Disability Awareness

Did you know many of your favorite celebrities and athletes have overcome numerous challenges in their own lives? Continue watching and reading below to experience these inspiring stories. 

Bethany Hamilton, Champion Surfer:

Michael Phelps: Growing up, champion swimmer Michael Phelps was continually criticized by teachers for his inability to sit still, and was formally diagnosed with ADHD when he was in fifth grade. After being on Ritalin for over two years, Phelps chose to stop using the drug and instead used swimming to help him find focus. His choice clearly paid off, as he ended his Olympic career as the most highly decorated Olympian of all time, boasting 22 medals (18 of them being gold).

Keanu Reeves: The John Wick star, Keanu Reeves’ dyslexia caused him to struggle in school. In an interview with Handbag Magazine he said, “Because I had trouble reading, I wasn’t a good student … I didn’t finish high school. I did a lot of pretending as a child. It was my way of coping with the fact that I didn’t really feel like I fit in.” His gift for pretending has served him well in his acting career, which is still going strong after 30 years.

Tim Tebow: Both of Tim Tebow’s brothers and his father also suffer with the common learning disability of dyslexia. Still, the former All-American hasn’t allowed the challenge to keep him down. When it comes to learning new things, Tebow takes his time and uses flashcards, a tool he learned early on as being helpful to him. Says the champ, “I’m not somebody that opens a playbook and just turns and reads and reads. That doesn’t do it for me.”

Emma Watson: Emma Watson has long dealt with attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or ADHD. Reportedly, Watson was first diagnosed as a child, and has since remained on medication to help her focus and control her behavior. Of course, Watson’s ADHD has done anything but stop her. The star of Harry Potter and Beauty and the Beast has not only become a highly respected actress, she’s also a U.N. Ambassador and Ivy League graduate.