NEWS FROM DAC NW

DR. STEPHEN HAWKING AS ACCIDENTAL AMBASSADOR FOR AT

Dr. Stephen Hawking, disability advocate, cosmologist, role model, world traveler, and the man who brought complicated physics theories to the public, has passed away. He had ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and remarkably survived 50 years beyond the norm for that illness.

A brilliant physicist who published more than 230 scientific articles, papers, and books, he stretched humankind’s understanding of the nature of our existence. His frustration with his disease taking away the use of his hands or voice is understandable. Still, he was able to thrive because of assistive devices like his specialized wheelchair, communication systems, and excellent medical care.

“Without this technology I would be mute, a prisoner inside my own mind, I would not be able to ask for a cup of tea let alone describe my no-boundary theory of how the universe began. Because I have had such phenomenal technological support, I feel a responsibility to speak for others who have not,” said Dr. Hawking.

This rapidly developing assistive technology helps people with physical limitations to achieve increased independence. They provide a means for people to move from place to place, eat independently, to see and hear what they can’t otherwise perceive. They range from seemingly simple tools to speech generating devices (SGD) that provide a voice for those who don’t have one.

Addressing the World Health Organization’s first World Report on Disability in 2011, he said, “We have a moral duty to remove the barriers to participation, and invest sufficient funding and expertise to unlock the vast potential of people with disabilities.”

Your local CIL provides access to that AT. It is “task” driven, not diagnoses driven. We continue Dr. Hawking advocacy for independence.

He will be interred at Westminster Abbey sharing the neighborhood with Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton.

 

 


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