Portal:Disability/Selected biography

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The template which can be used for the creation of these sub-pages is located at {{Selected article}} (although so far we have created them by hand.)

  1. Add a new Selected biography to the next available subpage.
  2. Update the number of choices specified in /Number of choices.

There are currently 9 choices.

Please read the Wikipedia:Portal guidelines: see the section on article selection. In particular:

  • make sure that the article is classified, at least Start-class and preferably Good or Featured
  • has no tags displayed denoting clean-up, copyright violation, controversy or similar
  • also, any picture used with the summary must have a free licence: in particular no fair-use pictures are allowed in Portal space.

We recommend a picture floated left for the biographies as that will alternate with any picture floated right in the selected article box on the portal main page.

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Selected biography 1

Portal:Disability/Selected biography/1

Norah Lillian Fry (1871–1960) was a member of a Bristol Quaker Fry family of the J. S. Fry & Sons company. She became an advocate and campaigner for disabled children and those with learning difficulties and was very concerned about the lack of proper schools for disabled children. In 1918 she became the first female councillor in Somerset. The Norah Fry research centre of the University of Bristol is named after her.

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Schäuble sits in his wheelchair at a table facing his wife, dressed casually during what was a ten-hour performance of Schiller's Wallenstein trilogy
Wolfgang Schäuble with his wife at the performance of Wallenstein in Berlin, 2007

Wolfgang Schäuble (born September 18, 1942) is a German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician.

From 1984 to 1991 he was a member of Helmut Kohl's cabinet. He survived an assassination attempt in 1990 as a result of which he was paralysed and must use a wheelchair, but he remains active. Between 1991 and 2000, he was chairman of the CDU/CSU group in the parliament, and from 1998 to 2000 also CDU party chairman. He served again as Federal Minister of the Interior from 2005 to 2009 and is currently the Federal Minister of Finance.

Selected biography 3

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Joseph Carey Merrick (5 August 1862 – 11 April 1890), sometimes incorrectly referred to as John Merrick, was an English man with severe deformities who was exhibited as a human curiosity named the Elephant Man. He became well known in London society after he went to live at the London Hospital. Merrick was born in Leicester and began to develop abnormally during the first few years of his life. His skin appeared thick and lumpy, he developed an enlargement of his lips, and a bony lump grew on his forehead. One of his arms and both feet became enlarged and at some point during his childhood he fell and damaged his hip, resulting in permanent lameness. When he was 11, his mother died and his father soon remarried. Merrick left school at 12, and had difficulty finding employment. Rejected by his father and stepmother, he left home. In late 1879, aged 17, Merrick entered the Leicester Union workhouse.

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Right semiprofile head and shoulders photo of the young Helen Keller wearing a high-necked crocheted white blouse

Helen Keller (June 27, 1880–June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become known worldwide through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker.

A prolific author, Keller was well traveled, and was outspoken in her opposition to war. A member of the Socialist Party USA and the Wobblies, she campaigned for women's suffrage, workers' rights, and socialism, as well as many other leftist causes.

Selected biography 5

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Orange dots representing the raised dots of braille and spelling out "Louis Braille"
"Louis Braille" in braille

Louis Braille (January 4, 1809 – January 6, 1852) was the inventor of braille, a worldwide system used by blind and visually impaired people for reading and writing. Braille is read by passing the fingers over characters made up of an arrangement of one to six embossed points. It has been adapted to almost every known language.

Braille became blind at the age of three, when he accidentally poked himself in the eye with a stitching awl, one of his father's workshop tools. The injury was not thought to be serious until it became infected. Braille's other eye went blind because of sympathetic ophthalmia. He began inventing his raised-dot system with his father's stitching awl, the same implement with which he had blinded himself, finishing at age 15, in 1824. The first book in braille was published in 1829.

Selected biography 6

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Vergeer playing a right hand forehand tennis stroke while seated in her wheelchair
Esther Vergeer

Esther Vergeer is a Dutch wheelchair tennis player. She is five-time Paralympics tennis champion, eleven-time consecutive world-champion (i.e. winner of the NEC Masters tournament), and has been the world's top ranked player since 1999. Unbeaten in singles matches since January 2003, she may be the most dominant player in any professional sport. Vergeer also played wheelchair basketball before she took up tennis fulltime.

Vergeer developed paraplegia when she was 8 years old due to otherwise successful, very risky surgery on hemorrhaging blood vessels around her spinal cord. During rehabilitation she learned to play volleyball, basketball, and tennis in a wheelchair. After playing basketball for several years at club level, she was invited to join the national wheelchair basketball team. She played with the Dutch team that won the European championship in 1997.

Selected biography 7

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Laurentia Tan

Laurentia Tan Yen Yi (/lɒˈrɛnʃə/ lo-REN-shə; Chinese: 陈雁仪; pinyin: Chén Yànyí, pronounced [tʂə̌n jɛ̂n í]) (born 24 April 1979) is a United Kingdom-based Singaporean Paralympic equestrienne. Tan developed cerebral palsy and profound deafness after birth, and moved to the United Kingdom with her parents at the age of three. She took up horse riding at age of five years as a form of physiotherapy.

In March 2007, the Riding for the Disabled Association Singapore (RDA) invited Tan to join the Singapore team for the World Para Dressage Championships at Hartpury College in Hartpury, Gloucester, in England in July that year. At this event, her first international competition, she did well enough to qualify for the 2008 Paralympic Games. In September 2008, at the Hong Kong Olympic Equestrian Centre at Sha Tin, she achieved bronze medals in the Individual Championship and Individual Freestyle Tests (class IA). These were Singapore's first Paralympic medals and Asia's first equestrian medals at the Paralympic Games. Tan was conferred the Pingat Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Medal) by the President of Singapore at a ceremony at the Istana Singapore on 20 September 2008.

Selected biography 8

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Jagadguru Rambhadracharya delivering a sermon on October 25, 2009
Jagadguru Rambhadracharya

Jagadguru Rambhadracharya (January 14, 1950 –), born Giridhar Mishra, is an acclaimed scholar, educationist, polyglot, composer, orator, philosopher and Hindu religious leader based in Chitrakuta, Uttar Pradesh, India. Blind himself, he is the founder and lifelong chancellor of the Jagadguru Rambhadacharya Handicapped University in Chitrakuta, which is the first university in the world to offer graduate and postgraduate courses exclusively to the four types of disabled students – visually impaired, hearing impaired, mobility impaired and mentally impaired. He can speak 22 languages, and is a spontaneous poet (Āśukavi) and composer in Sanskrit, Hindi, Awadhi, Maithili and several other languages. He cannot read or write, as he does not use the Braille system, but learns by listening and composes by dictating to scribes.

Giridhara lost his eyesight at the age of two months, after his eyes were infected by Trachoma. There were no advanced facilities for treatment in his village. He was taken to a local quack, an elderly woman who was known to cure Trachoma. She poured a hot concoction in the baby's eyes to burst the Trachoma lumps, but the eyes started bleeding and the baby lost its eyesight. To restore his eyesight, he was taken by his family to various Ayurvedic, Homeopathic, Allopathic and alternate medicine physicians in other cities, but to no avail. Giridhara Mishra has been blind ever since.

Selected biography 9

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Stephen Hawking

Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA (born 8 January 1942) is a British theoretical physicist and author. His significant scientific works to date have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on theorems on gravitational singularities in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes should emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009. Subsequently, he became research director at the university's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology.

Hawking has achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his A Brief History of Time stayed on the British Sunday Times best-sellers list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. Hawking has a motor neurone disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a condition that has progressed over the years. He is now almost entirely paralysed and communicates through a speech generating device. He married twice and has three children.

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