Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

7 Wonders of the World of Disabilities

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 11:48 pm on Thursday, November 27, 2008

In 2007, the New7Wonders Foundation revealed a new list of seven international representatives of historical human heritage, as determined by 100 million global citizens casting their votes. Intrigued and inspired, Exceptional Parent Magazine’s editorial staff what or who they would name to the 7 Wonders of the World of Disabilities. After spending the past year talking with leaders in the disabilities field, their list was featured in the November 2008 issue:

  • Landmark legislation the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees Americans with disabilities various rights under the law, including accessible housing, public buildings and a "free and public education’;
  • The communication breakthroughs of the creation of the Braille System and the use of Sign Language provide many with the ability to effectively communicate – a "paramount process in the human experience.
  • The Wheelchair provides the ability to be mobile and the feeling of freedom to those with physical disabilities.
  • The Special Olympics offer individuals with intellectual disabilities to develop self-esteem, strength and skills through competition.
  • Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger’s principles of Normalization and Social Role Valorization are part of the reason social services even exist today for people with disabilities. (These principles will take further reading on my part. I’ll share what happening learn in a future post.)
  • The U.S. Human Genome Project may "hold the answer to a multitude of questions about the many human genetic disorders that affect children and adults."
  • The medical breakthroughs of the Guthrie Test and the Polio Vaccine are "highly significant because of their historic qualities, their far-reaching impact, and the face that they represent discoveries that sought to prevent a disabling condition altogether or lessen its impact."
  • An honourable mention goes to Assistance Animals for their ability to assist and comfort individuals with disabilities.

The entire article is available on the New7Wonders website. Ironically, the article is presented as a series of images, making the text inaccessible to those using refreshable Braille displays, screen readers and other assistive technologies. (I merely shake my head. What else can I do?)

Special thanks to my friend Loree for bringing this article to my attention!

What do you think of this list? What would you add or change?

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Comment by anna

November 28, 2008 @ 10:25 am

Glenda, I would say the people are the wonder missing from this list. Those with disabilities, parents, kind and caring teachers, doctors & therapists …

I don’t know where we would be without the people who touch our lives at every turn …

Comment by Karen Putz/ DeafMom

November 30, 2008 @ 9:48 am

I know that some families that I work with would want to add the cochlear implant to the list as well.

I’m happy to see sign language up there and recognized– I know that learning ASL has opened up the world for me.

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