Portrait of the Whole Person

The State of Washington recognizes the importance of educating youth about disability history through its enactment of a state law establishing October as Disability History Awareness Month. This Act requires each public school to conduct or promote educational activities that provide instruction, awareness, and understanding of disability history and people with disabilities. By educating youth, we can ameliorate negative stereotypes and perceptions that can easily lead to exclusion, bullying, low self-esteem, and discrimination. Perceptions of disability should include concepts of dignity, liberty, autonomy, and strength instead of fear, pity, weakness and paternalism or maternalism.

Portrait of the Whole Person Curriculum

Portrait of the Whole Person is a curriculum for elementary school students designed to teach students how disability rights fit into the broader civil rights movement, to perceive disability as a reflection of societal views of differences, and to treat people with disabilities with respect and dignity. It contains four distinct lesson plans comprised of three in-class instruction lesson plans and one lesson plan governing the research and writing of a biographical sketch and creation of a portrait of a notable person with a disability. It is also complete with a graphic organizer, rubrics, a power point, and a list of references students can use for research.

Portrait of the Whole Person is free of charge. Our one request is that if you implement it in your classroom, please email [email protected] with your name and email so we can send you a survey to gather feedback regarding the curriculum. In addition, please email [email protected] with any further questions.

Portrait of the Whole Person: Curriculum Overview
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Lesson 1: Let's Talk About Disability
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Lesson 2: What is Disability?
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Lesson 3: The Disability Civil Rights Movement
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Lesson 4: Researching and Writing the Biographical Sketch and Creating the Portrait
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Rubric 1: Review of the Biographical Sketch
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Rubric 2: Student's Increased Knowledge
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Rubric 3: Creation of the Portrait
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Graphic Organizer
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List of references - arriving in October 2017

Survey - arriving in October 2017


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The following federal funding partners shared in the cost of producing the Portrait of the Whole Person Curriculum publications: the Administration for Community Living ACL (Award #1701WAPADD); the Department of Health and Human Services Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services SAMHSA (Award #3X98SM005397-17S1); and the Rehabilitation Services Administration RSA (Award #H240A170048). These contents are the sole responsibility of Disability Rights Washington and do not necessarily represent the official views of ACL, SAMHSA or RSA.

Summary of work: 

Milestone: October 2017

Bertschi School, in partnership with DRW, presents Portrait of the Whole Person: Paintings and Biographies to celebrate disability history and culture. Through the art show, we hope to heighten awareness of the disability rights movement and culture with the broader community.

DRW developed the concept and curriculum. Bertschi Fourth Grade teachers, Caitlin Chamber­lin and Robin Cheyney, and assistant teacher, Rebekah Gardea, provided in class instruction and guided the students in researching and creating biographies about individuals with disabilities. Maria Grade, the Bertschi School art teacher, instructed each child on portraiture and facilitated the presentation of the show. For the first year, high school students from Seattle Academy who are members of a club called "Students Spreading Disability Awareness" volunteered with this project. Students volunteered to provide in class instruction on disability awareness and to prepare the show and materials.

Here is a pamphlet [PDF] of the paintings and biographies.

Milestone: October 2016

Bertschi School, in partnership with DRW, presents Portrait of the Whole Person: Paintings and Biographies to celebrate disability history and culture. Through the art show, we hope to heighten awareness of the disability rights movement and culture with the broader community. 

DRW developed the concept and curriculum, taught disability history and culture to the students, and facilitated the art. Bertschi Fourth Grade teachers, Caitlin Bunnell and Robin Cheyney, and Dustin Groshong, assistant teacher, guided the students in researching and creating biographies about individuals with disabilities, both historic and current. Maria Grade, the Bertschi School art teacher, instructed each child on portraiture and facilitated the presentation of the show.  

The Portrait of the Whole Person project provides an integrated approach to teaching youth to: perceive disability as a reflection of societal views of differences; treat people with disabilities with respect and dignity; and understand how disability rights fit into the broader civil rights movement. Additionally, this project contains an anti-bullying and self-confidence component.

We hope you enjoy this gallery of paintings and biographies.

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) by Anya

pastel drawing of Ludwig Van Beethoven

Hmmm, I wonder where that music is coming from? Oh, yeah it's probably Beethoven playing the ninth symphony that he's been practicing for about three weeks. He's finally performing it right now on May 7, 1824.

Nobody knows when Beethoven was born, but most people think it was in the middle of the night on December 16, 1770. Beethoven was born in Germany and loved cooking and playing music. Beethoven often dipped his head in cold water before composing. Beethoven became deaf at age 20 and completely lost his hearing at age 44. Beethoven's deafness was caused by Otosclerosis. It caused a ringing in his ears which must have bothered him a lot.  Beethoven had great success after he became deaf, because he didn't give up even when his music was a little off tune. Beethoven started putting a stick in his mouth and then put the stick on the piano to discern faint sounds. I think that's kinda gross and kinda smart. Beethoven showed a lot of perseverance by not giving up after he became deaf. 

I feel like Beethoven was an amazing person, because he persevered in life when he became deaf.  Most people didn't know that he was deaf back then. Beethoven is a really cool person, and I learned a lot about him. A lot of people just walk up  to a person with a disability and think they need help without asking. I think everyone should treat people with a disability with respect. They should go over and ask if they need help.

Beethoven inspired me by not giving up and persevering even when you are going through struggles or are disabled. Now I really regret giving up piano and soccer, because if I didn't give up soccer and piano, I could of became a very good player. I would of been very proud of myself. Beethoven is a great man and is a very inspiring person.

Alicia Alonso by Avery

drawing of Alicia Alonso

Alicia Alonso was a famous partially blind ballerina and a choreographer. She was born in Havana in Cuba on December 21, 1921. In 1955 she started a ballet company called Ballet Nacional de Cuba.

Alonso started dancing at the age of 7-8, after studying she had her first debut at the age of 10 on December 29, 1931. At the age of 19 she became partially blind and had surgery. The surgery failed and she had to stay in bed for three months. She practised pointing her legs while she was in bed.

A few months later she had surgery again. The surgery failed and Alonso was diagnosed with a concussion. She had to stay straight on her back. She couldn’t cry, blink, or use her eyes for anything. She didn’t let that stop her.  Alonso said, “I danced in my mind. Blinded, motionless, flat on my back, I taught myself to dance.” A few years later she started dancing in Cuba. She used the lights to guide her and the dancers had to be in place, so she knew what to do. 

Soon, Alonso went to visit her relatives in New York where she was asked to be the prima ballerina in one of her most famous roles of Giselle.  She continued to dance all over the world until she was 70 years old.  She ran her ballet company until she was 91 years old and almost completely blind.

Alicia Alonso lived from 1921 to now, at the age 94. The virtues I think she showed are perseverance and confidence. She really inspired me to never give up and you should be inspired too.

Lou Gehrig by Brooks

drawing of Lou Gehrig

Bloop! That was Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig blooping a single. Which would be his 2,721st hit, but something no one knew was that this would be his final hit in his terrific career. A career where he batted over .300 12 times, a career where he whomped 492 home runs, a career where he had 1,995 RBIs. That is what I call a great career.

Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig disease in 1939. ALS attacks your nerves and it can control your arms, legs and face. This caused him to retire the year he was diagnosed. This was a tragedy for New York, the Americas, and the whole world.

Lou Gehrig was born in the wild city of New York city on June 19, 1903. He was the only child in his family that lived over the age of two, and he was also a baseball fanatic. When he was five they moved to a neighborhood near where the Giants played. He would always go to Giants games whenever he could muster the 25 cents for the left field bleacher seats at the Polo Grounds. By the age of fifteen Lou was a baseball stud. In 1917, Chicago decided to promote a game between New York's high school baseball champions, Lou Gehrig’s High School team versus Chicago’s High School champions, Lane Tech High School. In the top of the ninth inning in that game Lou Gehrig stepped up to the plate and walloped a grand salami! That sealed the deal for Lou’s high school team, and they won the game in fashion. The next day an article came out in the Chicago Tribune's sports Page. It  famously stated, “Gehrig’s blow would have made any big leaguer proud, but it was walloped by a boy who hasn’t even started to shave yet.”

When you think of great baseball players who do you think of? Do you think of Big Papi, The Babe, Mickey Mantle, Nolan Ryan or Jackie Robinson? I think of Lou Gehrig. After he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and retired from baseball, he was just a normal regular person just like you. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is just something he had. He was still the fun loving guy after he was diagnosed. He had many nicknames when he was a baseball player such as, Biscuit Pants, Tanglefoot and Iron Horse. He kept those with him. What I think you should do with people who have disabilities is see them before you see their disability.

Chelsea McClammer by Carolyn

drawing of Chelsea McClammer

Chelsea McClammer is an amazing cyclist. She competed in the Rio 2016 Paralympics. She is known for winning a gold and silver medal. Chelsea was born in the year 1994, which makes her 22 years old in the year 2016.

When Chelsea was 6 years old she got hit by a car. Since then it left her paralyzed from the waist down. Chelsea couldn't do stuff like other 6 year-olds but she still played sports. Since she was still in her wheelchair she acted like it was never there. One of her amazing accomplishments was when she was 14 she competed in the Paralympics in Beijing. She was the youngest member of the US Track and Field team! When she got older she competed again in the Paralympics in Rio.

Today, Chelsea has made changes in the world. She has competed in the Paralympics and won a gold medal and a silver medal. She represented America in a great way. She spoke to people to never give up.

In conclusion, Chelsea is always smiling and is inspirational. Her life was hard with obstacles. No matter who you are you can make a difference by achieving goals.

Adam Levine by Cayden

drawing of Adam Levine

Adam Levine is a Grammy Award winning singer. He is the lead singer of “Maroon 5.” he was born in 1979. His Influence on the Voice is big, but the impact on Maroon 5 is bigger. Did you also know that he is an actor? One of his movies includes “Pitch Perfect 2.”

Adam Levine is a grammy award winning singer in the band “Maroon 5.” He was diagnosed with ADHD. Adam started his music career in 1994 when he joined the band “Kara’s Flowers.” But when the band broke up, he joined the band “Maroon 5”, and in 2002 they released their first album. He has said his ADHD made it difficult to write ideas down but, after talking to his doctor he made a plan.

Adam Levine is a coach for the Voice. The Voice is a TV show that helps non-professional singers get better at singing. How it works is one person goes up on a stage in front of four pro singers like Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton, and Miley Cyrus. They will sing a song of there choice, then if a coach presses their button and no other coach presses their button then the person who sang is on the coach’s team. But if another coach presses their button then the person chooses a team. Adam is one of the coaches.

Adam Levine makes very good music and I think he should be remembered for a long time. He inspires me to be good in groups and to play the guitar. In conclusion you shouldn't judge a person by their disability. His favorite musical artists include Stevie Wonder and Prince.

Curt Marsh by Charlie F.

drawing of Curt Marsh

Curt Marsh almost quit football in high school. When he went out for the pros every team wanted him. Curt Marsh was the first round draft pick in 1981.  His professional team was the Oakland Raiders. He also played for the Huskies when he was in college. He expected to have a long career in football, but he didn't. His career was cut short because he had to do a bunch of surgeries. Then he lost his leg because his ankle bone was broken very badly. He probably should have stopped when his ankle started hurting.

Curt Marsh wasn't born with his injuries. He got them from playing football. He had 20 surgeries before he had to amputate his leg to end the pain. Some people blame the team doctor, because he let him keep playing. The team doctor didn't know Marsh’s bone was broken, so he let him play football with a broken bone. The team doctor never ordered a CAT scan or MRI.

His football career was short. He went on to do other great things after his leg was amputated in 1994, he won a championship for wheelchair and amputee power lifting. Now he works with kids.

I think that it’s really cool that Curt Marsh was able to overcome all those painful injuries. That is mostly why I think Curt Marsh was so interesting.

Abraham Lincoln by Charlie H.

drawing of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in a log cabin in Kentucky and grew up to be a lawyer. Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of United States and was the man who signed the Emancipation Proclamation which ended slavery in the United States. He considered this document his greatest accomplishment. “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper,” he declared. “If my name ever goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.”

When he was a young man, sometimes he felt sad, anxious and stressed. At the time, people weren’t as aware of depression or how to help people who had symptoms of depression. He was probably born with depression like his mother. Over time, Abraham Lincoln learned to manage his stress. He loved to laugh and would look for the positive. He also kept himself very busy so he didn't have time to feel worried or sad. “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Despite his depression, Abraham Lincoln was able to serve as President, free slaves, direct the Civil War, keep the United States together and enjoy time with his sons. Every person has challenges. It is important for people to be accepting and kind to all people, regardless of challenges. Abraham Lincoln inspires me because he held a powerful job and didn't let his depression interfere or stop him.

Amadeus Mozart by Dorje

drawing of Amadeus Mozart

This biography is about: Mozart the boss bro!!!

Mozart was the greatest composer of all time! He was born in 1756 and died in 1791, in Salzburg, Austria. He composed over 600 works in his only 35 year life span. He started at age 5 only! And composed twinkle, twinkle little star at age 5 as well! I studied him because I have a giant liking for his music. But I don’t know how he does these incredible things. You should try to be like mozart! You know what? I think all you will have to say is “wow!” at the end of this article.

He had Tourette's but that was not his “disability”, it was his gift. Tourette’s is a disability when you have uncontrollable movements and vocal sounds called “tics”. I think he was born with it. So about that, I’m not sure if it really “helped” him, but I do know that he was still unbelievable in his skill level.

His music has a positive influence on people today. He made music no matter what people thought and that’s how he persevered! Just because you have a disability doesn't mean you have no talent, and Mozart is proof! I think he showed a lot of courage. His music can bring aching sadness or radiant joy to an individual! I think that if he were alive today, I would want to meet him! But I still can listen to his music and that is basically meeting him himself! So in that case I want to be famous just like him someday.

In conclusion, Mozart inspires me because his music has so much melody to it. It can bring a lot of different feelings to me. I didn’t know he had a disability, but after researching him, now I admire that he had a disability but he still managed to persevere as a musician!

Magic Johnson By Efe

drawing of Magic Johnson
Earvin “Magic” Johnson was a professional basketball player, and now a business owner. He earned his nickname in HIGH SCHOOL, so you can imagine how good he was then.

In November, 1991 he was sadly diagnosed by the doctors with HIV/AIDS. He had to retire from basketball immediately, which was very sad, because he was probably the best of the best. And that action went global in at most a week. In the world there has been more than two hundred thousands cases of HIV/AIDS in one year. We are doing everything we can to help eliminate HIV/AIDS. HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million lives so far. In 2015, 940,000–1.3 million people died from HIV-related causes, globally. Magic is raising awareness for public HIV diagnoses, and doing all he can to stop it.

Magic Johnson is one of the greatest basketball players ever, when he was in college his team went into the NCAA finals up against Larry Bird. Magic’s team won. When he was in the NBA draft he was drafted #1 by the L.A. Lakers. And on the same year he won his first NBA championship. He was the first good player that could play all the potions, and he did for the Lakers. He played 12 seasons, won 5 NBA Championships, 3 MVP’s, 12 NBA All-Stars, and an Olympic Gold Medal, so he probably had many trophy cases.

Magic Johnson has inspired many people like me. I now know that even if you have a disability you can still change the world. That is “Magic”.

Dale Chihuly by Eve

drawing of Dale Chihuly

Did you know Dale Chihuly is one of the best glass artists in North America? He has shows all over the USA and beyond! This man, born in Tacoma, only about an hour away, has a passion for the beautiful art of glass. His creations include chandeliers, vases, pots, and more! He has a gift with the shiny liquid that takes the form of a solid.

Dale Chihuly was blinded in his left eye in a bad car crash in 1976. A piece of broken glass shot into his eye. Many people think that a piece of hot glass flew into his eye when he was making a sculpture. Three years after the car accident, he dislocated his right shoulder while body surfing. After all this, you may think he would not like glass anymore, but he kept going. Ever since his injured shoulder, he has needed a lot of help with things because for the next few years he was in pain while leaning over, moving his arms, and many other daily things. But after years, his pain has soothed. So, even after his injuries, he kept going on and on.

Dale Chihuly was actually a teacher for glass at his school, Pilchuck Glass School. But soon, his creations attracted people. Soon, he had his first show. He was famous. He definitely showed perseverance when he was blinded in his eye and he had to wear an eyepatch. And he still does. additionally his shoulder has been very painful. He has a lot of help with making his creations from his awesome team. And, Dale Chihuly was lucky with his team. They have all become life long friends. He is VERY lucky to even survive the car accident, with just his eye blinded, and not two eyes. He is very thankful about everything he has and all the close calls of his life.

In conclusion, Dale Chihuly inspires everyone to to do what they want, no matter how many setbacks, and no matter what your past is like. He has also inspired many young glass artists to make beauty. He says that even things that change your life in a bad way, you can forgive, and they just might change your life in a good way.

Frida Kahlo by Faith Paris

drawing of Frida Kahlo

A self portrait full of life, death, and paint. That is how I describe Frida Kahlo’s paintings. In this article I will tell you about this fabulous painter who had spina bifida and childhood polio at the young age of six.

July 6, 1907 the famous artist Frida Kahlo was born, and 47 years later she sadly passed away leaving us with only her paintings and memories of her perseverance. Kahlo’s parents are photographer Guillermo Kahlo (father) and Matilde Calderón y González. Her sisters were Matilde, Adriana, and Cristina. Like I said in the introduction, Frida got polio when she was six years old, but I didn't tell you how it affected her. Her right leg was shorter than her left and she was forced to not go to school and stay away from her peers for many months.

One of the upsides of having polio for Kahlo was that she became her father’s favorite daughter. (From experience of having a disability himself) Kahlo’s father taught her about literature, nature, and philosophy. He home schooled her until she went to the National Preparatory School in 1922. At the Preparatory School, Kahlo joined the Cachucas, a group of rebellious intellectual students who pull pranks. Frida was very smart even though she didn't read or study much. She has faced a lot in her life, but she still persevered and painted her world.

Her paintings often represent the devil within, pouring out her soul and heart as her paint brush strokes the canvas gently. This artist was born with spina bifida and got childhood polio at six years old. She has gone through thick and thin and she still lives in our memory. She created spectacular pieces of art for us to enjoy and look at in awe.

David Beckham by GianLucca

drawing of David Beckham

David Roberto Joseph Beckham, also known as Beckham, is one of the best players in Major League Soccer (MLS)!  He has played for Arsenal, Manchester United, and LA Galaxy. If you would like to keep reading you will learn about which disability he had and how he made a difference to the world of soccer.

David suffered from the disability of OCD, which stands for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. For David, this means everything needs to be perfect and organized. For example, if he had three cans of soda he would add one can or hide one, because he likes things to be in even numbers. David arranges the Coke or Pepsi all facing the right side.  His wife, Victoria, sometimes likes to mess with him by rearranging them. His OCD has helped him as a soccer player because he practices and practices until he does things perfect. This is what helps him stand out over other just okay soccer players.

People look at David Beckham as a leader and he has made positive changes to the world of soccer. They think he is a great role model, and admire him. Maybe other soccer players watch him on TV and learn new skills or other things.

I’m a really good soccer player and I look up to him as a role model because I can learn skills from him. I hope in the future I can do free kicks as good as him.

Orlando Bloom by Graham

drawing of Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom is a famous actor and plays Legolas in Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, and also Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean. He got diagnosed with dyslexia at age seven.

He had trouble reading though his mother bribed him to.  He was good at sports and very physical.  When he was young, his dyslexia was difficult for him to manage. “I was frustrated with the learning disability. It makes you feel stupid; you just don’t feel smart.” Orlando was born with his disability.

Orlando Bloom has raised awareness of dyslexia. He is a positive role model for kids who struggle to read and write. “Dyslexia is not due to a lack of intelligence, it’s a lack of access. It’s like, if you’re dyslexic, you have the information you need, but find it harder to process.” If someone is dyslexic don’t make them read under pressure.

Orlando thinks of his dyslexia as a gift and uses it to encourage people around the world. His dyslexia helped him as an actor and it made him more creative.  

I was super surprised to find out he was dyslexic. There are so many famous and regular people out in the world that we didn't know even have a disability.

Agatha Christie by Ian

drawing of Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie, the well known mystery writer, is the best selling fiction writer of all time. About a billion copies of her books have been sold in English and another billion sold in other languages. She also wrote a bunch of award winning plays. Her books have been made into films, TV series, and video games.

Even Agatha Christie had a disability, dysgraphia. Did you know that she had to dictate all of her books. She was a skilled author, all of us would say that. She was born with dysgraphia and that affected her learning, but she still grew to be an amazing person and writer.

Agatha Christie was an amazing writer, she showed perseverance in the books she wrote and in the things she said. Honestly it’s hard with a disability, people put pressure on you and don’t understand the way you think. Sometimes people with learning differences get bullied. I am inspired by Agatha Christie to never give up and to be what I want to be.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) by Isla

drawing of Albert Einstein

Einstein, as many may know, changed the world of science. With all the great things he did there were a few small things in his life that could have made every thing that he did more difficult. He may have had to go through lots of hard times because when his grandma first saw him she thought he was stupid. Some  historians think that he may have had dyslexia or he may have been on the autism spectrum.

Dyslexia is a type of disability (I personally don't think it should be considered a disability) that makes it harder for you to read, spell and sometimes do math. Dyslexia does not mean that you can't read, it just means that it's harder for you to read.

Being on the autism spectrum means that it is harder to communicate. It is not a disease, but it is a condition. Many people did not know how people got autism, until recently doctors found out that it comes from genes. Another thing about autism is that most of the people that have autism are really focused and smart, a lot like Einstein. Einstein may or may not have had a disability, but he showed signs  of having a one.

Einstein is just like  you and me, a human. We are individuals  with weaknesses and strength. But Einstein changed the world. People with disabilities aren't that much different than you and me. People with disabilities can still change the world. Einstein never stopped trying and probably never would if he were still alive. Sadly, he died on April 18, 1955.

Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” I agree with Einstein 100%. He is one of my heroes.

Franklin D. Roosevelt by James

drawing of Franklin D. Roosevelt

We don't know much about Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s childhood, but we did know that he was diagnosed with polio at age 31. Franklin was born in Hyde Park, New York.

He really got into politics when he ran for Naval Medical Secretary. Then he got married to Eleanor.  He ran for president as a democrat against Hoover. He won by 7 million votes. He was in office when conflict started. In Europe, Germany had invaded Austria. More and more countries got invaded and then it happened, swarms of kamikaze attacked Pearl Harbor. Then America joined the war. Then Germany declared war on the United States. There were many years of fighting then another election came.

FDR won again. His health was getting very bad. The director of the Naval Clinic, an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist, checked on the president’s polo, but all they did was discuss the news not his health. The next election went by and then the next. He won by a lot. Then his health started to get worse so he went to a different doctor and got a real checkup. The doctor said his heart was enormous. He said the FDR could only work four hours a day and that he had to cut back on smoking. He could only smoke a half dozen cigarettes a day. Then he died in 1945 in Warm Springs, Georgia.

FDR was a great man he inspires me to try my hardest. He lead America out of The Great Depression and won a war against evil. The most powerful man in the world could not walk. His famous quote says a lot about the kind of person he was. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Thomas Edison by Kaiden L.

drawing of Thomas Edison with blue background

When you think of the light bulb, who do you think of? Well, you should've said “Thomas Edison”. Did you know that Thomas Edison had a disability, and if you did, did you know what it was? If you want to learn, read this report on Thomas Edison.

Thomas Edison was born with dyslexia. Dyslexia makes it harder and slower to read. Also, at the age of 12 he slowly lost his hearing by a scarlet fever, so he couldn’t hear whispering. Thomas Edison was not discouraged by his disability, he found it kind of useful because it helped him concentrate on lab experiments and other things.

I think it might be hard to make the light bulb if you have dyslexia, so I think he showed a lot of perseverance. When Thomas was 14 he saved a three year old named Jimmy from a runaway boxcar, and I think he showed a lot of courage by saving someone from a runaway boxcar. Thomas’s favorite invention was the phonograph. He loved it so much that he called it his baby. One of the reasons that he loved it so much is that he worked on it for 52 years, making a lot of improvements to this invention. What makes Thomas so cool is that he had failed 1,000 times to invent the lightbulb, but he did not give up, and at the age of 22 he finally figured it out.

Thomas Edison lived until he was 84 and died in his home in West Virginia. Thomas Edison has invented a lot of things like the phonograph, the light bulb, the motion picture, and his first invention: the magnetic iron ore separator. These are some of his most famous inventions. I hope you learned a lot about Thomas Edison in this report.

Alana Nichols by Kate

drawing of Alana Nichols

Alana Nichols is a person who will never cease to amaze. She is the first female gold medalist in alpine skiing and basketball. Forget just one gold medal, she is a three time gold medalist in basketball and in alpine skiing. On top of all of that she even has time to surf and she is not a bad surfer. She is so good she could even get into the Paralympics.

Before Alana Nichols became paralyzed she was a regular girl, but when she turned 17 she crashed, and started on the path to becoming an Olympic gold medalist. She attempted a flip while she was skiing, but sadly she didn't finish it. She hit a rock and got paralysed from the waist down. That was a very very sad time for her. Can you imagine learning how to do everything in a wheelchair, and knowing that you will never be able to stand or even walk again? That must have been a really sad time. She was born on March 21, 1983, and no matter how old she is she will never stop impressing all of us.

Alana Nichols is a fantastic surfer, great at basketball and amazing at skiing. She is a person that will prove people wrong, When people said she couldn't surf because she is paralyzed from the down, She proved them wrong. Alana Nichols has learned from her mistakes, and all those mistakes did was make her a better person. She once said “I have learned a great deal and have gained an incredible amount of perspective in regard to being thankful for what I do have.” Alana Nichols has done sooo much for our community, so I think we should give back to her. I think we should raise money to help make places easier to access for people in wheelchairs like Alana Nichols. That would make their life much easier and that would put a smile on everyone's face, especially Alana Nichols.
Did anyone who is reading this know that someone who is in a wheelchair can surf? That is how fantastic Alana Nichols is. She has changed my thinking about people in wheelchairs everywhere. She makes me want to push myself. Like how do you think she got to be a three time gold medalist in basketball and alpine skiing? Also, she makes me want to try new things. Do you think that she just knew that she would love surfing? I didn't think so. While you might have been watching TV she has been out changing the world one wheel at a time.

Eleanor Simmonds by Lane

drawing of Eleanor Simmonds

“Eleanor Simmonds gets another gold medal in the 400m freestyle. The crowd goes wild when she touches the wall and has given herself another gold,” says the announcer. After the race she says to the interviewer, “I am so excited that I got below three minutes.” Eleanor Simmonds swims for Great Britain.

Before that all happened she was born with a disability called Achondroplasia (pronounced ay-kon-dro-play-juh). That disability is where you can't grow like most other people and you have a limit on growing. Other people that don’t have the disability can grow for a long time but if you have the disability then you only grow to be about 3 foot 7 inches. I think that it affects you when you are swimming because it helps if you are tall and she is not. Even though she is not tall she has tried really hard to be great, and she has succeeded.

Eleanor Simmonds has showed so much perseverance because when she was 11 years old she had to move away from her home town to get really good at swimming. We can all help people that have that disability by not staring or pointing at people with the disability because if they saw you doing that they would think that's really rude. Eleanor Simmonds is an example of how you should still try even if you have a disability and you can still inspire people.

In conclusion, she has inspired me because even though she might not win because of her disability, she still tried her hardest. I'm a swimmer too, and even though sometimes people are taller or older or have practiced more, Ellie inspires me to still try my hardest.

Stephen Hawking by Leah Bloom

drawing of Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is a famous scientist. He studies space and black holes. If you want to know more about the great Stephen Hawking read on. You will be amazed.

Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942. He was born in Oxford, England. When he was young he started showing interest in science and the sky. At age 21 while he was studying cosmology at the University of Cambridge, he was diagnosed with A.L.S.! Then he moved on to become a famous scientist. He has written many books. Two years ago in 2014 a film was made about him called “The Theory of Everything.”

He is now in a wheelchair. He cannot talk but his computer can! How? His computer is connected to his wheelchair and there is a cord that is attached to his computer and also to his cheek. Finally, when he tenses his cheek it selects the letter he wants and when it is done with a word it guesses words to go after it.

In conclusion Stephen Hawking is still alive researching, and discovering things. He is amazing. He has lived very long for someone with A.L.S. He is over seventy years old! If you want to learn more about the amazing Stephen Hawking reasearch him yourself.

Michael Phelps by Logan

drawing of Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is known for swimming in the Olympics. He has 28 medals in all, 23 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze.  He was born on July 30, 1985. One of his nicknames is the Baltimore Bullet, because he was born in Baltimore and he is a really fast swimmer.

Michael Phelps has ADHD and was diagnosed when he was nine. He focuses his extra energy into swimming, so he doesn't get as tired as fast. He broke his first record when he was 10 and he currently holds the all time record for Olympic medals and many more records.

Michael Phelps persevered through swimming even with ADHD. He is similar to other swimmers, because he can break records like others. He is also the first American male swimmer to earn five spots on an Olympic team in a row.

Michael Phelps changed my thinking about swimming and that you can be really good at swimming even if you have a learning difference like ADHD. He inspired me to try really hard at swimming. If you try hard and practice hard like Michael Phelps, you can be a winner.

Tom Cruise by Lola

drawing of Tom Cruise

Did you know that Tom cruise’s real name is Thomas Cruise IV? Isn't that a cool name? But everybody calls him Tom. I think that he is a great role model to people.

Tom Cruise was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 7. He could barely read through high school. He tried to hide his dyslexia. When the teacher found out and tried to help him, he was about to move. He has won 3 golden globe awards.

Then Tom cruise showed perseverance in many ways. He made movies that are top hits today like his new movie called Jack Reacher. I think that it looks good from what I have seen in the commercials. And he is still making amazing movies.

I think that he is a very inspiring man that has gone through many struggles to get to where he is now. Finally he is in the spotlight right next to world famous people. Before I researched Tom Cruise I didn’t know that people with disabilities can do the same amazing things we can. I don’t think that they are any different than us--it is just part of who they are.

Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) by Maggie

drawing of Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was known for many great things. You might not have known that she had a disability, because she managed it so well that people did not know about her disability. Her disability made smuggling slaves into Canada very hard. Harriet Tubman had narcolepsy. Harriet Tubman’s full name was Araminta Harriet Ross.

Even though Harriet Tubman had narcolepsy, she accomplished some amazing things. Harriet’s mother’s name was Harriet Ross. When Araminta was about middle aged she changed her name to Harriet in honor of her mother. She married a free black man named John Tubman. They lived together for five years. Then her owner died and she ran away before anything bad could happen to her. Harriet Tubman went to the south 19 times to lead slaves to freedom. She never lost one and never let one turn back. If someone turned her in they would get 40,000 dollars! While Harriet Tubman was being a conductor for the underground railroad she only made 200 dollars over three years.

I think Harriet Tubman showed perseverance by never leaving a fugitive behind she also stayed brave when she worked in the fields for a long periods of time. It would be hard to lead 300 slaves 19 times while trying to stay alert. Her life would be hard without narcolepsy. Once she got whipped 5 times before breakfast! You are probably wondering how she got narcolepsy. She was sent to a dry good store to get something when a slave left the fields without permission. when the whipper came down and asked her to help restrain the slave, she refused.  The whipper threw a two pound block at her head. The thing I don’t get about this story is that how did the whipper just have a two pound block was he just waiting to throw it at someone's head?

Overall Harriet Tubman was a great woman that lived to 94.  I think this person really inspired lots of people including me. Two thing she alway had at her side was “Faith in God and her pistol.” She lead an amazing woman and had a wonderful afterlife.

Mason Abbiate by Markus

drawing of Mason Abbiate

This paper is all about Mason Abbiate, the Team USA upcoming Paralympic super-star. Mason’s birthday is June 24, 1998, which means he is 18 yrs old. He is 134 lbs. and 5 foot 5, and he goes to school at Del Norte High School.

Mason’s disability is Cerebral Palsy/CP, which gives him a lack of muscle control. Before in his life when he was 6, his doctors thought that he would never be able to walk… but now of course he can! Also CP also affects his learning speed, so it is hard for him to learn. Mason wasn’t diagnosed with CP which sadly means he was born with it. CP also affects his posture, so it is hard for him to pass or shoot.

Although Mason has a disability, but here are some strategies that he used to make his disability less of a disability. Because he has bad posture when shooting or passing, ignore it or simply fight through it!

He has encouraged me because he played soccer no matter what…  which has encouraged me to do so. He has also encouraged me to fight through tough challenges.

William Hoy (1862-1961) by Mia C.

Drawing of William Hoy

Determined, hard working, sports-loving and deaf. Even if William Hoy is technically deaf it doesn't mean that he cannot communicate with other people, love someone or inspire people. William Hoy was an amazing person. He was a small town boy that became a big star.

The day that the fierce William Hoy was born in Houckstown, Ohio is a day that a star was born. William Hoy had a pretty rough childhood after getting meningitis when only at the age of three. The world was silent and hard because he was silent too, it’s true that he could not even speak. He grew up on a farm in Houckstown and then went to the Ohio State School for Deaf. He graduated  as the valedictorian in 1879. He opened his own shoe shop in his early twenties.  When he had slow business he would go out and play baseball with the little kids and was very good a baseball. One day a man walked by and saw William playing baseball and was impressed, but went away once he found out William was deaf. The man came back the next day and offered William a chance for him to play in Kenton, Ohio against their rivals from Urbana. William said yes and played against the professional Billy Hart.  William got some good base hits. The next day William closed his shoe shop and set out to find a team to play on. Some teams rejected him because he was deaf, but he found a spot with Oshkosh in the Northwestern League in 1886. Hoy started his major league career in 1888 with Washington National league. He also played for the Buffalos, St.Louis, Cincinnati, Chicago and Louisville. He was a left hand batter and a right hand pitcher. One of is most favorite games was when the crowd cheered for him in sign language.

William lived to be the impressive age of 99. And at the age of 80, William Hoy walked a ginormous 72 blocks just to see his son, Carson Hoy. He was the first to be nominated for the AAAD. Hoy had five kids, but two died in childbirth. The rest of his children became successful people!

William Hoy was an amazing person that accomplished many, many things. He held the record for most games in center field from  1899-1920. After his long baseball career he opened up his own very successful dairy farm. It was so fun to research all about William Hoy and I hope that you learned something from this paper.

Ray Charles (1930 - 2004) by Miles S.

Drawing of Ray Charles wearing dark sunglasses

Ray Charles was one of the best blues, R&B and soul artists in American history. He also happened to be blind. This did not stop him from writing songs, singing songs, and playing songs.

When he was three years old Ray would put his hands all over the piano keys. Ray was five years old when he started to lose his eyesight due to glaucoma. By the time he was seven he was completely blind. His mom was prepared for this and sent him to a school in Florida for blind and deaf kids. At this school he learned how to read braille. Ray Charles’s birth name was actually Ray Charles Robinson, but he left the Robinson part of his name behind in Florida. Ray had a sad childhood. His little brother died in a bathtub when he was just four years old. Then his mom died when he was 15 years old. When he finished school he ventured out into the world.  Ray had his own style of playing music he would amaze the crowd when he played. Even when some people didn’t like his music he still went on.

Ray was a pioneer of soul music. He integrated blues, R&B, gospel, pop, and even country to create songs like, “Unchain My Heart”, “Hit the Road” and “Georgia on My Mind”. He showed the virtue of perseverance even though he was blind. He still became an amazing songwriter, singer and piano player. He was one of the best artists of all time. He was a blind genius.

Ray Charles inspires me by having perseverance, determination, and a whole lot of other virtues that he used. He inspires me by persevering even when he didn't have his sight. I like how he went on when people didn't like his music. I think he is one of the best musician ever.

Tim Howard (1979 present age 37) by Myles

Drawing of Tim Howard

Kind, friendly, caring and amazing are only some of the words that describe Tim Howard. I know some of you might be wondering who he is. He is a famous soccer player that plays for the Colorado Rapids and the United States national team. He also played for a lot of other teams like the Metrostars and Manchester United. Those are only some of the teams he played for.

Tim has obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome that occurred when he was around 10 years old. He couldn’t sit still in class and people would call him the bathroom boy, because he would go to the bathroom ten to twenty times a day. His full name is Timothy Matthew Howard. His disability is not really related to his success, but it did help him in some ways. He set a record in the 2014 World Cup with 16 saves. That is three more than the 2013 World Cup record. Even when he had uncontrollable twitching caused by Tourette syndrome he still powered through and persevered.

He was born March 6, 1979. Some people compare Tim to some of the best goalkeepers in the world. Even though he has a disability, I think he should be treated with respect just like everybody else. Tim Howard is the most capped player for the United States of all time. A player gets capped every time they play  for their national team.

Tim Howard inspired me to always believe, even in hard times, that you  can always do something if you put your mind to it. I think that my thinking changed a lot because at first I thought that he was just like any other goalkeeper.

Jim Abbott by Philip

Drawing of Jim Abbott

Jim Abbott is known as one of the best professional athletes, and one of the top professional baseball players in the nation. He played for the California Angels, New York Giants, Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers. He was a great pitcher for every team.

Jim Abbott was born with no right hand. He was a great pitcher in major league baseball. It turned out that he became a very good pitcher. Because he didn’t have a right hand he had to catch and throw with the same hand. Other teams tried to exploit this, but it didn't work. 

He was a great person who showed that people with disabilities can be successful athletes, too. Even if he doesn't have a right hand he keeps working and doesn't give up.

In conclusion Jim Abbott inspires me because he is a great athlete with no right hand. Jim Abbott has changed my thinking because even though he has a disability he is one of the best pitchers.  

Ariana Berlin By Piper

Drawing of Ariana Berlin

Ariana Berlin is an amazing and talented gymnast. She would train every day for six hours.  Ariana never got to reach her dream, because of a horrible accident. She was training for the 2004 Olympics before the accident.

One tragic Thanksgiving weekend in 2001, Ariana and her mom were planning to have a girl’s day out. They got in the car with a smile. They got on the road and  BOOM!!!! A driver with a suspended license just hit Ariana Berlin's car. The car flipped six times. Berlin was left dangling out of the window with the seatbelt around her neck. She woke up in the hospital five days later after being in a coma. She had two broken femurs, a broken wrist, broken ribs, a broken collarbone, two collapsed lungs and pancreatitis.

It took a whole year for Berlin and her mom to recover. While she was recovering she joined a hip hop group. Disabilities are hard and not easy to recover from. If I were her, I might have quit gymnastics, but she did not. She persevered and that was so very awesome. I think she showed a lot of confidence, because she stayed with gymnastics even when the doctors said that she had to quit. She was amazingly perseverant for and a lot of gymnasts.

Tom Dempsey by Reed

Drawing of Tom Dempsey

It's a bird.. it’s a plane… it's the football Tom Dempsey kicked? Tom Dempsey, one of the best kickers who ever lived. Then in 1970 when he was 23 years old he proved that he was the best, by kicking a 63 yard field goal to give the Saints the victory over the Detroit lions. The score: 19-17. Then on November 8, 2013 Matt Prater, the kicker for the Denver Broncos, broke his record. But as the star Tom Dempsey says “life is true to form, records are meant to be broken.”  Right now Tom Dempsey is 69 years old and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Tom Dempsey was born with half a foot and he has no right hand. But it wasn't that much of a disability because he was one of the best kickers in the world. Almost every team wanted to sign him to be their kicker, so he went to teams like the Buffalo Bills, the New Orleans Saints, the Philadelphia Eagles, St.Louis Rams, and the Oilers.

Yet another thing Tom Dempsey had to persevere through was Hurricane Katrina. One of the biggest hurricanes ever. Tom Dempseys house was washed out. He says, “the hurricane washed out our house but it will never wash out the memories.” Finally, I am inspired by Tom Dempsey because he is one the best kickers ever and doesnt have one the most important part on his body for a kicker, plus he doesn't have a hand.

David Beckham by Roxy C.

Drawing of David Beckham

He has obsessive compulsive disorder otherwise known as OCD and he is one of the most famous and best soccer players in the world. David Beckham has a disability but it didn't affect his dream of becoming a famous soccer player. David Beckham was born May 2, 1975 and is currently 41.

He has learned how to curve a ball in midair and he has shot a ball into the goal from the halfway point! Beckham has 19 major trophies. David Beckham played so awesome, yet had OCD. He probably had to persevere when his teammates were really messy. He is divorced with four children. David has played for many teams some of the teams are Manchester United, Preston North West, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, Paris Saint Germain and the England National Team. At the age 10 David began to get a strange urge to repeat certain actions he felt if he didn't then bad things will happen. David Beckham has OCD. He color coordinates his clothes, organizes his beverages and magazines on his table, and he has to count objects a different way. He was ranked in the FIFA top 100 best soccer players in the world that are still living. When David was 12 he moved from Rowling Regis to Weston Super Mare.

David did not know anyone and was starting a new school with new teachers and a new curriculum. These kinds of things put a lot of stress into a youngster and it made his condition much worse. People at David's school did not believe he had OCD because he hid it so well. They did not understand mental health issues so there were a lot of jokes and taunting at his expense. They even made up a song, “If you have OCD wash your hands” to the tune of, “If you're happy and you know it clap your hands.” They called him a freak. David never felt good at school because kids made fun of him all the time. I think that David Beckham is a awesome person and he taught me that even if you have a disability you can still do amazing things in your life.

Robert Rauschenberg By Sadie

Drawing of Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg was a brave, artistic and creative man. Born in Port Arthur Texas on October 22, 1925, Rauschenberg's case of dyslexia didn't stop him his whole life. In fact, it actually sort of helped him. If you want to learn more about an impressionist and pop artist then be sure to read on.

Robert Rauschenberg had dyslexia. If you have dyslexia, then chances are when you are asked to describe an object you look at that object from every different angle and side, and not just straight. The way you look at things changes the way you see them so, looking at things differently with dyslexia creates mental images and a good sense for art.

People with disabilities should not be considered “different”, “weird” or “disabled”. Robert Rauschenberg is just like any other person, but with a very unique style when it comes to art. Having dyslexia makes people slow when it comes to writing or reading, but Robert Rauschenberg, despite having it, had a great career in art and inspired many young people to live up to their dreams.

After learning about Robert Rauschenberg, my view on dyslexia has changed. Just because Rauschenberg had dyslexia, didn’t mean he couldn't learn, paint, sculpt and be successful.

Muhammad Ali by Sam

Drawing of Muhammad Ali

You may have never known the name Muhammad Ali if it was not for a red and white bicycle that was stolen from him when he was 12 years old. After the bike was stolen, he went to the police station and told them he wanted to beat up the thief. One of the officers taught boxing and suggested he learn to box. Muhammad Ali started taking boxing classes when he was a teenager he won a national championship of his league.

Another thing about Muhammad Ali is he was dyslexic. Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects the way you process information. He could barely read his textbooks. As a high school student his teachers called him dumb, but he was not. He just had a learning disability, and he needed help.

Many people think Muhammed Ali made a positive change. He fought against the draft. Every person had to go to war. Muhammed Ali was muslim; he did not believe in war. After a few years the court said he didn't have to go.

Muhammad Ali was a great role model. He has a lot of very famous sayings. The most famous one is “float like a butterfly sting like a bee”. Muhammed Ali was a very poetic person.

Muhammad Ali still inspires people to do great things. Muhammed Ali died June 3, 2016. He was highly honored for his determination and athletic skill. In conclusion, I admire the way Muhammed Ali succeeded greatly in life even though he had challenges.

Peyton Manning (1976 - present age 40) by Sawyer

Drawing of Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is a 6’5” quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos mostly. He was born on March 24, 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana. His child’s name is Marshall Williams Manning and his wife is Ashley Manning. He is the most valuable player the world has ever seen. He is a Super Bowl champ. Peyton has won the Super bowl twice and the MVP award (Most Valuable Player) 5 times. His most passing yards is 71,940!! He has scored 539 touchdown passes! He ended his career in January 24, 2016.

Peyton Manning had a cleft palate in his youth. A cleft palate is when two plates of the skull that are supposed to make a hard palate, are not completely joined. He was teased and laughed at when he was a kid. But he showed them when he became the Super Bowl champ.

Even though Peyton had a cleft palate, he became the best football player - better than Tom Brady! Peyton is just as good or better than any other player or QB. Everybody/society should not treat people with a disability as someone more lowly than themselves.

This person inspired me to just keep pushing forward. I have diabetes (now counted as disability) and I play soccer. I need to keep pushing forward even when my blood sugar is high and I feel lethargic. I think everyone should treat people with a disability just the same as you would want to be treated. This is a quote that shows how much perseverance Peyton Manning showed; “The most valuable player is the one that makes the most players valuable!” Peyton Manning truly is an amazing person.

Steve Jobs by Sienna

drawing of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was the incredible man who started Apple. He had a hard time in college so he dropped out after one semester. He never finished college. Many people thought that Steve was a troublemaker as a kid because he disrespected teachers, let snakes loose, and he was suspended many times. A little known fact is that he also may have had dyslexia, which may be the reason school was hard for him.

Dyslexia is a disability which makes it difficult to read or spell. On the other hand people with dyslexia often have a higher than average IQ. Sometimes people with dyslexia make up for their disability by becoming a very good verbal communicators and problem solvers.

The Apple computer helps out everyone. Most people have either Apple computers in their house or a PC. After coming back from an apple farm, Steve said the name sounded fun and spirited. First the Apple logo was Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. Steve wasn’t 100% convinced so he changed it to the Apple logo we know so well but it was rainbow colored. This was done to honor the separation of light. Next it changed to the black look, and then finally the white version we see today.

In conclusion, Steve Jobs inspires me because even though he may have had dyslexia, he persevered through it and started Apple. I can work through hard problems without dyslexia. One thing we could do to support the people with dyslexia is we could help them when they are in need.

Malala Yousafzai by Sophia

Drawing of Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan. Her father named her Malala after Malala of Maiwand, a great hero who saved Malala’s small country on the river Swat in northern Pakistan over 200 years ago.

Malala’s country is covered with bright green pine trees and dotted with snow topped mountains. It is known for its colorful summer festivals which attract tourists of all sorts.

Malala went to a school that her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai had founded, its name was Khushal School. After the Taliban had started attacking girls schools in Swat Malala gave a talk in Peshawar, Pakistan in september 2008. The title of her speech was, “ How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education.”

In 2009 Malala started a blog for BBC about living with the Taliban’s threats to take away her education. So that she could hide her identity she blogged under the name Gul Makai, although, she got revealed to be the BBC blogger in December of the year. Malala continued to speak out and traveled all over the country to give speeches.

When she was 14, Malala and her family heard that the Taliban had issued a death threat against her. Although Malala was scared she didn’t think that the Taliban would actually hurt her. On October 9, 2012 a man got on the bus Malala was riding and demanded to know which girl was Malala. When everyone looked at her the secret was given away, he shot at Malala twice in the head. The shooting also injured two other girls. Malala was rushed to a hospital where she got part of her skull removed. However, a miracle happened: Malala survived.

Today Malala continues to fight for the rights for girls in Pakistan to go to school. She is the youngest person to win the nobel peace prize and a role model to anyone who wants to make a difference.

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
-Malala Yousafzai

Bethany Hamilton by Trella W.

Drawing of Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Hamilton looked up to God to find her future. She has been one handed for more than half her life. She won a gold medal in surfing and made it to the finals. Bethany is known for her terrific one handed surfing abilities. Read more to find the rest of her dramatic life.

Bethany Hamilton's disability has not occurred for her entire life. This event happened at age thirteen. She was waiting for a wave to come on the morning of Halloween, but then the accident happened. The next thing she knew she was in the Wilcox Memorial Hospital. The shark that bit her left arm was found and killed the next day. Less than one month later she was back up catching waves on the board.

For a couple weeks she lost her motivation, but she did not give up. Bethany has inspired many girls around the world with disabilities. She taught the girls how to ride the waves (surf) and never give up. Something Bethany would say is “I don't need easy, I just need possible.” I like that quote because it reminds me of what I do have. Bethany persevered through the long weeks at the hospital. She needed lots of support for her parents Cherilyn Hamilton and Thomas Hamilton. She also inspired ME!!

After researching Bethany Hamilton I discovered that it is not what you want, more of it is about what makes us, US!!! Remember that when you get hurt or something never give up on yourself. One person she definitely inspired was me. I learned a lot about Bethany and I hope you did too.

Lauren Potter (1990 - present age 26) by Tyler S.

Drawing of Lauren Potter    
There’s Still Hope

Everyone is a person, a human, so it does not matter who you are it just matters if you are alive happy, and working hard to achieve your dreams.

Lauren Elizabeth Potter is a wonderful, adorable person. She was born May 10, 1990, in Inland Empire, California. Right now she is 26 years young. She is a producer, an actor, and a White House Adviser. Potter began her acting career in 2007, starring in Mr. Blue Sky at age 16. She was also in the ever famous, Glee, which is now celebrating their 100th episode. She is acting as Becky Jackson. Her most recent movie, Guest Room, was in 2015. She played the main character. Lauren Potter has even persevered through Down syndrome. She is a gifted, talented, and incredible woman. Now she is engaged to Timothy Spear!

Lauren Elizabeth is one of many people living with Down syndrome. Anyone can be born with Down syndrome. Down syndrome can cause facial differences, developmental delays or thyroid problems. Now for a little history. John Langdon Down, a physician, first described the syndrome in 1862. He is now called the father of (now Down) syndrome. Over the years people have (97%) stopped abandoning children with Down syndrome and started caring and helping them. If everyone looks at the person not the disability, then a lot of people will have care and more friends. Down syndrome is also called Trisomy 21. It means that you have an extra chromosome in your body. You would have forty seven if you have Down syndrome. It’s hard to imagine what Lauren's life was like growing up in California. But we do know she was bullied in school. She would have been through a lot. But she obviously did not let that take over her life.

Everyone should be treated as the people next door, with love, care, and respect. We are all something in the universe. You see Ms. Potter is not cowering in a corner, staying in a bed, and crying all day. She went out in the world and searched for her rights. And she found her colorful life in film. She persevered through school, through her world, and made her life extravagantly meaningful. You should do that. Potter’s parents helped her in the process by not dumping her in an orphanage. They cared for her and loved her. This is probably why Lauren Elizabeth Potter found her part in her world, expanded that part, and found a person who loved her. A small amount of love, (kindness) can change the world.

Lauren inspires me by being who you are even if you have disability. And be what and who you want to be. If anyone out there has trouble, keep in mind to be what and who you want to be.

Carson Pickett by Vivian

Drawing of Carson Pickett

On September 15th 1993 Carson Pickett was born. One year ago when she was twenty-two, she was drafted by the Seattle Reign. She said it was one of the best days of her life!

When she was born she didn’t have an arm. Some people might disagree with the fact that growing up without an arm actually helped her be more successful because she tried harder. When she was young she always dreamed of being a professional soccer player. Her disability does keep her from playing goalie, but does not keep her from playing defense which is what she plays.

She has inspired other people to try harder. Her parents always say “Never say CAN’T!” She would see other kids going on the monkey bars and say, “I want to do that”, so she did. She said “disability is just a word”.

She has inspired me too, because even though she had a challenge that stopped her from all kinds of different things, she would find a way to do it. Finally, a quote  she explained was “if you set your mind to something your heart will follow, then that task will be accomplished”.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Ziggy

Drawing of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The great Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president for more than 12 years, more than any other president. He led America throughout the Great Depression and World War Two!

He was born in Hyde Park in New York all the way in 1882. In 1892 he went with his family on a boat trip. While boating he was struck with polio, stunning him from the back down. He couldn't even move his arms! After he was struck with polio he began to do lots of exercises like swimming, running, and just getting lots of exercise. He managed to use his hands and walk with a cane!

Soon after Franklin was hit with polio he began to try to run for vice president, but he failed time after time. Before this he was elected governor of New York around 1928 and re-elected in 1932! And that set him off for his winning streak for president, even though they didn't know he had polio. He led America through the Great Depression and even World War Two! I think making even more elevators and ramps we could help all people with polio.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt taught me that you can still accomplish something great even if you have a disability.

Milestone: October 2012

Milestone: Summer 2008

DRW worked with other advocacy organizations on this issue, and many became involved. DRW, People First, the State Special Education Coalition and others helped 90 students with disabilities from across Washington meet with legislators to share their stories.

The bill became law without a single ‘nay’ vote. Since the bill’s passage, youth and adults have provided innovative workshops and universities youth groups have pulled together camps events; but the legislation is still not practiced widely. Advocates and DRW continue to promote an understanding of disability culture, history and rights in public schools.

Milestone: 2007

Students involved in DRW’s youth leadership development asked why they hadn’t learned any disability history in school. In 2007, high school students and DRW staff met with Senator Rosemary McAuliffe. The students talked about bullying, and a lack of understanding from peers and teachers about what it meant to live with disability. McAuliffe sponsored a bill that said disability history must be included in public schools and universities during the month of October.