Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events
HOME

Many U.S. Politicians have had Disabilities



The idea of a person with a disability being elected president of the United States may seem farfetched to some Americans, especially given the physical demands of campaigning. But persons with disabilities have presided over our country and likely will again.

Of course, most Americans already know the story of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who acquired polio in the 1920s. Though a public figure, he managed to hide his disability and become governor of New York and president of the United States.

Since 1972, at least three presidential candidates have had disabilities: George Wallace was paralyzed from the waist down after an assassination attempt; Bob Dole had a World War II arm injury; and Mo Udall lost an eye in childhood. Also, three recent U.S. Senators lost limbs in war: Bob Kerrey, Daniel Inouye and Max Cleland.

Add to these names another well-known politician, one who had two disabilities, with the first greatly helping him become president. He was Thomas Woodrow Wilson, son of a Presbyterian minister from Virginia.

Wilson couldn't read much until age ten and was considered a poor student early on. Nearly all historians believe he had dyslexia. According to the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is a learning disability characterized by problems in "single word decoding" that are "unexpected in relation to age and other cognitive and academic abilities."

For instance, a child with dyslexia often reverses words or letters in spelling, turning "dog" into "bog" or "tip" into "pit." He or she may also invert letters, such as "m" for "w" or transpose them as in "felt" for "left." Dyslexia affects perhaps five percent of Americans.

Often, people with dyslexia have above-average intelligence. As for Woodrow Wilson, though he was highly intelligent, his intelligence went unrecognized by teachers. Many children with dyslexia are branded slow learners or taunted.

To help compensate for his son's learning disability, Wilson's father began training his son in debate and oratory, the mastery of which resulted in an illustrious political career. His father helped make good from what many people considered bad.

If not for having dyslexia, Wilson likely wouldn't have been president.

In 1919 and while in office, President Wilson had a stroke paralyzing his left side. He never fully recovered and his wife successfully kept his condition hidden from the public. Woodrow Wilson was the first and only president to simultaneously juggle two disabilities.


Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.

Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.

Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com



Placer County News Headlines

Dead & Company: Perfect Dose of Party Unity Wheatland, CA- With 105 degrees in the forecast, it's going to be a hot show. Weather aside, Dead & Company continue racking up one incredible performance after another

Baby Boomer Festival and Expo in Roseville on August 13thRoseville, CA- The Baby Boomer Festival and Expo is scheduled for Saturday, August 13th at the Placer County Fair and Events Center in Roseville.

Treating Addiction: Placer County Seeks New ApproachPlacer County is developing a new approach to addiction treatment that treats addiction as a disease, and coordinates addiction services across county departments

Sierra College's Tech Ed Skills on ABC's BattleBotsRocklin, CA - Sierra College Mechatronics Professor Tony Osladil and his former student Jeff Gomez were invited to be on a team for this summer's BattleBots

Honda CR-V remains popular compact SUVRoseville, CA- The CR-V offers responsive handling, a comfortable ride, ranks near the top in safety testing, gets good gas mileage (27-34 mpg), and is extremely reliable.

One-Armed Softball Phenom: Part 2Recently, you may have read the first of two columns featuring 17-year-old Katelyn Pavey, a one-armed, fastpitch softball phenom

Surplus Water: Placer County Water Agency Plans SaleThe Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors has approved a resolution that allows for the transfer and sale of up to 20,000 acre-feet of surplus water

Roseville Flash Crime Report (7.23.16)Roseville, CA- Weekly crime report digest update for Roseville, covering the period of July 14- 22, 2016.

Kings Beach Project Wins National AwardKings Beach, CA - A cornerstone project that is transforming the North Lake Tahoe community of Kings Beach's downtown has been given a prestigious national award

Roseville Hospital gets Suessical VisitRoseville, CA- It isn't every day that storybook characters come alive at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center.

Nevada City Shines Best at Night Nevada City, CA- Nevada City's charm shines more brightly at night. At least that was the takeaway following a midweek date night with my wife.

Rubio's Opens New Restaurant in Roseville August 4thRoseville, CA - Rubio's Restaurants, Inc., the popular fast casual chain known for uniquely delicious coastal cuisine and popularizing the fish taco, has announced the opening of a new location in Roseville


more news