Portrait of the Whole Person Project

Bertschi School, in partnership with Disability Rights Washington, presents PORTRAIT OF THE WHOLE PERSON to celebrate disability history and culture. Through the art show, we hope to heighten awareness of the disability rights movement and culture with the broader community.

William Ellsworth Hoy
William Ellsworth Hoy (See Below)

Disability Rights Washington, a private non-profit organization protecting the rights of people with disabilities in Washington State, developed the concept and curriculum, taught disability history and culture to the students, and facilitated the art. Bertschi Fourth Grade teachers, Peter James and Robin Cheyney, guided the students in researching and creating biographies about individuals with disabilities, both historic and current. Maria Grade, the Bertschi School art teacher, instructed each child on portraiture and facilitated the presentation of the show.

The Portrait of the Whole Person project provides an integrated approach to teaching youth to: perceive disability as a reflection of societal views of differences; treat people with disabilities with respect and dignity; and understand how disability rights fit into the broader civil rights movement. Additionally, this project contains an anti-bullying and self-confidence component.

Washington recognizes the importance of educating youth about disability history through its enactment of a state law establishing October as Disability History Awareness Month. This Act requires each public school to conduct or promote educational activities that provide instruction, awareness, and understanding of disability history and people with disabilities. By educating youth, we can ameliorate negative stereotypes and perceptions that can easily lead to exclusion, bullying, low-self esteem, and discrimination. Perceptions of disability should include concepts of dignity, liberty, autonomy, and strength instead of fear, pity, weakness and paternalism or maternalism.

For more information about this project, please contact Disability Rights Washington at 206-324-1521 ext. 206.

Go to Jose Feliciano by Andrew
Go to Jim Abbott by Isaac
Go to Harriet Tubman by Gabriella
Go to Catherine Zeta-Jones by Kate
Go to Edwin Aldrin by Ty
Go to Oscar Pistorius by Lily W.
Go to Lewis Carroll by Devon
Go to Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Katie
Go to Chuck Close by Will
Go to Robert Rauschenberg by Maxwell
Go to Lauren Potter by Ruby M.
Go to Michael J. Fox by Sawyer
Go to Judi Chamberlin by Hanako
Go to Harold Russell by Natalie
Go to Howie Mandel by Magdalena
Go to Christopher Reeves by Ruby P.
Go to Tom Cruise by Skylar
Go to Stephen Hawking by Megan
Go to Tim Howard by Frank
Go to Abraham Lincoln by Micah
Go to Freddie Roach by Latham
Go to Fannie Flagg by Sophia
Go to Michael Phelps by Daniel
Go to Alicia Alonso by Ella
Go to Marlee Matlin by Ruby P.
Go to Jorge Luis Borges by Nathan
Go to Edward Verne Roberts by Matthew
Go to Daniel Inouye by Nicholas
Go to David Beckham by Lulu
Go to Ray Charles by Mazzy
Go to Nelson Rockefeller by Henry
Go to D. Elaine Johnson by Lily R.
Go to Ludwig van Beethoven by Cameron
Go to Curt Marsh by Charlie
Go to Muhammad Ali by Khaled
Go to Christy Brown by Shannon
Go to William Ellsworth Hoy by Aaron
Go to Jean Driscoll by Reese

Jose Feliciano by Andrew

Jose Feliciano
Jose Feliciano

Have you ever tried to close your eyes and play the guitar? Well if you have you’d know it’s practically impossible. But Jose Feliciano did it.
Jose was born in Lares, Puerto Rico. He was born with a disease called congenital glaucoma that left him permanently blind. He overcame his disability and became very successful as one of the most famous rock artists in the world.

His family was poor and he wanted to learn to play the guitar so he locked him self in his room for up to 14 hours a day to listen to 1950 rock albums. When he was 17, he quit school to play in clubs because his family needed money.
By 1966, he became famous in Latin American for two hits, Poquita Fe (Little Faith) and Uste (You). Then he made two more albums in Latin America. He moved to Los Angeles and wrote Feliz Navidad and his version of Light My Fire and sold millions of albums in the United States.

Jose made his own version of the Star Spangled Banner for the 1968 World Series in a slow Latin-Jazz beat. I think it was cool he changed the Star Spangled Banner but a lot of people felt the song was sacred and were insulted by his version and said he should be banned from America. By 1987, he had his hands imprinted at Madame Tussaud’s museum, got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and had a star also on the Walk of Fame in Puerto Rico.

I think Jose Feliciano showed the virtues of perseverance, determination and diligence during his life. He does everything without seeing as a blind man which I think would be very hard. He practiced for hundreds of hours to get good at his music. He set high goals for himself such as dreaming to be famous in America when he came from a poor family in Puerto Rico.

In conclusion, Jose Feliciano became one of the most famous rock stars in the world. He was an inspiration to many people.


Jim Abbott by Isaac

Jim Abbott by Isaac
Jim Abbott

The year is 1993 the crowd is silent; Jim Abbott throws the ball, ‘’Strike three’’! The crowed goes crazy. Jim’s teammates jump and tackle him. Jim has just thrown a no hitter game.

Jim is one of the most amazing baseball players ever. He made baseball history despite having no right hand. Jim was born in Michigan in 1967 where his interest in baseball began. He was born with a deformed right hand.

When Jim Abbott went up to bat, he could only bunt. He overcame this adversity and was able to hold a bat with one hand and hit balls going as fast as 110mph. Jim played on three Major League Baseball teams. He played for the California Angles, Chicago White Socks, and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Jim Abbott is a great role model for people with disabilities and for those without disabilities.




Harriet Tubman by Gabriella

Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman

When people think of Harriet Tubman, they don’t think of her with a disability. They think of her as a leader who helped slaves escape. But she did have a disability. It was narcolepsy. When she was twelve she was trying to help a slave escape when her owner threw a metal weight at her. It hit her right in the head, and almost killed her. The rest of her life she had headaches and sleeping spells.
Harriet Tubman did not let her disability stop her escape. She also risked her whole life to help other slaves escape form slavery. She made nineteen trips to the south and helped three hundred other slaves escape. People said that she was one of the bravest people on the continent.

Harriet Tubman inspires me because she risked her life to save 300 other people from slavery. She helped those people find freedom. Through her actions and words, she told other people that slavery wasn’t good and helped lots of people to fight against slavery. She died in 1913 in New York.




 Catherine Zeta-Jones by Kate

Catherine Zeta Jones by Kate
Catherine Zeta Jones

It was exactly 2:40 P.M. on September 25th, 1969. The population had just gone up by one, but a very special one. That one was Catherine Zeta-Jones. Catherine Zeta-Jones is a very special person. Did you know that the Prince of Wales made her a CBE at Buckingham Palace? She is even married to a person named Michael Douglas who had the exact same birthday as her! She was born on in Swansea, West Glamorgan, Wales.

She has a daughter and a son. Her daughter is named Carys Zeta Douglas and was born on April 20th, 2003. Her son is named Dylan Michael Douglas, who was born on August 8th, 2000. He developed a form of dyslexia and goes to a special school.

Catherine Zeta-Jones is a Welsh actress who stars in a lot of films. She started acting when she was a child. She won an Oscar for a movie she was in called ‘Chicago.’ She won many awards like the best supporting actress for the Golden Globe Awards and the best supporting actress for the Academy Awards. She acted in the UK and US, and then went to play roles in Hollywood.

Catherine Zeta-Jones feels insecure. She has a disability called a Bipolar Disorder. When you have this disorder, you can have sudden changes in your mood. You cannot control how you feel. This can be especially hard if you are an actress. This disorder developed when Catherine’s husband got throat cancer. She became very stressful about her husband.

Her husband has been getting healthier. I think that Catherine is a good person who deals with something hard. She is a very talented person. I think that she should be grateful she has such talent.

Though she may not know it, Catherine is very lucky she can control her emotions so well even though she has to change them a lot while she acts. Now that’s talent.


Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin by Ty

Edwin Aldrin by Ty
Edwin Aldrin

It was July 20, 1969, and all he heard was “T” minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. Then he couldn’t hear what the man said next, because the roar of the rockets that were propelling him and his crew toward the moon were way too loud. What the man said didn’t matter to Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, because he was going to the moon!

Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. was born on January 20, 1930. He got his nickname, “Buzz” because his little sister couldn’t pronounce brother, she said, “buzzer”. Later the family shortened it to “Buzz”. When he was in high school, he passed up a full scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and went to West Point.

He graduated from West Point in 1951, and began his military career as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. NASA selected him in 1963. He flew to the moon six years later. Only the best and the brightest are selected for this type of NASA mission. Buzz Aldrin was one of these amazing men. He was the second man to walk on the moon; he wasn’t the first because the crew decided it was easier to let Neil Armstrong out first since he was the closest to the door.

Even though he had a bipolar disorder, that didn’t stop him from achieving his dream. He has inspired many people. He was even the inspiration for the idea of Buzz Lightyear the action figure from the Disney movie, Toy Story.


Oscar Pistorius by Lily W.

Oscar Pistorius by Lily W.
Oscar Pistorius

Since he was born, he was always the odd one out, because Oscar Pistorius had nothing below his knee. So he doesn’t have any fibulas. But he managed to still accomplish his dream, becoming an Olympic athlete! He is famous because he is the first person with a disability to compete in the Olympics, not the Paralympics. He was on the South African team. So he doesn’t have feet or calves!

Oscar has competed in the Olympics and Paralympics. And has had many big wins in the Paralympics including: Gold 400 m.in 2008, 2004, and 2012, silver in 2012, and bronze in 2004. Unfortunately he is being accused of killing his girlfriend . Unfortunately, in the Olympics he didn’t win a medal . But at least he made history, so that’s good for him.

Oscar’s dream has been to run the Olympics, but his has a big challenge. He has lived almost his entire life without a fibula (a bone in the body below the knee). Luckily, Nike has created carbon fiber bands shaped like J’s. Another challenge he has is that he has been accused of murdering his girlfriend.

Oscar looks like he would be a nice person and has cared for many people, but he did kill his girlfriend. I think it is amazing how he had a disability, but solved it! Oscar was fun to study because I knew what his disability was, but didn’t know much about it.


Lewis Carroll by Devon

Lewis Carroll by Devon C.
Lewis Carroll

Do you want to know about the amazing Lewis Carroll? Well this is were you will find interesting facts about him. Lewis Carroll is famous because he did so many amazing things even though he had several disabilities. He wrote many interesting stories and poems and wrote a lot of poems and many more. I hope you will find Lewis Carroll interesting.

Lewis Carroll had many achievements in his life. He was a mathematician, logician, Anglican, Deacon, photographer and writer. His most famous pieces of writing are: “Alice in wonderland”, and -the sequel- “Through the Looking Glass”. He also wrote poems like “Jabberwocky” and “Hunting of the Snark”. There’re also many clubs in many parts of the world to honor his books. (Including UK, Japan, The United States and New Zealand) When he was seven, he was already reading the “Pilgrims Progress” and when he was 12 he was sent to Richmond Grammar School, so he was obviously a very strong and talented reader.

Lewis Carroll had some problems in his health that made it a little hard to get through his life. He had migraines and epilepsy. When he was very young he had suffered from a fever that left him deaf in one ear. When he was seventeen he suffered a bad sickness called whooping cough, which caused him a weak chest later in life. When he became an adult he was hesitating and he stammered when he spoke, which was hard to notice but still annoying. He sometimes even reffered himself to the character Dodo who also had a stammer.

If I could meet Lewis Carroll I would be very happy. He seems very capable of doing lots of things even though he had disabilities. I thinks its amazing that he was able to accomplice those things even though he had disabilities. I thinks Lewis Carroll seems very nice and I love that he did what he wanted to do with him life. And he will be my role model.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Katie

Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Katie
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Can you imagine never seeing a picture of the president that included his body? Well that’s what happened with Franklin Delano Roosevelt or FDR. He didn’t want anybody to know that he had a wheel chair. FDR got his disability when he was on vacation in Canada. He got a really bad fever, which turned out to be polio. He was 39 when this happened.

FDR did not let his disability stop him. He was the only president to be elected for four terms. His terms times were 1933-1945. He was also the first president to ride in an airplane and be on TV. He was also the president during world war two.

Out of the 10,000 pictures of FDR, only 4 are of him in a wheelchair. I think he was a very good president because he lasted for four terms. I don’t think he should have hidden the wheel chair because he could have showed everyone that it’s OK to have disabilities.



Chuck Close by Will

Chuck Close by Will
Chuck Close

Chuck Close is a very interesting person. He is a great artist. Even though he is “disabled,” he does great art. He is a very inspirational artist.

Chuck Close has many achievements. He makes great art of faces. He paints faces of people by painting little squares. So up close it just looks like a bunch colored squares. But from far away it is a beauty. Something from the planet “Artistic.” A masterpiece.

Chuck Close has a huge challenge. His challenge is painting huge and beautiful painting while being paralyzed. His Spinal Artery collapsed. That left him paralyzed. But that is not stopping him from pursuing his dream.

My thoughts about him, is that he is a very special person. I admire a lot about him especially his perseverance.

Chuck Close is a very accomplished artist. You could call him a “warrior.” A “warrior” that fights with out actually fighting.



Robert Rauschenberg by Maxwell

Robert Rauschenberg by Maxwell
Robert Rauschenberg

Patched with colorful paper maché and paint, Robert Rauschenberg’s striking paintings stood out at art auctions. One example of his work included neon blue and bright photos of characters and celebrities of pop culture of the 1960’s.

Robert Rauschenberg was born on October 22, 1925, in Port Arthur, Texas. He was born with dyslexia, which is a learning disability that makes it harder for you to learn, causing you to mix things up in your brain. When he was a young child he had a special passion for drawing and his relatives loved his drawings. When he grew older, he went to the City Art Institute in Kansas City to get better at his art. The people there admired his talent for art and thought it was unique from all the others. He later went to the Académie Julien in Paris and worked with some of the best artists in Paris to get even better. In 1949, he graduated from the Académie Julien. He tried, unsuccessfully, to set up his own convention to showcase his art. In 1950, he went to New York and worked with a dance company and designed costumes for masked balls and parties.

Finally in 1955, Robert Rauschenberg set up his own art convention, which he called “The Bed.” It contained nearly every single piece of art he ever made. That was when he became famous. He began adding motors, machine pieces and lights to his art, like the two neon bikes he made in Potzdamer Platz, Germany, which still stands today over a tiny pond of water. Robert Rauschenberg showed that having a disability doesn’t make you odd or not special, because he overcame his disability. He showed that it doesn’t matter what you see, it matters what is in the inside and not the outside.


Lauren Potter by Ruby M.

Lauren Potter
Lauren Potter

When she read about the part on “Glee” Lauren got really excited and wanted to audition. When the day came to audition she did, but she did not know if she was going to get the part. She had to wait awhile to see if she got the part. When she got the news she became so excited that she cried because she was so happy.

Lauren Potter has worked hard to make the world a better place for disabled people. President Barack Obama appointed Potter to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. She will give advice on how to help disabled people. Lauren also works with AbilityPath.org to help kids with special needs to be free from being bullied. Her work is important for disabled people. Lauren Potter inspires me because she has a disability, but she works through it to get her dreams. I also like that she is on a committee to stop bullying. Lauren Potter is an awesome actress and amazing person.




Michael J. Fox by Sawyer

Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox

Have you ever seen the back to the future trilogy? Marty Mcfly AKA Michael J Fox was the character that got sent back in time to 1855 with no extra plutonium to get him back to 1885. He was a very famous actor and was on many TV shows.He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991. Parkinson’s disease is a disease that gets worse over time. People with Parkinson’s lose control over their muscles because their brain stopped making Dopamine.Fox did not go public about his diagnosis until 1998. Now he works on finding a cure for Parkinson’s. He went before the senate and went on TV shows to explain what it is like to have Parkinson’s Disease.

Michael J. Fox’s life is a good example of turning bad things into good things. For instance, he did not feel down in the dumps when he found out he had Parkinson’s Disease. Instead, he decided to go public with the news instead so he could stop people from thinking that people with Parkinson’s Disease were weird.

I think that if people recognized and knew people with Parkinson’s Disease they would stop teasing them.


Judi Chamberlin by Hanako

Judi Chamberlin
Judi Chamberlin

Judi Chamberlin was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 30, 1944, and died on January 16, 2011. When she was 21 she started seeing her doctor because she was feeling very depressed. She voluntarily signed herself into a mental hospital and was not allowed to leave. This made her feel like she was in prison. When she got out, Judi became an advocate for mental health patients.

Judi Chamberlin was known as a civil rights hero because she started many important movements and was active in challenging mental illness practices. One of the important civil rights movements that she started was called Mad Pride. She also wrote a book called “On Our Own.” One of her quotes from when the New York Times interviewed her in 1981 about her time in the mental hospital was “There are real indignities and real problems when all facets of life are controlled –when to get up, to eat, to shower-and chemicals are put inside our bodies against our will.” Later in 2011 Judi died of a lung disease called pulmonary disease. Judi Chamberlin died at the age of 66.

Judi spent a long period of her life trying to fight for the people in the mental hospitals, even though she knew it would be a long fight. I think that Judi Chamberlin was a great role model for people that can’t fight for their rights because they are mentally ill.


Harold Russell by Natalie

Harold Russell by Natalie
Harold Russell

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live without hands? Harold Russell knows what it’s like. He was born in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, on January 14, 1914. When Russell was six, his family moved to Massachusetts. On December 8, 1942, he signed up for the army. When he was working with explosives at Camp MacKall army base, a TNT explosion happened and caused Harold to lose both hands. He could not write or pick up anything but he didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him. He didn’t want people to treat him differently.

The army wanted him to make a movie about how disabled people can get better. A director saw his movie and wanted to give him a big part in a Hollywood movie about 3 veterans trying to readjust to life after the war. The movie was called The Best Years of our Lives and it won 7 academy awards. It brought a lot of attention to people who were disabled and the problems that they were going through.

Russell started to speak out about important issues for people with disabilities. He helped found the World’s Veteran’s Federation and he was the vice president of that organization from 1960-1967. He also served as a chairman on the President’s Committee on Employing of the Handicapped from 1964-1989. He didn’t stop his career even though he had no hands and he worked for a long time to help disabled people.


Howie Mandel by Magdalena

Howie Mandel
Howie Mandel

Howie Mandel THIS WAY!!
Did you know that Howie was born on November 29 1955 and right now he is 58 years old. He may seem old, but he can still make anyone laugh with a snap of his fingers.
Howie has done lots of things through his years. Howie is a Canadian comedian, actor, television host, and voice actor. He is a well-known host of the N.B.C. game show Deal or No Deal.

On June 6th 2009 he hosted the 2009 game show awards on Game Show Network He became a Judge on N.B.C’s America’s Got Talent replacing David Hassel Hoff. But sadly on the fifth season of the game show Howie developed Mysophobia (a abnormal fear of, or distaste for, uncleanliness or contamination).

Also Mandel has something called O.C.D. (obsessive compulsive disorder). But despite his lack of shaking hands he will fist bump his fans. He shaved his head purposely because he thought it would be cleaner. Some people think that that might be serious O.C.D. but O.C.D. can lead to not going out if your house.

But guess what? All of Howie’s makeup is new every time. I think that Howie is very brave and that just because he has his own house in his backyard shows that he really cares about his kids and does not want them to develop O.C.D.


Christopher Reeves by Ruby P.

Christopher Reeves
Christopher Reeves

Paralyzed from the neck down and unable to breathe on his own, Christopher Reeves really was a super man. For him, life was more about what he was able to do, not his disability. He never wanted pity. He became paralyzed on June 1, 1995 from a horseback riding accident. Christopher Reeve was riding when he got thrown off the horse and landed on his head during an equestrian competition. He was wearing a helmet and a protective vest, but he fractured two vertebrae in his back.Christopher Reeves was born in New York on September 25, 1952. He spoke to people about his disability, which I think was pretty brave. He raised a lot of money for research and was in a lot of movies about it. Even though he was paralyzed, he used his popularity to increase public awareness about spinal cord injuries.

Christopher Reeves wasn’t embarrassed to appear in public even though he sometimes couldn’t talk or sometimes lost control of his movements. Traveling around the country, he spoke at many different places about disability issues. He died in 2004 from a heart attack. We will all remember him a real life Superman. He inspired me, and I bet a lot of other people too.


Tom Cruise by Skylar

Tom Cruise by Skylar
Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is a name you probably already know. This famous man, best known for being a movie star, was born on July 3, 1962, in Syracuse, New York. He is mostly known as an actor but there is more about him than you know.

When Tom was 7 years old he was diagnosed with dyslexia, a learning disability which impacts a person’s ability to read, so he had a very hard time reading as well as the other kids in his class. He would try to concentrate on what he was reading, and then when he would get to the end of the page he would have very little memory of anything he had read. His mind would go blank and he would feel anxious, nervous, bored, frustrated, and dumb. He would get angry. His legs would actually hurt when he was studying, and his head would ache.

When Tom would go to a different school he never wanted other kids to know about his disability. When he got older his reading got a little bit better, but he still had some problems. As a student in high school he focused all his intentions on sports. He was really good but he got a broken knee and that stopped him from that dream.

So, Tom Cruise started his acting career, starring in many movies like “Mission Impossible” and “Love Struck.” He still had some trouble reading the lines because of his dyslexia, but every movie he did helped him get better at reading. I really think that Tom Cruise is a great role model because even though he was made fun of as a boy, and sometimes even now, that doesn’t stop him from living his dreams. I learned that I should face my problems like Tom Cruise did, not run away from them.


Stephen Hawking by Megan

Stephen Hawking by Megan
Stephen Hawking

On January 8, 1942 in Oxford, England Stephen Hawking was born. He grew up with his parents and enjoyed life, but at the age of 21 while attending Cambridge University, Stephen was diagnosed with ALS or Gehrig’s disease. This disease slowly destroys the body’s muscles.

In the early years of his disease he could still speak but it was quit difficult. In 1985 he lost his voice entirely. To communicate he would twitch his eyebrows when an assistant pointed to the right letter on his alphabet chart. In 1986, that system of communication was replaced by a computer, which allowed him to write and speak.

In 1979 he became Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University. This job was once held by Isaac Newton. In 1980, several nurses were hired, following the Cambridge University’s decision to pay for certain medical expenses for their new brilliant Lucasian professor.

One cool thing I share with Stephen Hawking is our birthdays. He was born on January 8, 1942 and I was born on January 8, 2003! It is an honor to share a birthday with such a hardworking and determined man. I think Stephen shows the virtues of determination, courage, modesty, perseverance, and unity. There are many ways we can help people who are differently abled, but the first step is accepting them and seeing them as a whole person.


Tim Howard by Frank

Tim Howard
Tim Howard

Watching Tim Howard play soccer is like watching an Exocoetus fish fly through the air. He is one of the best goalies in the world and has achieved many honors and while dealing with tourettes syndrome.

Tim Howard got tourettes syndrome when he was ten. He claims that tourettes syndrome kept him alert and helped his game. Tim Howard used to play for Manchester United. Manchester United is a major football club (soccer). Manchester United paid four million dollars to acquire Howard. Tim Howard represented the USA National Team in 2002. Soccer proved to be a cure for Tim Howard’s tourettes.

Today Tim Howard is still the keeper for the American National and Everton Teams. Tim Howard lives in North Brunswick in New Jersey where he inspires and helps kids with tourettes syndrome.




Abraham Lincoln by Micah

Abraham Lincoln by Micah
Abraham Lincoln

In this report, I researched Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was born in 1809 in Kentucky. Even though he was born into a poor family that lived in a one-room log cabin, he became the President of the United States.

Now let’s look at some of his achievements. Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States, even though he was virtually self-educated. He was the Union leader during the US Civil War. He is very, very famous for being the president to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, which officially freed all the slaves in the USA. This didn’t actually do anything for the slaves in the south, because Lincoln didn’t have any jurisdiction there. The main purpose of the Emancipation Proclamation was to let the world know that the Civil War was about slavery too.

The biggest and also most obvious challenge in Lincoln’s life was the Civil War. It was the bloodiest war in American history, and you can imagine that it weighed on Lincoln during and after it happened. Also, because he was born into a poor family, Lincoln was virtually self-educated, which lowered the probability level of him becoming President by a lot. In his later years as President, Lincoln suffered from depression, partly due to the fact that three out of his four sons died before they even reached twenty, the oldest one making it to eighteen.

I think Lincoln seems like a nice person, but he seems a little over-pressured. I think he was a very smart person, and he was the hero of the Civil War and the person to finally end slavery.

John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln in 1865 in Fords Theatre, Washington DC. The police hunted him down hiding in an old abandoned shack, and burned him out. They shot him as he came to the door.


Freddie Roach by Latham

Freddie Roach by Latham
Freddie Roach

I walk down the hall going to the entrance the doors slide open the lights shine so bright I can’t see the crowd But I can hear them roar I walk up to the ring and step in the announcer introduces me and my opponent to the crowd then the fight begins. This report is on the famous boxer and boxing trainer Freddie roach. He was born on March 5, 1060 he is currently 52 years old and still boxes.

Freddie was a very accomplished boxer and trainer, he had 53 fights in his career, 40 were wins and 13 were losses. He was also voted trainer of the year in 2003,2006,2008,2009 and 2010. He was also the trainer of heavy weight champion Manny Pacquaio, and the trainer of Julio Ceaser Chaves the middleweight champion.
Even though he had a huge amount of accomplishments, he has a huge challenge. Freddie has Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s attacks the nervous system, causes muscular rigidity. And slows movements and reflexes.

I think that Freddie was an amazing guy because it is almost impossible to box with Parkinson’s because you need fast reflexes and Parkinson’s stops that. I would like to meet Freddie because he sounds like very interesting man.

I think that Freddie was a very good and accomplished man and I would definitely like to get to know him because he was very persevering man he also sounds like a nice person.


Fannie Flagg by Sophia

Fannie Flagg by Sophia
Fannie Flagg

Fannie Flagg is a very talented author. She is very famous for her amazing books. Two of her most recent books are called I Still Dream About You, and the other book is called A Love Letter. She was nominated for the Academy Award for the screenplay adaption of her novel. It was called Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café. The movie was made in 1991.She has a very common disability and it is called dyslexia. She said that one of her biggest challenges, as a writer is being dyslexic. Even though dyslexia is different for everyone, a lot of the people who have it have a very hard time doing reading and writing. Yet she became a very talented and really popular writer.

I think that she is a really great role model because she has dyslexia, which means it is a lot harder to read, and write and she still became a writer.

Two things I think you should definitely remember is that if you have a disease you can still accomplish many things, and the other thing is that you should watch the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.


Michael Phelps by Daniel

Michael Phelps by Daniel
Michael Phelps

Twenty-two Olympic medals, eighteen of them were gold—that’s Michael Phelps. Michael Phelps has unarguably been the most successful Olympian and athlete of all time. During the 2008 Summer Olympics Michael Phelps became the first Olympian to achieve eight gold medals in a single Olympics. In the 2012 Olympics Michael doubled the second highest record holders for the most Olympic gold medals. Michael Phelps has been awarded the title/honor of being the Sports Illustrated “Athlete of the Year.”

Michael was diagnosed with ADHD at age nine, when his teacher noticed that he could not sit still and focus. ADHD is an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. This may have helped him in his career of swimming.

Michael’s favorite stroke is the butterfly-stroke, multiple times he has been extremely successful in butterfly races. In the individual medley (a mixture of four different strokes- butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle), butterfly goes first which often gives Michael a strong start in this race. In the 2005 Pan Pacific Championships in Victoria, B.C. he won gold medals for the 200-meter freestyle and the 200-meter IM (individual medley), plus two more for the 4×100 meter relay and the 4×200 meter relay. However, in the 2007 world championships, his second most successful competition, he won only gold medals, achieving a total of 7 gold medals. But his most successful competiton was the 2008 Bejing Olympics were he was offered a $1,000,000 reward if he won eight gold medals, witch amazingly he did.

In addition to Michael’s many accomplishments and awards he is also the founder of the Michael Phelps Foundation. His foundation supports swimming both as a safety thing and as a sport, and it encourages kids and adults to learn to swim. In many ways, the foundation has succeeded in many ways. Michael Phelps teaches that if you keep dreaming you will succeed.


Alicia Alonso by Ella

Alicia Alonso by Ella
Alicia Alonso

Imagine how it would feel leaping through the air spinning in pirouettes and be partially blind. This is Alicia Alonso. Alicia was born in Havana, Cuba. She is still alive and living in New York, New York.

Alicia was virtually blind since she was 19. She had eye surgery. To recover from the surgery she had to lie in bed for three months without talking or moving. When she finally got out of bed the surgery had not worked. She traveled back to Cuba for another surgery, this time she had to lie in bed for a year. “I danced Giselle in my mind,” she said. When the year was over she went back to New York and not long after was asked to dance Giselle in Swan Lake. She accepted and immediately was declared a star.

Alicia Alonso has made the world a better place because everyone enjoys her dancing. She also showed that you can overcome a major adversity. Also there is no such thing as a disability. Everyone is made differently and that’s what makes everyone interesting. If you are blind or deaf or in a wheelchair it’s not a disability it is just a way that you work differently. Alicia Alonso inspires me because she is a great dancer. Even though she was blind, she never gave up.


Marlee Matlin by Ruby N.

Marlee Matlin by Ruby N
Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin is a really an amazing person, born in Illinois in 1965, she is now currently 47 years old. She is a born actor and has pursued her dream of being highly successful, and it worked! She lost her hearing when she was very young and has not given up on her big dream since then.

Marlee Matlin is an amazing actor who has won many awards and is very accomplished. When she was 21 she became the youngest actress to receive the Best Actress Award. She has also had guest appearances in “ER,” “Desperate Housewives,” “CSI,” “Family Guy,” and many more.

Her definite challenge is her lack of hearing. It is harder for her to find roles that will take her. I am kind of amazed that she was in “Family Guy” because it is animated. I think that that proves people are starting to adapt to her differences.

I think that Marlee Matlin is a truly amazing person she has shown so much perseverance in her work and has stood up for deaf culture and I admire that, she has shown the world that it is not ok for the world to revolve around people who are hearing.

I admire her and I hope you do to. She is currently living with her husband in LA. I hope you see her on TV because you will be able to see how she has made her career and I know you will start- if you are not already- to admire her the way I do.


Jorge Luis Borges by Nathan

Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges was a great writer, poet, essayist, and translator. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He lived from 1899 to 1986 and he was blind at the end of his life. He lived 87 years.Jorge Luis Borges was a writer. He wrote stories, poems and essays. He wrote great books, and two of them were: The Aleph and Ficcione. He was also a librarian and a lecturer, and he won a lot of awards. He was famous internationally.

Jorge Luis Borges was blind. In his early teens he began to lose his sight. This had an affect on his job, but it did not stop him. He was not blind his whole life, only the later part of his life. His disability really affects him and his jobs and he had several jobs.

I think that Jorge Luis Borges could have been nice and sometimes mean. He looks grumpy in his photos. The reason why he would not have been kind is he was blind he was probably upset about that. Also when you look at his pictures he usually looks grumpy but on drawings they try to make him look happy.

Jorge Luis Borges was a great writer, poet, essayist and translator he also lived long for his time. Many people do not live that long with a disabilities.


Edward Verne Roberts by Matthew

Edward Verne Roberts by Matthew.
Edward Verne Roberts

‘Champion of the Disabled’

Did you know that Edward Verne Roberts founded the Independent Living Movement (ILM) and was a strong advocate for people with disabilities all around the globe? Or that he was the first student with disabilities to attend the University of California? Well, he was. Roberts was born on January 23, 1939 in Burlington, California and died in his home on March 14, 1995 of cardiac arrest.

Ed Roberts was the oldest of the four boys is his family. The whole Roberts family got polio in 1953, but at age 14, Ed was the most seriously affected. He had very little movement in one hand and depended on an iron lung to breathe. The rest of his family recovered from polio, but the doctor said that Ed would be a vegetable for the rest of his life. Edward said, “If I’m going to be a vegetable for the rest of my life, I will be an artichoke, with the leaves on the outside, and a big heart in the middle.” I really liked that quote, because it was a great response to what the doctor said.

The title of Ed’s obituary was “Edward V. Roberts, Champion of the Disabled”. His work helped and inspired people with disabilities to live and work independently. Also the California governor, Jerry Brown, appointed Roberts director of the California Department of Rehabilitation in 1975. This was a great honor for Roberts. Ed Roberts was an amazing man because he helped people with disabilities all of his life. He really was “Champion of the Disabled”.


Daniel Inouye by Nicholas

Daniel Inouye by Nicholas.
Daniel Inouye

Did you know that Daniel Inouye was in World War II? He was born in September 7, 1924 and passed away on December 17, 2012. Daniel lived to be 88 years old and was a U.S. senator from Hawaii. His wife died of cancer.Daniel Inouye was a senator. He was the second longest serving senator. In World War II he was a Medical Volunteer. He lost his arm in the war. When he died he had a huge ceremony.

His challenge is that he lost his right arm in World War II. A rifle grenade hit his right arm and he lost his right arm. He also lived in Hawaii when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. It was bad because he was Japanese American and so he would be treated poorly and he would be in danger.

I think that he was a very brave person with tons of courage. He was a very good person and I was surprised that he was the second longest serving senator. Even though he was Japanese American he became a senator of Hawaii.

Now remember that Daniel Inouye was a senator and lost his right arm. Even though he lost his arm and was Japanese he still had the courage to be a senator in Hawaii!


David Robert Joseph Beckham by Lulu

David Robert Joseph Beckham by Lulu
David Robert Joseph Beckham

Yeah, GO GO GO! Wohooo. And David Beckham makes his 7th goal. Come on, come on…. and YES About 17 minutes later David makes the winning goal. Everyone was hollering and shouting so loud that you couldn’t even hear what the man was saying over the loud speaker. AMAZING win!

David is famous for playing soccer. Right now he plays for the Paris St. Germain. He has played for three other teams: Manchester United, Real Madrid, and L.A Galaxy. When he played for United, he won the premier league title six times. The FA cup twice, and won the UEFA Champions League in 1999. David was born on May 2nd 1975. David won the Bobby Charlton Soccer Schools National Skills Competition at 11 years old! In 1995 he was a full time starter. He left Manchester United in 2003 to sign for Real Madrid.

David has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder A.K.A OCD. That means he has to keep on fixing things to be just like he wants them. For example, if he goes to his fridge to get a drink, he will move things around so that they are just right and then do it again and again and again.

I think David Beckham is a very good soccer player and from what I learned, he seems nice. And guess what? Peter, my teacher has taught at David’s elementary school while he went there but he never actually taught David in person. I think that kids can learn a lot from David Beckham and what he has gone through with OCD.


Ray Charles by Mazzy

Ray Charles
Ray Charles

I am writing about Ray Charles. He was born on September 30, 1930 and died on June 10, 2004. He had an amazing singing voice. He had two wives and 12 kids. He is from Albany, Georgia. Some people call Ray Charles, “Father of Soul.”

Ray Charles was an amazing singer and played the piano. Lots of people think that he brought soulful sound to country music and pop to life. However, he was blind. Ray started to lose his sight at the age of five, and he went completely blind by the age of seven. I like Ray’s music. I think it would be hard to take care of 12 children. His first wife’s name was Eileen Williams and they were married for only one year!!!! His second wife’s name was Della Beatrice Howard Robinson and they were married for 22 years. Does that seem like a big difference to you?

I think it is very important to remember that Ray Charles was blind and he was a very, very, very good singer and good at playing the piano. He is dead now so if you want to know him after reading this page of awesome facts don’t go chasing after him. This is how he died, small liver disease, Hepatitis. He might be gone but his music will live on forever.


Nelson Rockefeller by Henry

Nelson Rockefeller by Henry
Nelson Rockefeller


The Rockefellers, one of the richest families in the world includes Jay Rockefeller, David Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Nelson Rockefeller. I learned about Nelson Rockefeller (1908-1979).

He wanted to be the Republican Nominee for president in 1968 but Richard Nixon beat him. He lost because he had to leave California a week before the election because his wife was giving birth. Nixon took the opportunity and campaigned and won the nomination. Nelson was a master politician, 4 times as governor of New York, and with that very rich.

I thought it would be hard to be a young kid like Nelson because he had dyslexia, something that makes it hard the readand spell. But he got through it and made many speeches and quotes like “The chief problem of low-income famers is poverty.” He also said “America is not just a power, it is a promise. It is not enough for our country to be extraordinary in might; it must be exemplary in meaning.”

I think Nelson showed the virtue of perseverance his whole life. My great grandfather flew him in a helicopter to his house and that kind of stuff and when my mom went to visit him, she met Nelson a few times.

It would be fun to meet Nelson Rockefeller.It was fun learning about Nelson and life, I learned about his family’s history and his disability. The richest families in the world, The Rockefeller’s.


D. Elaine Johnson by Lily R.

D. Elaine Johnson by Lily R
D. Elaine Johnson

D. Elaine Johnson is a famous artist from Edmonds, Washington, who was completely blind until the age of six. Then she was finally able to see with one of her eyes. I think it is very surprising because she can only see with one eye. Elaine Johnson has always been fascinated by history and myths. She almost always paints scenes from these myths but she paints them so they look like they are under water.

An accomplishment that I think was one of the most challenging ones was being the great artist she is and not having full vision. Other accomplishments are having over 600 paintings that were shown over 636 times around the world. She has also won many awards and has been honored around the globe.

Because Elaine Johnson was blind in until she was 6, she could not see the beautiful world around her. Also, other kids made fun of her and she often cried about being blind. The Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA, which makes discrimination against people with disabilities illegal, helped her.

I think that D. Elaine Johnson is a creative and brave woman for not giving up when life got tough. She is a great inspiration for artists all over the world. I wonder if I could have overcome this disability.
D. Elaine Johnson was blind in till she was six years old and now she can see with one of her eyes. Her paintings have been shown over 636 around the world. Thank you for reading my paper on D. Elaine Johnson.


Ludwig van Beethoven by Cameron

Ludwig van Beethoven by Cameron
Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the greatest composers in the world of music. He was born in 1770 and died in 1827. Beethoven is really amazing because he played the piano while deaf.Beethoven is famed for writing music and playing the piano. He wrote many symphonies, concertos, orchestral pieces, and theatrical productions. Beethoven wrote almost 650 amazing pieces of music.

Beethoven had many challenges in his life. When he was 16, his mother died of tuberculosis. His father was an alcoholic who often beat Ludwig which triggered his deafness. When he was 26 years old, he started suffering from health issues and hearing loss. He considered committing suicide because his health problems were so extreme. In 1815, Ludwig van Beethoven had to stop playing in public because he couldn’t hear anything.

I think that Beethoven’s piano skills and writing were extraordinary. It was incredible that he was still able to make some of the greatest music in the world even though he couldn’t hear what he was playing. This shows that if you have a challenge and you work hard, you can overcome anything.

In this essay you learned about Ludwig van Beethoven. Two things you learned were that he turned deaf when he was only 26 but he still wrote almost 650 pieces of music. While he was suffering health problems and deafness he almost committed suicide, but since he didn’t we can now listen to so many of Beethoven’s amazing sounds that he never heard.


Curt Mash by Charlie

Curt Mash by Charlie
Curt Mash

As Curt Marsh lay in a hospital bed he swore he could feel his toes touching the metal, but when he looked down he had no right foot. Once a National Football League Star, he would still go on to inspire people to follow their dreams.

Curt Marsh was born in Tacoma, Washington on August 25,1959. He played football for Snohomish High School and the University of Washington. In 1976, he was part of the undefeated Snohomish High Football team. They won the State Championship that year. He was a first round pick in the 1981 NFL draft and was drafted to the Oakland Raiders. He played for Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders from 1981 through 1987. In 1983, he helped the Raiders win the Superbowl. They defeated The Washington Redskins 38 to 9. During that time he underwent more than 20 surgeries related to football. Curt Marsh was the first Raiders’ rookie lineman to start since 1967.

In 1994 Curt Marsh underwent amputation on his right foot eight inches below his knee. Curt Marsh was a published author. He is now a motivational speaker. Curt Marsh was one of the most decorated players in the NFL and is an inspiration to kids allover America.


Muhammad Ali by Khaled

Muhammad Ali by Khaled
Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was a great fighter in the ring, but also in the court. He had to go to jail because he believed in his religious rules and the rules said that you should not ever get in to a fight no matter who they are. He stood up for himself he was a great man.

When Muhammad Ali was 33 years old he changed his name from Cassis Clay to Muhammad Ali. When he was 22 he became the heavy weight champ of the world it’s amazing it was a huge win. When he was 22 he won the heavyweight champ of the world. Something else he did was that he changed his religion from Christian to Islam.
Some of Ali challenges are that he has Parkinson’s syndrome. It’s when you get hit in the head too many times, and as a boxer he has been hit a lot. You lose your control of your bones so they shake around a lot.

I think that Muhammad Ali is a great guy. I think that he went through a lot. He has gone to jail and changed his name he has been married 4 times and has had 7 daughters and 2 sons.

I think one of the most important things that I said is that he went to jail for pretty much no good reason because he didn’t want to go to the army. And another thing that I think is important is that he got married 4 times and has 7 girls and 2 boys.


Christy Brown by Shannon

Christy Brown by Shannon
Christy Brown

Everyday I walk to breakfast, I walk to the car, and I walk to my classroom. Unlike me, Christy Brown wheels to all of those things. Christy Brown was born with severe cerebral palsy, which left him with paralyzed limbs.

Christy Brown was born on June 5, 1932, in Dublin, Ireland. He died on September 7, 1981. He died from choking on a lamb chop dinner. Christy learned to write and paint with the toes of his left foot. I have seen his paintings and they are beautiful. You wouldn’t know his paintings were painted with his toes. He wrote many books. His most famous book is, “ My Left Foot “. Some people even made a movie on it. It was called , “My Left Foot”. Both the movie and book were about his struggle with every day life in Dublin.

In Brown’s life he wrote four books. His fifth book was a book of poems. Brown’s fame spread throughout Ireland. His first book, “My Left Foot” is now available in fourteen languages. Many people wrote to him. Beth More was one of them, and he wrote a book about her. Eventually he married a woman named, Mary Carr. Christy Brown lived a happy and successful life and is still admired today.


William Ellsworth Hoy by Aaron

William Ellsworth Hoy
William Ellsworth Hoy

William Ellsworth Hoy was born May 23, 1862 and died at the age of 99 in 1961. His nickname was Dummy because he was deaf. When he was three years old he suffered from spinal meningitis, which made it so he could not hear, but that didn’t stop him from achieving his dream.Ever since he was a little boy he wanted to be a professional baseball player. When William Hoy was old enough he opened his own shoe shop. One day he was practicing his swing in the back of his shop and a baseball coach saw him. The coach asked him if he wanted to play in the Minor Leagues and William said, “Yes.” He was an exceptional player and played for many Major League teams. Even without his hearing, he played for many great teams.

He played for: The Washington Senators, The Buffalo Brotherhoods, St. Louise Browns, Boston Beaneaters, Cincinnati Reds, Louisville Colonels, Chicago White Sox, and the Los Angeles Looloos. One time when he was in the Major Leagues he was batting against a pitcher who was also deaf. They headlined the newspaper, Taylor Vs. William. William Hoy was known as one of the most accomplished players in Major League Baseball. He was the first one to hit a grand slam in the American League.

William Hoy used to live in Houckstown, Ohio. He changed the world and inspired many athletes by not giving up and kept trying when things were hard. The reason he inspires me is because he had a difficult challenge. Even though he was deaf, he became a professional baseball player in the Major Leagues.


Jean Driscoll by Reese

Jean Driscoll by Reese
Jean Driscoll

Disabled people usually have challenges. Obstacles. Troubles. Maybe they would endure a hard life. But maybe not. Maybe they would not have such a hard life if they could be famous. Special. Known. Probably every disabled person’s dream. Jean Driscoll got that dream. She got people to see her whole person. Jean was born in November 18, 1966. I’m going to tell you about her right from when she realized that she was going to be in a wheelchair her whole life. So read closely!

Jean’s accomplishments will be very hard for me to name. Not for the reason that there are too little, but because there are way to many. Jean’s neighbors, admirers, friends and family looked up to her. Not because they pitied her, but because they thought her achievements were incredible. They learned to look beyond that fixed point, the one that on-lookers so often stared at, but at the whole person. She competes in Olympic wheelchair racing. She has won many medals, most of which people who do not have a disability would never have thought they would ever get.

Her disability is Spina Bifida. That means that it is impossible for her to bend over, or do much of anything, really. That must be very hard for her. Even harder considering that she really wanted to play a sport. Wheelchair racing! The thought must have popped into her head like a light bulb. A new hope. A bright star inside the darkness of night. Spina Bifida just happens like a bug or sickness. But Jean had to learn how to get around that. Everybody has obstacles in life. They just have to learn how to move those aside. And she did!

My reflections are quite simple. I would love to meet Jean Driscoll, because she sounds like a very kind person with many fine qualities. She got around obstacles, which I think is nice, but then, she just met new challenges. I’m also quite sure that we would be the best of friends and she would help me learn how to look around the disability and at the whole person! Remember that Jean did things you could probably not do, but that she got around her obstacles. I liked writing this essay because it gave me a chance to learn about new things and of course, new people as well!