Friday, January 4, 2013

Fun Facts to Start 2013 (Whoo!)

Hooray! It's the first MHKC blog of 2013, and it just so happens to fall on National Trivia Day. Therefore, this week's post is going to be more of a list, because who doesn't love trivia? Here are 10 interesting facts about disability!

1. 57 million people living in the United States in 2010 had some sort of disability. They represent 19 percent of the civilian non-institutionalized population.

2. The typewriter was invented as a private writing device for a blind member of a royal family.

3. Outfielder William Hoy requested that baseball umpires use sign language because he was deaf and could not hear them call balls, strikes, outs, and safes. So originated hand signals in baseball.

4. One of the signers of the US Declaration of Independence had Cerebral Palsy. In 1776, Stephen Hopkins referred to his CP as he signed the Declaration of Independence when he said, “My hand trembles, but my heart does not.”

5. Benjamin Hagkull, age 12, claims to be the youngest disabled athlete to race on the peak of a house. (For the record, we at MHKC don't recommend trying this.)

6. According to the US Census, 20 percent of females have a disability, compared with 17 percent of males. (When adjusted for the aging of the population, the disability rate was 18 percent for both males and females).

7. In 1984, Gallaudet University football quarterback Paul Hubbard created the “huddle” to prevent the opposing team from seeing the signs the Gallaudet team used to communicate their next play to their teammates. (Gallaudet is a university for the deaf and hearing impaired.)

8. The Rig-Veda, an ancient sacred poem of India, is said to be the first written record of a prosthesis. Written in Sanskrit between 3500 and 1800 B.C., it recounts the story of a warrior, Queen Vishpla, who lost her leg in battle, was fitted with an iron prosthesis, and returned to battle. Go, girl!

9. At age 15, Rick Allen started as the drummer for the rock group Def Leppard. In 1984, while driving his Corvette with his girlfriend in the UK, he slammed into a wall and lost his left arm. Through perseverance, the support of his band mates, and a custom drum kit, he remained with the band to enjoy continued success.

10. James Madison,
4th President of the United States, drafter of the Bill of Rights, and father of both the Constitution and the federal system had epilepsy. He played a leading role in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 where he helped design the checks and balances system that equalizes the roles of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. He's a pretty awesome guy.

Share these facts with your friends and watch as their expressions turn to ones of amazement at your profound knowledge of disability factoids. Have a wonderful National Trivia Day!

Have any other fun facts? Share them here or on our Facebook page.

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