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

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

WJU names Lance Von Vogt as New Athletic DirectorROCKLIN, CA - William Jessup University, the Sacramento area's only residential four-year private university, announced today that Lance Von Vogt has been named Athletic Director.

BerryFest 2016 in Roseville this WeekendRoseville, CA- Come and celebrate the harvest of the strawberry on Mother's Day this weekend May 7 & 8 in Roseville at the Fairgrounds.

Rocklin Brewfest at Johnson-Springview Park June 4thROCKLIN - To some people, it's just beer. But to aficionados, it's a special brew carefully created with a view toward crafting a unique and pleasing taste.

Sun City Lincoln Hills Amphitheater Summer ConcertsLincoln, CA- South Placer's burgeoning music scene continues to add a dynamic and widening array of talent to the growing list of quality venues.

4 Arrrested in South Sac Triple HomicideSacramento County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detectives have made four arrests in connection to the recent murder of three family members in South Sacramento.

Five Steps to Sell Your HomeRealtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, gives five proven tips to help homeowners prepare their homes to be sold.

Supervisors Look to Next Year's Budget ChallengesAuburn, CA- Ahead of the county's submission June 7 of a draft budget for the next fiscal year, the board of supervisors considered expected funding needs and challenges.

PCWA Raises Credit Rating, Refinances DebtAUBURN, Calif. - The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) announced that it has completed the refinancing of approximately $26 million of its debt.

PlacerGROWN Farmers' Markets Opening for Summer SeasonRoseville, CA- Four seasonal PlacerGROWN Farmers' Markets are opening for the 2016 summer season, providing a plethora of produce options for residents of Placer County

Roseville Flash Crime Report (5.3.16)Roseville, CA- Flash crime report digest summary update for Roseville, CA on May 2, 2016.

Chrysler 200: Improved and solid midsize sedanRoseville, CA- Looking to make a move upward and become more of a challenger to its competitors, the folks at Chrysler completely redesigned the Chrysler 200

Roseville Gas Prices Up and DownRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville and the region have trended upward this past week. However, at some of low price leaders in Roseville


more news