Disability is part of the human condition. At any one time, perhaps 15% of the population have a disability: add illness and ageing and impairment comes to us all. In this collection originating from my Disabled Lives blog, I want to share short biographies of famous and not-so-famous disabled people, and by doing so demonstrate the variety and the achievement of disabled lives. I hope it will be interesting and instructive, and welcome suggestions for future subjects. Browse the collection
When I was living in Geneva and working at WHO, I was not allowed to write for newspapers… but when the editor of Folio, the monthly magazine of Neue Zurcher Zeitung asked me if I would contribute a regular column of personal views about disability, I thought I’d get away with it… especially as it was in German. Originally planned for one year, it went on for three. Browse the collection
Nobody would doubt that dementia is debilitating. This constellation of incurable diseases causes people to lose abilities which require concentration and planning. Their personality may change. People may develop depression and confusion. We are all familiar with this dominant representation of dementia, and frightened out of our wits by it. Dementia is a disease, but… Read More from Is dementia a disability?
I was very lucky to be born disabled in 1966, just as the disability rights movement was gaining strength worldwide – I was born into an era of disability activists agitating for recognition that we are human beings like any other, and that we should be treated with respect and dignity. This is a political… Read More from Deepening disability justice: beyond the level playing-field
Impairment seems, on the face of it, a very unpleasant phenomenon, which most people would prefer to avoid. You hear sayings such as “I’d rather be dead than disabled”. Disability, in everyday thought, is associated with failure, with dependency and with not being able to do things. We feel sorry for disabled people, because we… Read More from Do we have to be frightened of disability?