Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin and Roseville Today BIG DoG Countdown!

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.


LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.

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

Sutter Roseville Medical Center Opens New ChapelSutter Roseville Medical Center (SRMC) dedicated its new chapel this week, highlighting the beautiful space available to patients, visitors and staff

Deputy Secretary of Commerce Kicks Off Cap-To-CapOver 320 regional business, civic and elected officials travel to Washington, D.C. this week to meet with federal representatives to advocate on behalf of the six-county Sacramento region.

Miss Placer County Pageant Accepting ApplicationsMiss Placer County Pageant accepting applications for the June 27th pageant at the Placer County Fair.

Rocklin Crime Report Digest Update (4-17-15)Rocklin crime summary and digest update report for the period of April 6- 12, 2015.

Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (4.17.15)Weekly crime report digest update for Roseville, April 17, 2015

Roseville Vendor Workshop April 30thThe Roseville Chamber of Commerce is working in partnership with the City of Roseville on a commitment to educate our members on the City's bidding process

Sports Complex in Roseville Expected to Boost EconomyPlacer Valley Tourism and The City of Roseville are moving forward on plans to build a regional park with eight to twelve multi-use fields to strengthen Placer County's

Playing to Win at Studio Movie Grill in Rocklin May 9thPlaying to Win: A Relentless Pursuit to Save a Team to premiere at Rocklin's Studio Movie Grill beginning May 9th

Disney's High School Musical at Harris Center in FolsomDisney's High School Musical, which will run May 1-17, 2015 at the Harris Center in Folsom.

Roseville 2015: Tickets for May 14th EventRoseville Chamber of Commerce To Highlight Region's Outlook of Innovation at Signature Business Event

Rugby Tournament and Playoffs at Cherry IslandRugby Norcal is pleased to announce they will be hosting the 11th Annual Northern California Invitational Tournament (NCIT) and High School Playoffs at Cherry Island

Rocklin Presentation: The Geology of the Northern Sierra NevadaThe Sierra College Natural History Museum will host a presentation entitled "The Geology of the Northern Sierra Nevada" by Professor Dick Hilton


more news