What does Stephen Hawking think of his disability? Not much apparently. The current issue of Abilities magazine offers two perspectives on Hawking – one from the man himself; the other from CBC journalist and Quirks and Quacks host Bob McDonald.
Hawking doesn't live his life defined by his disability. It is a major fact in his life
but it's one of many. He takes it for granted but does not want to
be taken for granted.
I am quite often asked: How do you feel about having ALS? The answer
is, not a lot. I try to lead as normal a life as possible, and not think
about my condition, or regret the things it prevents me from doing,
which are not that many.
He, like most people with disabilities I know, doesn't want his talents
and contributions to be overshadowed by his disability.
I have had motor neurone disease for practically all my adult life.
Yet it has not prevented me from having a very attractive family and
being successful in my work. This is thanks to the help I have received
from Jane, my children, and a large number of other people and
Abilities magazine is the premier magazine chronicling the world from the perspective of people with disabilities. Abilities is the creation of Ray Cohen. Ray and Abilities have been going strong for over two decades – a substantial achievement for any magazine in this precarious industry, especially in Canada. Ray has done more to enable and profile the contributions of Canadian with disabilities than anyone else. Abilities is his labour of love. Accompanying this passion are elegant and distinctive production values. How Ray has managed consistently high journalistic standards on a shoestring budget remains a mystery to his many friends and supporters. He is the disability movement's historian, voice, bulletin board, analyst and animator.
Ray and Abilities have a lot in common with Stephen Hawking. They continue to astound with their beyond survival mentality, disregard for barriers and appetite to confront universal challenges. One of the differences ironically has to do with accessibility. I suspect more Canadians have actually read Abilities magazine than Hawking's, A Brief History of Time – one of those unread books everyone felt they must have in their personal library.
You can read more about Hawking's and a variety of other features by becoming a subscriber to Abilities' free on line version Abilities on -line.