it says its very rare. My bad
    Yes, for the very rare neurological diseases/syndromes, there is very little to no research being done on them. Too few people suffer from them for it to be financially feasible.
    I should know. My disease only affects 1:1,700,000. No one is rushing to find a cure.

  • failblog

    this list is an epic fail

  • DoomSai

    I have clinical depression. Some of you should be grateful to not have it.

  • MagpieMagic

    segues (137)- Says alot for humans compassionate nature when something has to be financially feasible before its worth helping to ease someones suffering

  • what an inspiring persons..

  • Tarachowski

    Great list! My bf has recently been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and it’s always nice to hear of a success story :) x

  • Cosmo312

    @tripsyman (97): I know they can be hard to spot, but alot of people simply do not have any of the symptoms – I used to work around mentally disabled people, and i really do understand how it can be difficult to spot if someone has a problem, but – you just cant show behaviours entirely contrary to what is associated with the disease.

  • Cosmo312

    @Hogarth (122): The jaim time the Americans want is unfair, thats indeniable, but – am i supposed to expect that I can watch him on the TV, talking more confidently, and maintaining eye contact, as well as other signs, BETTER than many people who dont even have the disease. Then what, does he go home, then suddenly turn into some obsessive, socially reclusive wreck? I sympathise with Mckinnon, dont get me wrong, he did something totally idiotic, but doesnt deserve the treatment he will get from the americans. But he should stop trying to explain that his actions were because of a mental illness i personally dont think he has, and if he does have it, it will be to such a small degree that his inability to control it deserves no sympathy, considering there are people with far more severe mental illnesses who can control it fine and live perfectly normal lives.

  • Bobby

    One that was missed is the violinist from Central America(Nicaragua i think) who plays with his feet. He has no arms. He should be at 9 or 10.

  • Hogarth

    @Cosmo312 (144):

    “he should stop trying to explain that his actions were because of a mental illness i personally dont think he has”

    I totally agree, your opinion is worth more than that of a doctor’s and he should stop fighting the illegal way he is being treated because you don’t want him to.

    Jesus fucking Christ. Why don’t you go and learn more about what McKinnon actually did, how much obsession went into it, and what Asperger’s syndrome is, then come back and we’ll discuss it further. Because right now I feel like I’m talking to someone who coulldn’t find their arse with both hands.

  • Lifeschool

    Thank you guys for your kind responses.

    Reading back over my old diaries, I can see life has changed in so many ways since. It’s amazing really; to look back and see the road leading way into the distance. I was in a very gloomy mood this week until today – reading how bad it was then – It will never be like that again!

    My diaries are actually online – from 2001 to 2004 (the ‘limbo’ period after the big breakdown). They seem to be written with a hopeful air – and although what was actually happening was far from happy, all the bad seems to have been glossed over – probably for the better. It’s also riddled like hell with grammer errors! – so I’m too embarraced to give out the link, but you could always email me for it if you’re a psych student or an avid diary reader.

  • @MagpieMagic (140): The pharma’s don’t research just for the fun of it. There’s too much money to be made.
    OTOH, I benefit from the pharma’s, too. I take their drugs (many, many drugs) to mask the horrific pain I would otherwise be living with.
    So it’s a six of one, half a dozen of the other. I’m incurable, but not dying. I’ll live a normal life-span in this condition…unless I get tired of living a life on opiates. At least, then, I’ll have a quick way out.

  • nalp09

    This is indeed inspiring! There is no limit to what one can achieve if one makes up one’s mind to achieve!

  • Casualreader

    Four thoughts.

    1) When I was a kid, every Chrismas we used to get a charity request to buy cards froma disabled group called the Foot and Mouth painters. (Unfortunate that the disease of livestock is also called foot and mouth). Perhaps all who painted for that charity should be in here collectively as a number.

    2) Robert Schumann deserves a place right alongside Van Goch. His problems and life-trajectory (except that he married and had kids) are almost identical, including final years in an asylum and approximate year of death.

    3) Lance Armstrong often appears to be disliked by much of the cycling fraternity, with or without good reason for all I know. But he should be right up on this list. Why? Because he had a major near-terminal cancer while a young man and went on to be multiple winner of the Tour de France, one of the toughest physical competitions in the world. Most of the disabilitis listed here are either rare or relatively non life-threatening, therefore people admire rather than relate to their protagonists. With due respect to those who have posted above, the depressive illness suffers listed did not overcome their adversity, they lived brilliant lives despite it, and were often its victims finally. Potentially deadly cancer is far more commonplace among the young. Several at school or in the neighbourhood I knew or knew of when young died from one type or another. Its diagnosis alone must also be unbelievably traumatic, and could easily lead to chronic shock and loss of the will to fight back and live. For that I consider Armstrong is the outstanding example. His autobiography: It’s Not About the Bike.

    4)It occurs to me that the most logical ordering would be a combination of how near to birth the disability struck with full impact, how severe it is/was in terms of living a full and normal life, and how closely it affects or affected the activity of the person concerned. Clearly the achievement of the sufferer compared with equivalents in full health counts, but I would say only relatively. For example for a near-blind person with a superb physique to be a world champion runner would not compare with a limbless person climbing Mount Everst, even though the latter took a hundred times longer than an average regular alpinist. NB. I’ve a vague memory a disabled person has made it up Everest. Anyone?

  • Cosmo312

    @Hogarth (146): I dont mean that, i think he should fight all he can, but if he has aspergers, he has it to a very mild degree, and i have worked with people with mental illnesses and seen people with aspergers, and comparing his behaviour to people i have seen with aspergers, he must have it very mildly. I know he was diagnosed with the disorder by an experienced doctor as being somewhere on the autism “spectrum”, but there just has to come a time when you say “you’re not mentally ill, youre just unusual”. And I am not the only person to think this by the way – there’s a large body of doctors with the same opinion, who would not diagnose someone as mentally ill where another doctor would, so perhaps you should take into account why none of those particular doctors was called to diagnose him.

    Actually, the test the doctor who diagnosed him used was invented by the doctor himself (he used “Empathizing–systemizing theory”), and has received much criticism from other doctors, including criticism that it can diagnose someone as being on the autism spectrum when they merely have a different cognative style. So no, I am not the only person who thinks this – not by a long way.

    Anyway, ignoring what i think of him from my experience of mentally ill people, aspergers is not an excuse to break the law. It should be taken into account where possible, but the idea that someone with such a mild form of aspergers, and a grown man aswell, is not responsible for his actions because of aspergers – well, thats just insulting to all the people with more severe forms of aspergers and who manage to lead normal lives and, incredibly, dont break the law at all.

  • @Casualreader (150):…1) When I was a kid, every Chrismas we used to get a charity request to buy cards from a disabled group called the Foot and Mouth painters….
    Casualreader, while your post is truly on point, and more poignant than half the drivel above it, II have to confess that your number 1 set me to laughing.
    I misread “Foot and Mouth” as Foot in Mouth. Through my intense laughing jag, I had the thought, “Who makes a charity for people who always have their foot in their mouth?”, bringing on another laughing jag.
    What an unintended day brightener!
    Best comment, and a laff-a-minute. Who could ask for anything more?

  • Casualreader

    segues @ 152,

    Ah me, I’ve expended all my limitless and considerable powers to make people wet themselves over at astraya’s guillotined penile site and it happens here all unintended like. That’s life for you. Write, and the world laughs at you. Well, I’ve spread a little joy and happiness (even if it should have been happenis), and that’s the main thing.

  • Casualreader

    P.S. I wrote an addition to my 150 (4) noting I’d left out the physical pain and mental anguish factor. Either I made a cock up and didn’t post it, or it got lost in transit. There was nothing in it to warrant censorship.
    That’s it. I’m not going to try to repeat the entire post.

  • danieller

    you spelled helen keller wrong!

  • Georgia

    what about rainman!
    rain man was the best!

  • G

    I’m about to get my MD, and I’ve seen my share of psych patients, because I find mental illness very interesting, not only because it’s interesting in itself, but because of the amount of suffering it can cause to the patient and to the people who surround him or her, and that can be alleviated with proper treatment and counselling. Besides, many doctors dislike dealing with psych patients even when they have something medical, so I think I’m going to see many more in the future, referred from colleagues and such. Discrimination goes that far.
    It’s crushing to see people who suffer from major depression or bipolar disorder devastated because they think they should be able to “just get over it” themselves, without medication or therapy, and feeling guilty about the way they feel, or, in the case of bipolars, sometimes about things they did while in a manic state, in which judgement can be seriously impaired. These people sometimes lose friends, spouses and even their families before getting treatment, because many times they don’t realise what’s going on, or they don’t seek help until they’re desperate or someone gets it for them.
    Of course, there are degrees of severity in mood disorders. People who suffer from severe depression can die because they stop feeding. Their depression is so deep that they stop moving at all. Bipolars are highly suicidal, because they are more likely to take action when they’re desperate.
    These two are chronic diseases, things people have to deal with until they die. Sometimes they don’t respond to treatment, or only respond to electro shock therapy, which they have to have about every month to remain functional. Sometimes they have to take medication that has horrible side effects, like severe acute immune depression, or a Parkinsonian syndrome.
    Anyone can be depressed, and sometimes it is proper to medicate such individuals, but it’s not the same as having a serious chronic mood disorder. Just because you’ve been given anti depressants at some point in your life you can’t say that “you know what it’s like”. Be careful.
    Please, try to show some empathy. Don’t be arrogant. It’s easy to go through life labelling others because they’re sick, or thinking you’re better than them because you had better luck in medical lottery.
    Oh, I’d put Friedrich Nietzsche somewhere in that list. No one knows what he suffered from (the syphilis theory has elicited reluctance lately, and other various theories have emerged), but he displayed sheer geniality in much of his work. Perhaps I’d switch him for Van Gogh, but well, that’s personal.
    Frida Kahlo had both the polio and a terrible accident, with multiple fractures in her pelvis and her already weakened leg, a spinal fracture and damage to her reproductive organs. I’s astonishing she survived after such injuries. After that, she suffered from chronic pain, miscarriages, and had many surgical interventions, and she had to spend a lot of time in bed, wearing orthopaedic corsets and not being able to move. She had a lot more than polio.
    Well, anyway, very good list. I’m sure we all can come up with more names, but you’ve done a remarkable work, and it’s great to do this type of things against pathology-based discrimination.

  • Hogarth

    @Cosmo312 (151):

    None of that particularly matters – you’re still defending a decision to condemn an innocent man to seventy+ years in prison. Whether you doubt his diagnosis or not, he is being treated unfairly. For what exact purpose do you think he spent months systematically hacking onto the pentagon if not for mental illness? Is he a terrorist?

  • Lisa

    Natalie du Toit stole my heart:

    Du Toit became the first amputee ever to qualify for the Olympics (2008), where she placed 16th in the 10K, “Marathon”, swim.

  • Maximuz04

    @Hogarth (68):
    Now now i didnt say I was ugly, just not hot… lets not attack someones comments by ignoring what I actually said in order to gain sympathy points. I know the definition of depression and I also know that it is considered by experts as a “spiritual condition” one which has no cure because it there is no medical reason for it… But of course you didnt know that
    @YoungAnabaptistRadical (43): Read above comment
    @Moonbeam (61):
    I shouldnt have to repeat myself… read above comment

  • Cosmo312

    @Hogarth (158): He said he was looking fo UFOs and freen energy machines. He presumably liked hacking, people spend long periods of time doing something they really enjoy. I suppose it’s a hobby for him – it’s problem solving, I can see the appeal. I dont think he deserves what the americans want to give him, and if he can get a reduced sentence because of his illness, well, maybe thats for the best. Im just very wary of people using mental illness as an excuse for their actions when it doesnt really add up.

  • Cosmo312

    @G (157): Do doctors really discriminate against mentally ill patients like that? Thats something I wouldnt expect doctors to do, although i suppose dealing with a mentally ill person could be difficult. What kind of medicine are you invloved in, by the way?

  • Hogarth

    @Maximuz04 (160):

    Actually, I have both practical and personal experience dealing with the victims of depression. I also know that nobody except the cranially-ventilated considers it to be a “spiritual disease” (what a load of bollocks) and although there is no catch-all cure for it, it is a fact that there are considered to be numerous possible reasons for it, some of which can be identified and treated and some of which can’t.
    I repeat: what you said was fucking stupid, and the more you add to it, the more fucking stupid you look. Do you enjoy shitting these comments onto the page?

  • Hogarth

    @Cosmo312 (161):

    The level of obsession involved in what he was doing is going beyond the limits of a god-damn “hobby”, and enters into the remit of Asperger’s syndrome (or some form of Autism at least).

  • Mariam67

    To the people who say depression isn’t a disability- it’s a chemical imbalance. It can’t be controlled. Also, I don’t think we should argue over who is more worthy of the no. 1 spot. They are both awesome, and nobody would ever agree about the placement of anybody’s importance, so let’s just let it go. Someone has to be first. It doesn’t mean they are more worthy than everybody else.

  • CanadianEh

    Jean-Do should be number one. His story is truly unbelievable and inspiring. How could anybody do that?!!

  • Spootman

    What about Galileo, he helped create the telescope and retold the way we look at space and the man went blind

  • miss blonde

    Hey Neil, hey I have had depression, as of the majority of people have I guess I don’t believe it is a disability in physical sense. Plus if we would include it as one then the list would be too numerous to number. Believe me your not the only one to have been depressed. It has happen to 95% of the worlds so lets include 10,000 people post of influential people who have been depressed, because the list would then go on forever. What about alcoholism? Is smoking a disability? sex addiction a disability? The list would go for on forever!

  • miss blonde

    Ad for those who calm to say that I don’t know what depression is because I came to to be to common to be on this list, then i wonder how being sexually abuse and self mutilating and drug talking as a teenage felt like? I know I was there!

  • SparSam51

    OK, well I liked the list but I did have some problems with it. I am legally blind and dyslexic and I do not consider myself disabled in any way, shape, or form of the word. So I hope that this comment-> “You also missed Leonardo da Vinci who had dyslexia.” by haxor, is just him trolling. Ya it was a bitch to overcome those obstacles, but it never stopped me from becoming a fully functioning member of society; and I’m actually kind of pissed that Marla Runyan was even allowed to participate in the Special Olympics when she had 20/400 vision (I have 20/600 and played football in high school). Basically the point I’m driving at is you can’t use disabilities as an excuse (at least in regards to the ones I have and know something about) to stop you from succeeding in life and it quite frankly bothers me when people consider the crap I was born with as a disability and try and say that I or anyone else who has these things happen to them is somehow deserving of a handout over “normal” people. (Again I’m only talking about the “disabilities” I have had personal experience with.)

    Sorry for the rant but this stuff is extremely relevant and personal to me.

  • signe

    @Casualreader (150): I know there is a lot of focus on Lance Armstrong but I actually think that Tyler Hamilton’s story is even more impressiv: in a ski accident he broke his back and was told he would never walk again. He went on to win Liège-Bastogne-Liègè, Tour de Romandie, Dauphiné Libéré and stages in Tour de France and Giro d’Italia!!!

  • G

    @blondegirl: Being depressive is not the same thing as having been depressed at one point of your life. Different things, different problems, different prevalence. People suffering from chronic depression as a serious mood disorder are far for 95% of the world’s population. Keep that in mind.
    @Cosmo: Some doctors don’t like psychiatry, some of them even hate it and they prefer not to go near any patients’ emotional problems. It’s narrow minded and stubborn from them, if you ask me, but there’s always a fraction of a group that will choose to be anachronistic and go against what everyone else says. On the other hand, you’re right, it’s hard to deal with psych patients with physical complaints, especially if they are the type that goes to see the doctor every week with a new symptom and will reject considering any of the recommendations you offer. Those patients are likely to go “doctor shopping”, too, so they almost never get to have a good relationship with any physician, thus making follow up and correct treatment and counselling impossible. Anyhow, there’s a lot of people working on it, and medical education is improving in the sense that it’s bringing those things into account. Better times are coming, that way.
    I haven’t graduated yet, so I’m just here and there. Most of the things I learned about this in particular came from my psych and family medicine rotations, but I’m also in the general hospital, and in other specialities in which psychology is very important. I’m trying to integrate knowledge. I’ll probably end up in family medicine, but I haven’t made up my mind completely yet.
    @Maximuz: It’s funny I haven’t heard any experts call depression a “spiritual condition”. Perhaps my definition of an “expert” differs from yours. To me, an expert is a psychologist or a psychiatry university professor, or someone like that. Who’s an expert to you? I think you are the one who has no idea of what he’s talking about, and I hate to brag, but I am the one that attended medical school, not you, so kiss it, punk. Go visit a plastic surgeon, because your face may have an opportunity… Your brain clearly doesn’t, and you’ve just supplied all of us with hard evidence of that.
    @Everyone: Sorry for the grammar and some of the tone of the comments, and all but I’m not a native English speaker, and I’m in a terrible rush. Good luck to all of you with everything!

  • G

    I meant “People suffering from chronic depression as a serious mood disorder are a lot less than 95% of the world’s population”, sorry.

  • Maggot

    @Spootman (167): What about Galileo, he helped create the telescope and retold the way we look at space and the man went blind

    His blindness came very late in life, during his final years. All of his “extraordinary” achievements were accomplished prior to this disability, which means he doesn’t fit the criteria for this list.

  • @Casualreader (153):..”even if it should have been happenis”
    Happenis is a family joke! I was so startled to read it here you can’t imagine…now I have to wonder if you’re one of my relatives…Oh! Is there no hiding from them?
    @G (172):..Some doctors don’t like psychiatry, some of them even hate it and they prefer not to go near any patients’ emotional problems.
    Sometimes even Psychiatrists aren’t all that eager to interact with patients emotional problems.
    I’m not making a joke. During a particularly dark time in my life, I was assigned to a Psychiatrist who really wanted to do nothing but write scripts and get to the next patient. Her attitude was that psychologists were put on the earth to talk, she had earned an MD so she didn’t have to.
    Talk about poor career choices!

  • Mike

    Incredible list! I saw a documentary on Vincent Van Gogh that proposed the theory that he might have also suffered from epilepsy.

  • Punjab

    awesome list! would’ve loved to see King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem on here, he kicked Saladin’s ass all while having leprosy, buuut that’s okay. :D Keller def. deserves #1 spot, she’s pretty cool.

  • Casualreader

    segues @ 175,

    Happenis was engendered as a ‘thought pun’ in my own filthy mind so long ago, I can’t remember when. However, I can report that ‘Happenis, will travel’ is it’s ultimate evolution (to date).

  • Casualreader

    signe @ 171,

    TWO (excuse caps) pro racing cyclists competing for a place on this list, if not left out, including on sheer achievement in direct comparison with their non-disabled contemporaries. That truly is pretty remarkable

  • segues

    @Casualreader (178): The penis of someone you love, properly applied for mutual pleasure, is always a “Happiness”!

  • krypto092108

    @segues (175): No Kidding!
    I’ve had therapists who were like that…
    I’ve had nothing but problems since having been to the primary and secondary schools I was in…

    But that’s beside the point. The drip you described, is the type of therapist I was unlucky enough to get…

  • @Casualreader (154):…Either I made a cock up and didn’t post it…
    wouldn’t that be considered pornography?
    ~ ~ ~
    tsk tsk ..cock up… tsk tsk

  • @krypto092108 (181): Ah, yes, they seem to abound.
    I finally did get a good one, but he limited his practice to seeing patience to a maximum of four visits.
    His reasoning? If he couldn’t “cure”you of whatever ailed you, continuing on was a waste of your money and his time. I saw him once. He did, in fact, get to the root of one of my main problems and release me from it. It has not touched my life again, and this was three years ago.

  • Am I being censored?

  • me

    The Frida Kahlo section is incredibly wrong…On September 17, 1925, Kahlo was riding in a bus when the vehicle collided with a trolley car. She suffered serious injuries in the accident, including a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder, an iron handrail also pierced her abdomen and her uterus…
    THIS caused the incredible pain… not the polio!

  • Casualreader

    segues @ 182,

    Wow! You have just accused my staid and dignified dictionary – available at every public library over the counter sans nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean – of pornography!

    Oh deary me. Here we go then:

    – Cock-up, n. (typog.). Initial letter much taller than the rest. [see ‘cock’, 2nd meaning] –

    With a plead of innocent as a babe, I rest my case.

  • Casualreader

    Re what should be and yet may be my 186:

    Guilty until proven innocent, eh? Who’s in charge here, the Iranian ruling party?

    OK. I’m patient, I can wait for the inevitable just verdick.

  • Casualreader

    To save confusion, I meant my earlier (temporarily) censored 186.

    It contained the 4-letter c-word, the most vile, filthy combination of letters in both standard, American, and for all I know, all other English. But perhaps not the c-word that description may immediately call to mind.

  • Casualreader

    “See, oh see Kay!”

  • Casualreader

    As somebody once remarked laconically about somewhere,

    “I shall return”

    Wasn’t Julius Ceasar, was it?

    No, that was “Veni, vidi, vinci”, or something.

    I’ll make it that too.

    segues @ 182: Watch these spaces.

  • Casualreader

    All is forgiven

  • Cyn

    @casual reader –
    would you chill out please? :) you should know by now certain words will kick comments to the curb. good for you i happened by or those comments would still be there. which btw…i do mean happened by. you might not luck out next time. got it? some folks either don’t pay close attention, have the time or the inclination to keep up w/ those kinda chores. so you best self censor accordingly. :)

  • CandJ

    I’m not sure about the rest of you guys but most people I know are more offended by that other c-word(c*nt),c*ck is really no big deal.

  • Casualreader

    @ 192 & 193,

    It’s all there at 193. The female sex-specific c-word has no other meaning. The only word-play available is to disguise it as another similar-ended 4-letter word or Spoonerise it as with the girl group the Cunning Stunts. It is not possible to use it in ‘polite’ or sensitive society, or in front of (most) children.

    The male sex-specific c-word has innumerable commonplace and acceptable everyday applications that wouldn’t move a hair of your maiden aunt, the vicar, or the lady in charge of the toddlers’ play school. My dictionary offers about 26 varied basic uses for it alone or hyphenated. The vicar could even quote it from the Bible in his Sunday sermon. Remember something about it crowing thrice when Peter betrayed Jesus? Now pray explain to me how he might introduce the other word (in public) in church.

    Imagine a straw poll anywhere on which was the least socially acceptable or more offensive when used insultingly. The result would be predictable and most probably 100%. Would you bet real money against that? And that’s the big problem here, one just uses the dictionary word automatically, without a thought for censorship until, dammit, the Submit fails. So it’s become a standard site pratfall. But fun though.

    -a-doodle-doo from chilly me.

  • astraya

    “What is it you can’t face?” (in a Yorkshire accent)????

  • astraya

    Thoughts about happenis:

    Happenis arises in a state of peace, not of tumult.
    Ann Radcliffe

    The pursuit of happenis is a most ridiculous phrase; if you pursue happenis you’ll never find it.
    C. P. Snow

    A lifetime of happenis! No man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth.
    George Bernard Shaw

    To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happenis.
    Gustave Flaubert

    The foolish man seeks happenis in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.
    James Oppenheim

    Seek not happenis too greedily, and be not fearful of happenis.

    I’ve decided that the key to happenis is low expectations.
    Laura Moncur

    One of the keys to happenis is a bad memory.
    Rita Mae Brown

    Happenis makes up in height for what it lacks in length.
    Robert Frost

  • @astraya (195): I’m usually pretty good at putting on accents (you had to be to survive in my family!), but I could get through your
    ““What is it you can’t face?” (in a Yorkshire accent)????” without bursting into bouts of uncontrollable laughter…at 1:13 a.m.!

  • @Casualreader (190): @Casualreader (190): As somebody once remarked laconically about somewhere, “I shall return”
    Is that a promise?

  • Casualreader

    segues @ 198

    “In statements (and exclamations):

    – shall is used after I or we to indicate future time;

    – will is used after I or we to indicate determination, intention, a promise, an assurance and the like; …”

    It has always struck me that while grammatically correct and an impeccable forecast, MacArthur chose the wrong word for that historic moment. To really convince the Philippines inhabitants and scare shit out of the Japanese Imperial High Command there and then, he ought to have employed the emphatic “will”.

    Churchill’s “We shall fight them on the beaches …”, on the other hand, was immaculately correct (as you might expect) because although no less full of determination, intention, promise and assurance, it was overridingly conditional and dependent. Churchill had no intention that future events would reach that stage, and nor did they!

    NB In contrast “Veni, vidi, vici” signifies you’ve done it all and don’t need to return except to repress with utter savage brutality any attempted uprisings by the natives. Q.E.D.

    PS to @ 190. Leonardo da occasionally does get mixed up with J.C.’s “vici”, even in the best of circles. Sorry.

  • Maggot

    @astraya (196): Thoughts about happenis

    You forgot:

    Happenis is a Warm Gun
    John Lennon

  • astraya

    No, I didn’t “forget”. It wasn’t on the list of quotations I found on the internet, and I don’t otherwise know it. I was thinking about adding, but I didn’t, the Peanuts “Happenis is a warm puppy”, though.

  • Casualreader

    astraya @ 196

    One might point out a phallusy or two among your happenis quotations, but that would surely be a bit hard on you.

  • astraya

    I am slightly prone to mild depressive tendencies, and happenis is sometimes very hard for me to come by.

  • Casualreader

    astraya @ 203

    If I chill out (see 192), will you soften up, you big stiff?

  • astraya

    If you chill out, I’ll have to ass out!

  • vineshv1

    wow…..grt8 list!!! hawkings should be 1st!!!

  • Casualreader

    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s … wife, … nor his ass …

  • Casualreader

    If this appears, at least I don’t have the disability of not being able to have my say … as looked possible.

  • Casualreader

    Ahhhhhhhhhh, back on air! It was obviously something to do with the household’s other p.c.

  • Casualreader

    Out of interest @ 206:

    What are your grounds for considering hawkings should be placed ahead of kellers, or even nashs? (Or should that be gnashes?)

  • I think Beethoven or Van Gogh deseve first place…

  • archangel

    awww. heartwarming list.

  • Pieter

    You forgot one very big one:

    Django Reinhardt.

    One of the best guitar players ever. When he was 18 years old, a big part of his body and 3 of his 5 fingers on his left hand were badly injured and disabled in a fire. Doctors thought he would never be able to play guitar again.

  • Thirteen

    Deafness is not a "disability", sorry. If you have ever been exposed to the Deaf community, you know they are not diabled. Their lives are not hindered or halted because they cannot hear. They live normal lives. Depression is not a disability either, so I can hardly say that it can be on this list. And for anybody who said Helen Keller was mute is incorrect. She could easily make vocal sounds, she didn't have a problem. Being Deaf doesn't make you "mute". Mute just means you cannot speak. Being Deaf means you cannot hear, and you CAN make sounds when you are Deaf. I am a Deaf person and find some of this incorrect to the max.

  • Strembop

    heartwarming, really. Thirteen – Van Gogh was nuts with depression. He killed himself at 37, chopped off his own ear, and as well as this was thought little of in his time. He was disabled, and nash was schizophrenic.

  • 34E

    Terry Fox should have made it on this list instead of the Indian dancer. He is a legend and his cause raises millions a year.

  • Sherjeel

    nice post …. its not a spam though.. but plz visit my site once.

  • olivia

    super list they are really extraodinary &they deserves in the top 10 list

  • monika

    Rreally they are good

  • Meh

    Wow, i was expecting Leonard Euler as number 1.

  • Noah

    Love that people can’t believe Hawkings isn’t number one.
    People fail to understand what an accomplishment it is to teach a blind and deaf young girl how to communicate.
    You’re all sad people.

  • veryBadDay

    To all the ‘depression isn’t a disability’ people, I’d just like to ask how many times you have considered or attempted suicide? Feeling slightly down about something for a few days or weeks is something every human gets. However years of pain and thoughts convincing yourself that the world would be a better place without you in it is NOT something that any sane human would consider.

    You can distract yourself or manage depression with drugs and counseling, but the telltale sign of clinical depression is its inevitable return, an aspect of the disease that only serves to compound the hopeless mood.

    If you think that living every hour of your existence with the thoughts that you’ll never be loved by a partner, or have an emotionally stable life, or be a success in your professional life and financially secure is something you can just snap out of then you have simply do not nor have ever had depression.

    I hear people say they wouldn’t wish it on anyone, I’m not so generous. I would love anyone speaking out about how it is attention seeking or an excuse to experience it. If i wasnt so paranoid I might even hint at taking a few of you with me when I go.

  • Disabled Schools

    i really enjoyed reading you blog because it is really inspiring and gives great examples of things you can achieve with or without a disability.

  • dhira_bieber

    verry good

  • aini fajrin

    when there is awill there is a way

  • tie atiekah

    what a great people

  • deshmi

    really inspiring and interesting! i think u should nick vujicic to your list. At birth itself, he was limbless, missing both arms at shoulder level, as well as legless. His feet were toeless except for two toes on one foot. He is a preacher and a motivational speaker. Vujicic graduated from Griffith University at the age of 21 with a double major in Accounting and Financial Planning. He has also acted in a film. HE IS AWESOME!
    It would be worth it to read about him in wikipedia.

  • Raj

    I think that hawking is no.1 because mnd(ALS) is such type of disease that make a person paralyze.but he has fight with that disease and also he is an exceptional case of that disease,As mnd patient do not alive more than 2-5 years.

  • Raj

    Nice list…In this list all are Awesome but I think that hawking is no.1 because mnd(ALS) is such type of disease that make a person paralyze.but he has fight with that disease and also he is an exceptional case of that disease,As mnd patient do not alive more than 2-5 years.

  • mike

    It just shows you what can be done with a positive attitude.

  • MBerg

    The fact that Terry Fox is not on this list is a travesty. The man ran halfway across Canada with only one leg (and a prosthheetic). John Nash? really? He was a brilliant mathematician, but having schizophrenia did not diminish his mathematics skills. He was mathematician who just happened to have schizophrenia. Terry Fox’s disability affected his ability to run across the second largest country in the world. And he did it anyway.

  • Peter Kikomeko

    I think you also missed a Mother ( parent)

  • Vlad

    How about Mile Stojkoski that runs thousands of miles of marathons for charity?

  • Exceptional People

    You’re missing Katie Lieb the girl from Pittsburgh who was selected over Steven Hawking for the first Dynavox Courage Award! She has cerebral palsy and doctors tried to shut off her life support at birth and allow her to die. Today she is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and has been on television, billboards, radio etc….A truly remarkable young lady and an inspiration to many people.

  • ankur

    awesum article….
    i hv been motivated to enlarge my abilities.
    visit at for more such inspirational thoughts…..

  • mr robot wow

    Its such as you learn my mind! You appear to grasp a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the book in it or something. I believe that you could do with a few p.c. to force the message home a bit, however other than that, this is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  • sophie raquel valverde sanchez

    me parece una bna pagina muy muy interesante apredi muchisimo los felicito!! :D

  • muskan

    really interesting. helped me a lot in my project

  • vivek gupta

    this is the best example of those people who are depressed and frustrated upon himself and an inspiration that they can make self-respect for themselves despite physical and mental illness.

  • sanyatanya

    wow…these people are amazing and extraodinary toooo…..

  • goutham

    inspiring list



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  • uday

    inspiring list for able and challenged pesron

  • malika

    may god bless them if they are alive n if nt then may their soul rest in peace

  • ananya rastogi

    very interesting helen kellar’s story…………………………….

  • sobia butt

    graham bell is great

  • sobia butt

    very informative list thank you very much for this

  • niharika


  • yamini

    how much great people they are…….

  • janen

    Hi, I am physically disabled also

  • Elsyfr

    I don’t want to say that Hitler was a good peaceful man or something, but he sure is one of the greatest people in the history, and we all know that he was very sick, he was physically and mentally sick, though he managed to almost conquer the world.