Top Five People Who Overcame Disabilities

Whether someone is born with a disability or develops one later in life, it can be hard to adjust to the challenges of coping with the disability and being seen as different from everyone else. However, many people with disabilities have gone on to do amazing things, many of which are now included in the history books. Here is a look at five people who overcame their disabilities and went on to do great things.

1. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt, the president known for bringing the U.S. out of the Great Depression with the New Deal, suffered paralysis after a bout with polio. Despite his need for a wheelchair, Roosevelt insisted on maintaining a strong image for the American people. He insisted on being upright whenever he gave a speech to give the impression that his paralysis was improving. In fact, Roosevelt suffered from his paralysis his whole life.

2. Ludwig Van Beethoven

This famous composer continued to write and conduct his pieces long after he was deaf; an ambitious endeavor most wouldn't even consider attempting. On top of being deaf, Beethoven also suffered from depression caused by a hard childhood and a life of disappointments. Beethoven wrote of his struggle in his famous 5th symphony.

3. Claudius

Claudius was a Roman emperor who was originally rejected by his family because of a limp and slight deafness caused by an illness he had as a child. Due to his disability, he was removed from public life and his intellectual abilities were unknown to the public. When the rest of his family was killed, but he was spared because he was deemed to not be a threat, Claudius became emperor. Despite his lack of experience, Claudius proved to be an able and efficient administrator. He was also an ambitious builder, constructing many new roads, aqueducts, and canals across the Empire.

4. Aron Lee Ralston

Ralston's disability is unique in that he lost his right arm to a self-amputation. He was hiking when a boulder trapped his hand. He spent five days trying to escape, and finally in a last will to survive, amputated his arm with a knife. The story inspired a movie, and remarkably Ralston continues to be an avid hiker and rock climber today.