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

Pediatric Dialysis Center Opens at UC Davis Children's HospitalUC Davis Children's Hospital recently opened a new pediatric dialysis center, where patients and their families will be trained on home-based peritoneal dialysis.

Marriage Insight from a Sports ColumnistLast column, I featured Paul Daugherty, nationally acclaimed Cincinnati Enquirer sports columnist, whose daughter Jillian was born with Down syndrome.

County Views Infrastructure Program as a Win-WinAUBURN, Calif. -- Community development and public works projects in Placer County will soon be cheaper and faster after the county board of supervisors voted unanimously

Real Estate: We Still Want to Own Our Home!Roseville, CA- Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about the recently released Housing Report from Harvard University.

Senior Softball Championship in Roseville and LincolnRoseville, CA - Senior Softball is heating up Placer Valley August 2-7 when the 16th Annual Western National Championships swings into Roseville and Lincoln.

Solitary Cellars 2014 Barbera WineRoseville, CA- What better way to start our new Wine Section than with a wine that is famously friendly in its ability to easily pair with a wide variety a foods.

Rachel Constantini named WJU's Interim Women's Soccer CoachROCKLIN, Calif. - William Jessup University Athletic Director Lance Von Vogt announced recently that Rachel Constantini will be taking over as Interim Head Women's Soccer Coach.

Let's Get Uncorked: Wine Review SectionRoseville, CA- Election Day is rapidly approaching and the time is ripe for serious discussion. In California, few things are as serious as wine.

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


more news