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 HeadlinesNew California Laws for 2016 (Final)Roseville, CA - The final installment for New California laws for 2016.
Placer SPCA Announces 2016 Board of DirectorsRoseville, CA - On January 18th, the Placer SPCA announced the election of its 2016 Roseville, CA - The Placer SPCA recently announced the election of its 2016 Officers for the Board of Directors.
Roseville Gas Price Wars: Under $1.90 a GallonRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville are pushing to lows not seen in a very long time. Costco and ARCO continue to dominate the leaderboard
2016 Subaru Forester: Reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- The Subaru Forester is a no-frills SUV that embraces Subaru's practical approach to auto making.
$100,000 Gift to Help Local Nursing StudentsRocklin, CA, - Just last month, the Sierra College Foundation received a $100,000 donation to establish an endowment fund to help
Captured: Mexican Nationals found on Foresthill RoadA Placer County Sheriff's deputy just arrested the three men who've eluded capture since Wednesday afternoon.
Water Supply Projection by Water Agency GMAUBURN, Calif. - Following weeks of rain and snowfall, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors met on February 4 to receive the latest snowpack and water supply update.
3 Rocklin Restaurants Hit by BurglarRocklin, CA - On the morning of February 4, 2016 between the hour of 1:30 AM and 2:30 AM, three closed take-out style restaurants
Roseville Housing Authority Nabs Highest HUD RatingRoseville, CA- For the 11th consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) named the Roseville Housing Authority
Local Woman Honored for Cancer AdvocacyRoseville, CA - Former educator and Granite Bay mother of three Laura Tyrrell was honored at the Stars of Advocacy Inaugural Gala Fundraiser.
New California Laws for 2016 (Part 33)Roseville, CA - New California laws for 2016. Part 33 includes Medical marijuana, Real estate investments, Housing standards, Disorderly conduct, Housing standards: mold, and more.
PET/CT Mobile Imaging Unit to serve Roseville Area CommunitiesA state-of-the-art PET/CT mobile imaging unit designed to serve patients in Lincoln, Rocklin, Roseville and surrounding communities is located in Lincoln.