Roles models: Some Disabled Successful Personalities

Why this topic?

We disclose some successful stories of debilitating people who succeeded in their lives despite their disability. The question can be raised that why this topic has been chosen?  This topic is chosen because many of us often say that we don’t have facilities to do and that we have many problems in our lives. The topic has been chosen to answer them if crippled blind and deaf and dumb persons can do such a lot then why we can’t do. To answer them that there are no boundaries around you. If there are no facilities then you have to figure the way out. You have to make your way yourselves. No Messiah and khidar will come to show you the way. You have these examples of the crippled persons and blind, deaf, dumb persons who made their way themselves. They don’t talk about their difficulties and hardships in their way but they gave all zeal and zest to their goal. Blind people lighten the candle for millions. They showed that disability is not an obstacle to success.



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  • Hawking was born in 1942 in Oxford, London.
  • His parents had a very hard time and live very poorly maintained and cluttered house.
  • Initially, he wasn’t successful academically but later show some interest in scientific subjects like in mathematics
  • To study at Oxford University, he had to mold his interest in physics and chemistry.
  • After getting a degree of B.A (Hons) in natural sciences he went to Cambridge University.


  • During his final year at Oxford, symptoms of ALS were noted.
  • It is a fatal disease which causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles.
  • He was told that he will live only two years and a half.
  • His voice also began to deteriorate and with the passage of time, he totally becomes speaking-impaired till 1985.
  • He began to use a wheelchair at the end of the 1960s.
  • Now he uses a computer with his only controllable muscle in his cheek.

What was his motive?

  • He says that it is a waste of time to be angry about my disability.
  • Everyone has to get on with life and I have not done badly.
  • People wouldn’t have time to worry about your disabilities and if you are always angry or complaining.
  • He further says that disability need not be an obstacle to success.
  • After knowing that he has ALS he become more conscious to his work and gave all his zeal and zest to his to myths of the universe as he says ‘’ My goal is simple, the complete understanding of universe’’.


  • He has given a theory of Black holes which have been a mystery for scientists and on which now a days he is working to prove.
  • He has written many books about the mysteries of universe and about black holes. Most famous of them are here:
  • A Brief History of Times
  • The Grand Design
  • The Universe in a Nutshell
  • The Theory of Everything etc.

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Many movies also have been made on him like

  • A Brief History of Time,
  • The Theory of Everything,
  • Beyond the Horizons and Hawking etc.


On his achievements in science, he has been awarded with many Medals and Prizes:

  • Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Copley Medal
  • Albert Einstein Medal & Award
  • Adams Prize
  • Maxwell Medal and Prize
  • Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society and many others.

Lesson for Us:

  • I hope you are inspired to know that if he can dream big, so you can.
  • There are no walls and if there are then you have to mold them.
  • You are for a reason in this world, if a quadriplegic man without working his legs and arms and many other parts of the body can do such things then why you can’t?
  • You don’t have to wish that if I were Bill Gates or if I were Shahrukh Khan or if I were Bano Qudsya and so on. You have to be yourself.
  • Keep your courage and inspirations motivated, your physical ability doesn’t matter if you are mentally disable that mean if you don’t do anything.


(An American Author, Political activist & Lecturer)

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  • She was taught by her instructor ANNE SULLIVAN to communicate.
  • Firstly she joined Blind and then two deaf institutions.
  • She graduated from Radcliffe College in Bachelors of Arts.


  • She was exceptional from start.
  • She started talking in 6th month and walking in her 1st year.
  • She was caught by a disease when she was of only 19 months.
  • This disease snatched her eyesight and ability to hear leaving her BLIND AND DEAF.


  • 1st deaf and blind to earn a bachelor’s degree.
  • 12 books published.
  • Numerous articles.
  • Ranked one of the most influential people of 20th century.
  • Renowned world speaker.
  • Inspirational icon.
  • During college wrote famous autobiography “The story of my life”.
  • Co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU 1920)
  • Co-founder of Helen Keller International (1915)
  • Leading member of American Foundation for the blind.
  • Elected to the National Women’s Hall of Frame at New York World’s Fair.


  • Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • Annual Helen Keller’s day.

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Helen says:
“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light”

From these disable icons we just get one message that physical challenges can’t stop us if the fire to do something burns in our own selves.



(An American Journalist & Author)

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Early Life:

  • Hockenberry was born in Dayton, Ohio on June 4, 1956
  • He grew up in upstate New York and Michigan
  • He graduated from East Grand Rapid High School Michigan


  • At an age of 19, he was paralyzed while Hitch-Hiking on Pennsylvania Turnpike
  • The driver fell asleep and the car was crashed, killing himself.
  • Hockenberry’s spinal cord was damaged and he remained paralyzed without any voluntary movements from mid-chest down
  • Before his being paralyzed, he studied mathematics at the university of Chicago
  • After being paralyzed, he transferred to the university of Oregon and studied Harpsichord and Piano.


  • Hockenberry is an American TV Journalist and Author
  • From 2008 to 2017 he was the host of Take Away
  • A Live National News Program created by Public Radio International and WNYC New York
  • He has written a dozen Magazines, Newspaper Articles, a Play, Two Books, Best-selling memoir including Moving Violations, War zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence and a novel A River Out of Eden
  • Also written for the New York Times, New Yorkers, Wired, Metropolis, and Washington Post
  • He has been a distinguished fellow at MIT media learn and serves on the white fellow committee.
  • 4 times Emmy Award Winner
  • 3 times Peabody Award Winner


  • Hockenberry says:
    The song is just the given; it’s how you cover it that matters”
  • So from his saying we can say it all depends on us what we produce because raw material can’t be changed.


(An American Actress, Activist & Author)

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Early Life:

  • Marlee was born on 24th August 1965.
  • She grew up in a small town of Morton Grove, USA.
  • At the age of 5, she was enrolled in a community school instead of special school from where she learned sign language.
  • She used to go to synagogue (meant for deaf people). She learned TORAH and used phonetics to study it.
  • The first time she played the role of DOROTHY in the play
  • She grew up in a small town of Morton Grove, USA.
  • She graduated from John Jersey High School & Harper College.
  • She got an education degree in law enforcement.


  • She was deaf.
  • When she was 18 months old she lost her hearing due to a genetic disorder.


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  • Her professional career started when HENRY WINKLER watched her playing in theatre at INTERNATIONAL CENTRE ON DEAFNESS.
  • She got her role in a movie called “Children of a Lesser God” for her accolade.
  • One of her notable role was in the movie “Bridge to silence” in which she played the role of a widow.


  • Marlee Matlin was the winner of “The Academy Award” in the best actress category.
  • She also wrote a number of nominations and awards which includes:
    1. Emmy award
    2. Golden Globe award
  • She is active member of various charitable organizations.
  • She wrote her 1ST novel “Deaf Child Crossing”.
  • Beside it, she also wrote an autobiography and novels.


  • Marlee Matlin said:
    ‘’the handicap of deafness is not in the ear; it is in the mind.’’
  • From this saying we get motivation & inspiration that if we decide to do anything nothing can stop us.

Dr. Salma Maqbool

(The chairperson and trustee of PFFB)

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Early Life & Disability:

  • Salma Maqbool was born in 1945.
  • After graduating as a medical doctor in 1974, she was diagnosed as suffering from Retinitis Pimentos (RP), a genetically transmitted disease that leads to loss of vision due to death of rod and cone photoreceptor in the retina


  • In February 1978, she got married to Captain Maqbool Ahmed.
  • Who was totally blind at that time
  • Together, they braved the thick and thin of life for 30 year
  • The marriage with a blind person shows the difficulties in her life.
  • Salma was died on January 12 last year after undergoing an open-heart surgery


  • The Darakhshan Resource and Training Centre for Girls and Women with Disabilities.
  • The Rehabilitation Project of PFFB (Pakistan Foundation Fighting Blindness).
  • Chief Patron, District Social Welfare Council, Rawalpindi.
  • Member Rawalpindi District Committee for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled Persons
  • Member, Rawalpindi District Bait-ul-Mal Committee


  • Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2001
  • The Fatima Jinnah Award in 2006
  • Pakistan Golden Jubilee Commemorative Gold Medal for Social Services as a Member of the Rawalpindi Divisional Social Welfare Council in 1997
  • UN Testimonial for Dedicated Services to the UN World Program of Action Concerning Disabled Persons in 1992
  • An Excellence Award for Blind Persons All India Confederation of the blind, New Delhi, in 2003


  • She was particularly a beacon of hope.
  • Strength and inspiration to millions of disabled people around the globe.
  • It has been guiding light for those who needed a little support and encouragement to get back on their feet.
  • Her legacy was simple if there is ever a chance to do well, ask not why, but why not!
  • Salma one of those who continue to live even after their death (May her soul rest in eternal peace)

Author: Iram Iqbal
























Author: Inspired Trait

Analysing the Chemicals of Motivation and Inspiration; and researching to balance the Chemical Equation of Inspiration and Productivity.

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