As of February 23, we're $15,800 in the red for the quarter. Donate here to support this vital work
Subscribe here and join the 13,823 subscribers to our free weekly newsletter

Inspiring: People with Disabilities News Stories

Below are key excerpts of inspiring news articles on people with disabilities from reliable news media sources. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.

For further exploration, delve into our Inspiration Center.

Explore our comprehensive news index on a wide variety of fascinating topics.
Explore the top 20 most revealing news media articles we've summarized.
Check out 10 useful approaches for making sense of the media landscape.

Sort articles by: Article Date | Date Posted on WantToKnow.info | Importance

Blind Jazz Sax Teacher Inspires Students to ‘Feel’ Their Instruments, Uses His Disability as Teaching Tool
2024-02-09, Good News Network
Posted: 2024-02-19 21:22:02
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/blind-jazz-sax-teacher-inspires-students-to-f...

From a Tampa performing arts conservatory comes the story of a blind jazz saxophonist who uses his disability as a teaching tool. He encourages his students to act on instinct; to feel the music through their instruments, and not let the waking world deceive them. “Welcome to every day of my life,” says Matthew Weihmuller in his jazz improvisation class after turning the lights off. “Then we have a big laugh,” he adds. When Weihmuller started playing, he needed braille sheet music, and pieces would take months; even years to learn. As if that weren’t difficult enough, few people in the country were capable of providing braille music, so he started “brailling” his own, with the help of his mom. “They can’t look at their instrument. Now, they have to feel their instrument with their fingers and hands, right?” Weihmuller told Fox 13. “Now, we’ve got to listen to the music. We can’t read it. It forces the students to use their other senses.” During improvisational sessions, a musician has to be ready for sudden changes in time signature or key. This is nearly impossible to express through sheet music. At least in this regard, the children are learning in the best way for this unorthodox, yet traditional form of jazz music. As an educator with blindness, Weihmuller stresses turning any disadvantage into an advantage, a teaching philosophy that has led some students to tell the man that he has changed the way they look at life.

Note: Read more inspiring news articles on the power of art. For more, explore our uplifting Inspiration Center, which focuses on solutions and the best of humanity and life.


'Always Seen With a Smile': Dad With No Arms or Legs Raises Two Girls After Their Mom Abandons Them
2023-05-08, Epoch Times
Posted: 2023-12-27 18:39:41
https://www.theepochtimes.com/bright/always-seen-with-a-smile-dad-with-no-arm...

A Paraguayan father of two with no arms or legs found the strength and determination to raise both his girls, despite his limitations, when their mother abandoned them. Pablo Acuña was born with a limb deformity, causing his arms and legs to not grow properly. Yet he's a happy, grateful man who lives in the city of Son Pedro del Parana, Paraguay. At 63 years old, he's a proud father of two daughters in their twenties, whom he has raised since they were babies with the help of his mother, Ignacia del Valle. Although Pablo has suffered from his condition since his birth, he said it has never affected him. Apart from not being able to attend high school and having his parents take care of him, he had a pretty normal childhood. His youngest daughter, Elida, 26, sings his praises for providing a "very nice" childhood despite him not having arms and legs. "I was raised by my dad and grandmother," Elida said. "My dad is incredible. He is a very wonderful person, he is always seen with a smile; never have I seen him depressed." Since Pablo cannot walk, he has used a wooden wheelbarrow as a sitting and sleeping platform for decades. He is known locally as "El Hombre Carretilla," or "The Wheelbarrow Man." According to Elida, Pablo's greatest wish is to own his home. Elida [said] that her family, who "lives for rent," is desperately saving to this end. Since her grandmother turned 93, Elida has returned to the family home ... to help take care of her father.

Note: After reading this article, one man spearheaded a campaign which enabled this amazing dad to buy his own home. Explore more stories like this in our inspiring disabled persons articles archive.


Revolutionary Music Therapy Helps Paralyzed Man Walk and Talk Again – It 'Unlocked the Brain'
2023-04-30, Good News Network
Posted: 2023-07-03 15:34:14
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/music-therapy-helps-paralyzed-man-walk-and-ta...

A patient who was left almost completely paralyzed from a rare disease is now walking and talking again, after a music therapist prescribed mindful listening to his favorite song every night–in this case, a tune by The Carpenters. 71 year-old Ian Palmer was struck down with Guillain-Barr© syndrome last June, forcing him to spend seven months in a hospital where he was unable to walk or speak properly. The rare condition happens when a person's own immune system attacks their body's motor nerves, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. But when Ian was transferred to Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre, a state-of-the-art care unit in Lancashire, England, clinicians used music therapy techniques to overcome 'near total paralysis of his body'. His specialist, Clare, taught him mindfulness techniques using his favorite records–and he began listening to The Carpenters each night. Ian was admittedly skeptical, but he can now walk 2 miles a day (3k) and have conversations with his family after the exercises "opened up" his brain. He's never been very musical, so when Sue Ryder first suggested music therapy he said, 'What good is that going to do?' "I'm a typical Northern man, and I thought, 'What's a girl with a guitar going to do for me–get me to the gym.'" "But it really worked. Clare sat me down and explained the process. I learned that music is very unlike other therapies, as it opens up all of the brain."

Note: Watch a profoundly touching documentary about a man who takes on the broken healthcare system to demonstrate music's ability to heal, combat memory loss, and awaken the soul and the deepest parts of humanity. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The Surprising Role of Blind Women in India's Health Care System
2023-05-18, Reasons to be Cheerful
Posted: 2023-05-22 00:43:43
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/blind-women-detect-breast-cancer-india/

On a sunny March morning in Bengaluru, Ayesha Banu and Noorunnisa walk up to the stage of Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology. Their white canes folded and held aside, they speak to a packed hall of students and teachers about their work as Medical Tactile Examiners (MTEs). "We assist doctors in detecting the early signs of breast cancer in women," Banu speaks into the mic. "Using the first two fingers of both hands, we examine women's breasts for abnormalities." She explains that blind women like herself and Noorunnisa are especially well-suited to this profession because of the "high tactile sense in our fingertips, which helps us find tiny lumps in the breast." Tactile breast examinations, or TBEs, are clinical breast examinations specially designed for blind women trained as MTEs. Employing MTEs for routine breast cancer screening – and reaching women in their communities and workplaces – could help in the early detection of cancer and save lives, says Dr. Poovamma CU, the breast specialist under whom Banu and Noorunnisa work. Studies prove that in the absence of sight, blind people's brains can develop a heightened sense of touch, as well as hearing. Through the MTE training, a woman with vision impairment is able to empower another woman, by offering her preventive health care. In a recent Indian study where two MTEs conducted TBEs on 1,338 women, their success rate of detecting malignant cancers was over 78 percent, and the miss rate, only one percent.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles.


Meet the 'glass-half-full girl' whose brain rewired after losing a hemisphere
2023-03-22, NPR
Posted: 2023-04-02 20:03:08
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/03/22/1165131907/neuroplastici...

In most people, speech and language live in the brain's left hemisphere. Mora Leeb is not most people. When she was 9 months old, surgeons removed the left side of her brain. Yet at 15, Mora plays soccer, tells jokes, gets her nails done, and, in many ways, lives the life of a typical teenager. "I can be described as a glass-half-full girl," she says, pronouncing each word carefully and without inflection. Her slow, cadence-free speech is one sign of a brain that has had to reorganize its language circuits. Yet to a remarkable degree, Mora's right hemisphere has taken on jobs usually done on the left side. It's an extreme version of brain plasticity, the process that allows a brain to modify its connections to adapt to new circumstances. People like Mora represent the upper bounds of human brain plasticity because their brains were radically altered very early in life — a period when the wiring is still a work in progress. During an interview with Mora, both her abilities and deficits were apparent. So was her outgoing personality and curiosity about the world. Mora began by telling me a joke: "How do you make a hot dog stand?" she asks. "You take away its chair." What scientists still want to know is precisely what allowed Mora's brain to rewire so extensively. One thing is clear: Understanding the basis of this sort of extreme plasticity, they say, could help millions of people whose brains are still trying to recover from a stroke, tumor, or traumatic injury. And Mora is helping scientists deepen their understanding, simply by being herself.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles.


Blind man runs New York half marathon with three guide dogs
2019-03-18, BBC News
Posted: 2022-12-18 19:31:48
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47616376

Thomas Panek has completed 20 marathons, however, he made history on Sunday at the New York City Half Marathon. While visually impaired runners usually use human guides, Mr Panek became the first person to complete the race supported by guide dogs. A trio of Labradors - Westley, Waffle and Gus - each accompanied him for a third of the race. The team finished in two hours and 21 minutes. Mr Panek, who lost his sight in his early 20s, told CNN that while he appreciated the support of human volunteers, he missed the feeling of independence. "It never made sense to me to walk out the door and leave my guide dog behind when I love to run and they love to run," he said. "It was just a matter of bucking conventional wisdom and saying why not. In 2015, Mr Panek established the Running Guides programme which trains dogs to support runners. "The bond is really important. You can't just pick up the harness and go for a run with these dogs," Mr Panek told CNN. "You're training with a team no matter what kind of athlete you are, and you want to spend time together in that training camp." Each dog wears a special harness and set of running boots, to protect their paws. Before the race, Mr Panek told Time magazine that guide dogs give visually impaired people the freedom to "do whatever it is a sighted person does, and sometimes, even run a little faster than them".

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles.


Athlete with Down syndrome becomes first to complete the Ironman World Championship
2022-10-08, USA Today
Posted: 2022-12-18 19:30:12
https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2022/10/08/athlete-down-syndrome-first-...

Chris Nikic became the first athlete with Down syndrome to complete the Ironman World Championship when he crossed the finish line during Thursday’s event in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The Ironman involves three events: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run. Nikic finished in 16 hours, 31 minutes and 27 seconds. He completed the swim in one hour, 42 minutes, the bike ride in eight hours, five minutes and the run in six hours and 29 minutes, placing 2,265th out of 2,314 athletes that competed that day. Nikic, who celebrated his 23rd birthday after crossing the finish line with his volunteer guide, accomplished the feat during Down syndrome awareness month. Nikic's perseverance has won him many admirers and his dedication won him the 2021 Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPYs after he became the first person with Down syndrome to finish an Ironman triathlon after completing the Florida Ironman in November 2020. In a video, Nikic explained his motivation in competing in the grueling events. “I rarely saw anyone who looks like me in mainstream sports. And now, we’re changing that,” Nikic said. “Running changed my life, but now I want everyone like me to see it’s possible for them, too.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles.


The inspirational story of how a single mum has toured the world carrying her disabled son on her back - after vowing to give him a life of adventure when she gave birth at 17
2022-01-01, Daily Mail (One of the UK's popular newspapers)
Posted: 2022-09-26 21:54:36
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-10294493/Meet-inspirational-mother...

From Hawaii to Bali and the ski-slopes of Perisher, 26-year-old Jimmy Antram has seen plenty of the world. But it has all been from the vantage point of his mother's back. Fulfilling a promise she made to herself as a 17-year-old first-time mum to give her disabled son the best life she possibly could, Niki Antram has spent years travelling the globe with Jimmy clinging to her shoulders. Jimmy was born with physical and mental disabilities, including blindness, and requires round the clock care from Ms Antram and his support workers. He has a wheelchair, but Ms Antram has never enjoyed using it. She's content to carry him while she's physically able and helps him walk short distances on his own. Incredible photographs taken around the globe show him clinging on as they hike through mountains and rainforests. 'Planning big holidays, I always make sure I have plenty of nappies, clothes, and even bed pads, sheets and pillowcases,' she [said]. Ms Antram plans a meticulous itinerary and calls ahead for every venue she wants to visit - whether it be a restaurant, hotel or daredevil adventure. 'Even if I know we will be okay I like to inform the companies to give them a heads up about us to make sure they understand and are okay with having us there,' she says. Sometimes, they can't accommodate. This is usually because of risks associated with Jimmy's condition or logistical difficulties. Ms Antram said the exception to this was in Hawaii, where 'everyone wanted [Jimmy] to join'.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles.


California man scales Machu Picchu in off-roading wheelchair
2022-01-07, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's Leading Newspaper)
Posted: 2022-09-06 13:47:40
https://www.sfgate.com/california-news/article/California-man-scales-Machu-Pi...

In 2011, [Ropert Kapen] suffered a brain stem stroke that left him paralyzed. Doctors told his family that he had a 1% chance of survival, and that if he lived, he'd likely be in a vegetative state. Kapen beat those odds. His mental faculties were unscathed, and he slowly regained some movement and speech through therapy. Eventually, he was able to communicate, eat, operate a motorized wheelchair and write a book. He had another big dream, too. "Growing up, I fell in love with hiking, being outdoors and the beauty of nature," he says. That was taken away from him for 10 years, Kapen says, but very recently, a new set of wheels has allowed for his return. It's called the AdvenChair [which] recently enabled Kapen to visit Machu Picchu. The orange, "all-terrain" wheelchair is human-powered and designed to help people with mobility challenges to venture into the wild. Its wheels, tires, brakes and handlebars are all premium mountain bike parts, and the large tires and suspension system offer a comfortable ride. Thanks to a versatile system of pulleys, bars and straps, teams of one to five people can assist in navigating the AdvenChair over just about any landscape. "It's rejuvenating to be outside, especially as a person with a disability, because these resources are not exactly the most accessible," [Isaac] Shannon says. "So when there is a tool that allows a person to be able to experience life in the most average way possible, I think it's healing, and it's nice to be out in nature where you're not around people."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of inspiring news articles, including ones specifically on disabled people who have made their mark in our world.


A doctor said he wouldn't live past two, but he just graduated as valedictorian
2021-11-14, Channel News Asia
Posted: 2022-07-11 12:38:54
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/jonathan-tiong-nus-valedictorian-gi...

When Jonathan Tiong was an infant, a neurologist told his parents that he wouldn’t live past the age of two. He was diagnosed with type two spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic condition that causes muscles to become weak and break down. It is also a progressive disease, meaning he has become ... weaker with time. But in October, the same day he turned 24 years old, he was crowned valedictorian for the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Class of 2021, with the equivalent of a first class honours. He has also landed a prestigious job at sovereign wealth fund GIC, where he currently works full-time as an editorial writer. Speaking to CNA in his home, Mr Tiong candidly described himself as “a very plain and average student” throughout university. In his spare time, he immerses himself in the online game Runescape and watches Twitch streams. He regularly pens columns and blogposts, owing to a love of writing sparked in recent years. “I didn't think I’d be valedictorian for the simple reason that I was not a typical valedictorian. I didn't lead a (co-curricular activity), I wasn't the captain of some sports team, that kind of thing. “I studied a lot, got good grades, but so did a lot of other people. So I didn't really feel outstanding.” This is despite the extra challenges he had to grapple with throughout school – namely, fatigue and accessibility in a world mostly built for able-bodied people. Poking fun at NUS’ infamously hilly terrain, Mr Tiong joked that the university is also known as the “National University of Stairs”.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles.


A nonspeaking valedictorian with autism gives her college's commencement speech
2022-05-12, NPR
Posted: 2022-06-26 13:30:35
https://www.npr.org/2022/05/12/1098506522/nonspeaking-valedictorian-autism-co...

She didn't say a word — and that only made her message resonate more powerfully. Valedictorian Elizabeth Bonker recently delivered the commencement speech at Rollins College in Florida, urging her classmates to serve others and embrace the power of sharing. Bonker, who is affected by nonspeaking autism, hasn't spoken since she was 15 months old. But thanks to an accepting attitude from her peers and teachers and help from technology, she has overcome many challenges and graduated at the top of her class at the Orlando-area school. Bonker used text-to-speech software to deliver the commencement address — an honor for which she was chosen by her fellow valedictorians. "I have typed this speech with one finger with a communication partner holding a keyboard," she said. "I am one of the lucky few nonspeaking autistics who have been taught to type. That one critical intervention unlocked my mind from its silent cage, enabling me to communicate and to be educated like my hero Helen Keller." In her speech, Bonker also evoked another hero: Fred Rogers, the Florida college's most famous alumnus. Last year, the school unveiled a statue of the man widely known as Mister Rogers. And it has long embraced his lessons. "When he died, a handwritten note was found in his wallet," Bonker said. "It said, 'Life is for service.'" She urged her classmates to rip off a piece of paper from their program, write those words down, and tuck the message away in a safe place.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles.


Chilean start-up, 'Wheel the World,' broadens horizons for disabled
2019-09-17, Reuters
Posted: 2022-05-02 23:11:53
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chile-tourism-idUSKBN1W21OK

A Chilean start-up has been launched to open up some of the world’s most iconic tourist attractions to disabled visitors. The idea for Wheel the World was borne out of an expedition three years ago to Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia by a group of friends from the University of California at Berkeley. The group crowd-funded a special wheelchair for their friend, Álvaro Silberstein, who was left quadriplegic following a car accident when he was 18. They documented their trip [and] began investigating other bucket-list vacations that could be adapted for the disabled. Since its inception last year, Wheel the World’s seven-man team has arranged trips for more 900 people, including to Chile’s driest desert, San Pedro de Atacama, scuba diving off Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean, ziplining in Costa Rica and a trek along the Inca Trail to Peru’s Machu Picchu. Today, the group has 16 destinations both in Chile and four other countries on its online platform, and aims to increase that to 150 by 2020. Silberstein, the firm’s chief executive, said the Patagonian trip had made him realize that nothing was impossible. “We realized that with the right equipment and the right information, we can help people with disabilities have these kind of experiences, to open their minds to see that we are capable of anything,” he said. ”There are many initiatives to make tourism more accessible ... but no one is doing it on a global level, matching tourism services with the specific needs of disabled people. That’s what we do,” he said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles.


The 17-year-old making films fun for deaf children
2021-10-30, BBC News
Posted: 2021-11-14 16:19:30
https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-58972808

For eight-year-old Toby, who is deaf, watching films or TV on streaming platforms can sometimes be a bit pointless - because so many of them don't have sign language versions. "We have captions but they don't really do anything for him because it goes quite fast. He would just watch and not get much from it," his dad Jarod Mills [said]. But now, Toby has some help thanks to an app developed by a 17-year-old A-level student. Mariella Satow, who has dual UK-US citizenship, lives in the UK but has been stuck in New York since summer 2020 because of Covid travel restrictions. In that do-something-new phase of lockdown, Mariella created a signing app called SignUp. She got the idea when she was teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL) - one of hundreds of sign languages used across the world. Mariella wanted to watch TV shows to help her learn, so was disappointed to discover how few had signed versions. It's taken a year for Mariella to develop the technology, with lots of help from ASL teachers and the deaf community. The app is available in the US as a Google Chrome extension - with an interpreter appearing in a box once the film starts playing. It only works on Disney Plus films at the moment, because that's where Mariella thought she could help the most children. Jarod, who works in Kentucky at a school for deaf children, says it was "exciting" watching Toby use Mariella's invention. "The app creates a level playing field," he says. "Kids are getting that understanding and information like any hearing child does."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Éléonore Laloux helps France see disability differently
2021-10-15, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2021-10-31 18:21:27
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2021/1015/Eleonore-Laloux-helps-France...

City council member Éléonore Laloux barely fills out her desk chair but her persona and vision outsize any of the Arras giants. “I’m a very committed and dynamic person, and I like to be out working with people,” says Ms. Laloux. She’s become a household name in Arras and regularly receives congratulations from locals for her dedication to her work. Ms. Laloux is the first and so far only person with Down syndrome to be elected to public office in France. Last year, she was put in charge of inclusion and happiness in Arras, bringing an effervescent energy to city decisions. Alongside Mayor Frédéric Leturque, Ms. Laloux has utilized her lived experience and innovative ideas to make sure inclusion and accessibility are a part of every city initiative – from education to transportation to tourism. Ms. Laloux is not just helping the city rethink what inclusion means, but also changing minds about what it’s like to live with a disability as well as what those with cognitive disabilities are capable of. “Inclusion isn’t something that we just think about; it’s not a generous act. It’s our duty,” says Mr. Leturque, who put forward Ms. Laloux as a candidate last year. “Eléonore has helped the entire town progress in terms of how we see disability.” France doesn’t take census-type statistics on people with disabilities, but Ms. Laloux is one of the few French people with a visible disability to hold a political position here. Her mere presence has transformed Arras into a model of accessibility and inclusion, and can have an impact on towns across France.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles.


Man on a mission to become first double amputee to sail around world
2020-08-07, ABC (Rhode Island affiliate)
Posted: 2021-07-26 15:43:48
https://www.abc6.com/man-on-a-mission-to-become-first-double-amputee-to-sail-...

One man is on a mission to become the first double amputee to sail around the world alone. Dustin Reynolds is currently docked at Bristol Marine. He refers to himself on social media as “The Single Handed Sailor,” as he lost an arm and a leg in a tragic car crash in 2008. “I was trying to decide what to do next with my life,” he said, “Randomly I was on the internet and I found a list of people who had set the record for sailing around the world alone. I was like, ‘Well there’s no double amputee on the list, I guess I’ll just do that.'” And that’s exactly what he’s been doing for the past six years. He began his journey in June of 2014. Reynolds essentially taught himself how to sail through reading and watching videos on the internet. He mastered it single-handedly, literally, through trial and error. “Using one hand takes longer. You have to practice and sometimes use profanities. If that doesn’t work you have to think of something else to do,” said Reynolds. He started his circumnavigation from his home in Hawaii and so far has sailed through the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and Africa. “It’s a really meditative thing – spending that much time by yourself,” he said. Reynolds actually went bankrupt trying to pay all his medical bills after the crash in 2008, so his entire adventure is funded through crowdsourcing. In each new place he stops, he tries immersing himself in the culture there, as well as shares his own story. His ultimate goal is to [complete] his circumnavigation in November of 2021.

Note: Listen to an inspiring podcast of this courageous, caring man and his intense journey through life. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Dick Hoyt, 'heart and soul of the Boston Marathon,' dies at 80
2021-03-17, Boston Globe
Posted: 2021-03-29 00:32:36
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/03/18/metro/dick-hoyt-heart-soul-boston-mara...

By his own assessment, Dick Hoyt wasn't in racing shape the first time his teenage son Rick, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, asked if they could participate in a 5-mile fund-raising race – father pushing son in a wheelchair. "I said, 'Yeah, let's go down there and try it.' I had no idea what would happen, and nobody else did, either," Mr. Hoyt later recalled. "Most people expected us to go down to the corner and come back, but we ended up doing the whole thing." From those first racing steps, the two became legends in running circles and inspirational worldwide as they participated in more than 1,000 competitions, including dozens of marathons and multiple triathlons. Mr. Hoyt ... was 80 when he died of heart failure Wednesday. Though Mr. Hoyt and Rick posted a best time of 2:40:47 in the Marine Corps Marathon – a pace many marathoners will never touch running alone – the teaming of father and son was, for both, more important than all else. "When we're out there," Mr. Hoyt told the Globe in 1990, "there's nothing I feel I can't do with Rick." "Dick started this whole movement of duos, and Team Hoyt inspired thousands of people around the world," said longtime Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray. "He helped open the door to people believing in themselves, and the walls of intimidation crumbled." Most runners would be too intimidated to even try what Mr. Hoyt did over and over again – push a wheelchair carrying a boy, who became a grown man, up and down hills for 26.2 miles.

Note: Don't miss the profoundly inspiring and beautiful story and video of this dynamic duo available on this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles.


Young Inventor Turns Her Disability into ‘Superpower’ After Building Prosthetic Arm That Shoots Glitter
2020-10-14, Good News Network
Posted: 2021-01-18 16:22:53
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/girl-builds-unicorn-horn-prosthetic-that-shoo...

Jordan Reeves is just an ordinary 14-year-old girl who has inspired millions of people with her extraordinary “superpower.” The young inventor from Columbia, Missouri was born with a left arm that stopped developing beyond the elbow. Although some people would look at her under-developed limb as just a disability, Jordan used her condition to launch her superhero alter ego. When she was 10 years old, Jordan attended a STEM workshop that encouraged kids with disabilities to think creatively about their condition - so with a 3D-printer at her disposal, she designed her own prosthetic arm that could shoot glitter from the tip. Jordan’s invention was so dazzlingly successful, she went on to talk about her horn-shaped “Project Unicorn” prosthetic design on the TEDx stage, Shark Tank, and even The Rachel Ray Show. With each appearance, she hoped that Project Unicorn would encourage other kids to view disabilities as gifts rather than hindrances. As Project Unicorn gained more traction, Jordan and her mother turned their labor of love into the Born Just Right nonprofit so they could continue advocating for inclusivity. In addition to publishing a book about her experiences in 2019, Jordan and her prosthetic were featured on Episode One of Marvel’s Superhero Project - and earlier this week, she was featured on a new LEGO documentary miniseries that interviews young change-makers from across North America. More than 430 children from 30 different countries contributed.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


A 21-year-old man has made history as the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon
2020-11-10, CNN News
Posted: 2020-11-22 23:33:33
https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/09/health/first-person-with-down-syndrome-complet...

Special Olympics athlete Chris Nikic crossed the finish line on Saturday to become the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon. Guiness World Records recognized Nikic's achievement after he finished a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-marathon run at the Ironman Florida competition in Panama City Beach. "Ironman. Goal set and achieve," said Nikic in a post to Instagram. "Time to set a new and Bigger Goal for 2021." Nikic completed the race in 16 hours 46 minutes and 9 seconds - 14 minutes under the 17-hour cutoff time. Nikic fell off his bike and was attacked by ants at a nutrition stop, but he pushed on to finish the competition. "We are beyond inspired, and your accomplishment is a defining moment in Ironman history that can never be taken away from you," the Ironman Triathlon organization said. Nikic and his father Nik developed the "1 percent better challenge" to stay motivated during training. The idea is to promote Down syndrome awareness while achieving 1% improvement each day, according to Nikic's website. "To Chris, this race was more than just a finish line and celebration of victory," Nik Nikic said. "Ironman has served as his platform to become one step closer to his goal of living a life of inclusion and leadership." Nikic's accomplishment earned him congratulatory messages from celebrities, such as tennis great Billie Jean King and runner Kara Goucher, and people around the world, including 33,000 new followers on social media

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Teen's dolls are tailor-made for children with rare medical conditions
2020-08-21, MSN News
Posted: 2020-09-28 03:14:31
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news/teen-s-dolls-are-tailor-made-for-chi...

When Encinitas, Calif., teenager Ariella Pacheco was a little girl, her parents let her choose from a catalog the American Girl doll that most appealed to her. She picked the one with the hair color and style that matched her own. But what about children with rare medical conditions who dont look like anyone else, including the mass-produced dolls on store shelves? Pacheco wanted to give these children the same gift she got as a child. So, over the past several months, she has designed and sewn cloth dolls for four local youth. I really value the beauty in the little things, Pacheco said. Each of these kids are so unique, so special. I hope through these dolls they can see themselves in a new light and really embrace their beauty. She ... designed her own patterns and figured out how to re-create the childrens differences. It was important to her that the children recognize themselves in the dolls but that their differences not be the most noticeable feature. I hope theyre really excited with them, Pacheco said. The whole time I was trying to put as much love into it as I could and hoped they represented each child faithfully. The inspiration for the four dolls are Felix, a 6-year-old boy with a large scar on his head from surgery for a skull fracture; Andrea, a 2-year-old with a port-wine stain birthmark on her face; Valeria, a toddler with Apert syndrome, which causes skull deformities, misshapen eyes and fused fingers; and Zulema Gillett, [who has] Goldenhar syndrome, which caused her to be born with a cleft lip, misaligned jaw, and only one ear.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


1977: Judith Heumann
2020-03-05, Time Magazine
Posted: 2020-09-14 16:08:01
https://time.com/5793652/judith-heumann-100-women-of-the-year/

Judith Heumann, who had polio as a baby and uses a wheelchair, started her activism early. After graduating from college, she applied for a teaching license but was rejected by the New York City board of education, which called her a fire hazard. Heumann sued for discrimination and won in a landmark case, becoming the first wheelchair user to teach in the citys schools. That victory put Heumann in the spotlight. She founded her own disability-rights group in 1970 and became an advocate for the independent-living movement. She successfully pushed Richard Nixon to sign the first federal civil rights legislation for disabled people. But when regulations for the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 were stalled, Heumann helped organize more than 100 disabled activists to stage a sit-in, named for the laws section on disabilities, at a San Francisco federal building in 1977. The 504 Sit-in, which lasted 28 days, challenged the perception of people with disabilities as helpless or objects of pity. In Heumanns words: We demonstrated to the entire nation that disabled people could take control over our own lives and take leadership in the struggle for equality. The 504 Sit-in accomplished its goal, and those protections laid the groundwork for the Americans with Disabilities Act. Heumann, who served in the Education and State departments of the Clinton and Obama administrations, has continued to advance the rights of disabled people around the world.

Note: Listen to a BBC interview with this courageous, pioneering woman. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.