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HomeNewsWorld's top 50 influential disabled people . . .

World’s top 50 influential disabled people . . .

michael-j-foxPICTURED: American actor Michael J Fox is included in the list for his fundraising work for to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease

AMERICAN actor Michael J Fox is included in a list of 50 of the world’s most influential disabled people that was launched at a major rehabilitation congress in Edinburgh yesterday.

The inaugural Global List, which intentionally excluded disabled champions from the UK, was launched at the 23rd Rehabilitation International World Congress (RIWC).

Entries include sporting heroes, artists, politicians, community leaders and successful business chiefs.

The Global List was chosen by the Shaw Trust charity and the editorial team at Powerful Media.

Roy O’Shaughnessy, Shaw Trust’s chief executive, said:

“We are extremely proud to sponsor The Global List and highlight these exceptionally talented, hardworking and inspirational people who have positively impacted so many lives.

“To be able to launch such a publication at the 23rd Rehabilitation International World Congress, where we will be promoting disability empowerment and building towards a fully inclusive world, is a special honour.”

Katherine Deal, editor of the Global List, added:

“We recognize that all lists such as this are ultimately subjective, but we also believe the Global List are incredible role models who are to be celebrated for their fantastic achievements. We believe also that this would still be case if they were not disabled.

“From Neema Namadamu, a Polio survivor who founded Maman Shujaa Media Centre to empower women in the Congo, to Johnathan Bastos, a Brazilian pianist who was born without arms, this list contains some of the most inspirational people that we have ever come across.”

The Rehabilitation International World Congress, which continues until Thursday, at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, is a four-yearly event bringing together disabled people, policy makers, service providers and academics from across the globe. This year it is hosted by Shaw Trust, and focuses on how to create a more inclusive and accessible world for people of all abilities and backgrounds.

The Global List is published by Powerful Media, the London-based publishing house that also publishes The Power 100, which showcases 100 of the UK’s most influential disabled people and includes such luminaries as Stephen Hawkins and Paralympian Ellie Simmons.


Lucy Oguchuwku Ejike (Nigeria). Powerlifter. Polio.

Eddie Ndopu (South Africa): Human rights. Spinal muscular atrophy.

Neema Namadamu (Congo): Disability rights. Polio.

Yetnebersh Nigussie (Ethiopia): Lawyer/activist. Blind

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah (Ghana): Athlete/activist. Malformed leg.

Sefakor Komabu-Pomeyie (Ghana): Activist. Wheelchair user.

Cobbams Asuquo (Nigeria): Lawyer/musician. Visually impaired.

Hon. Hendrietta I. Bogopane-Zulu (South Africa): Deputy government minister. Visually impaired.


Christine Gauthier (Canada): Athlete. Spinal damage.

Jim Abbott (America): Athlete/baseball. Born with one hand.

Michael J Fox (America): Actor. Parkinson’s disease.

David Patterson (America): 55th Governor of New York. Blind.

Rich Donovan (Canada): Global expert in business development. Cerebral Palsy

Trischa Zorn (America): Most successful Paralympian. Blind.

Stanley Elsen (America): Musician. Kiss guitarist. Partially deaf.

Greg Abbott (America): Texas governor. Spinal/kidney damage.

John Hockenberry (America): Journalist/author. Spinal cord injury.

Diance Swonk (America): Chief economist/Bank One Corporation. Dyselxia.

Marlee Martin (America): Actress. Deaf.

Jack Chen (America): Lawyer. Blind.


Malini Chib (India): Activist. Cerebral Palsy.

Srikanth Bolla (India): Company executive. Blind.

Javed Abidi (India): Director/disability employment organisation. Spina Bifida.

Ajith Chrysanta Stephen Perera (Sri Lanka): Chartered chemist/author. Wheelchair user

Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan): Human rights advocate. Gunshot injury.

Mayumi Narita (Japan): Paralympian swimmer. Myelitus.

Nick Vijucic (Australia): Fim-maker. Born without limbs.

Sugha Chandran (India): Dancer. Paraplegia.

Zhang Madam Haidi (China): Head of Chinese Fed of Disabled People. Paraplegia.

Adam Hills (Australia): Presenter. Amputee.

Melvin Tong (Malaysia): Businessman. Fibro-sarcoma.


Alex Zanardi (Italy): Ex-F1 driver turned Para cyclist. Double leg amputee.

Bartek Ostalowski (Poland): Racing driver. Double arm amputee.

Itzhak Perlman (Israel): Violinist. Polio.

Jean-Christophe Parisot (France): Political scientist/activist. Tetraplegia.

Ragnhild Myklebust (Norway): Most successful Winter Paralympian. Wheelchair user.

Wolfgang Schauble (Germany): Minister, former CDU chairman. Wheelchair user.

Andrea Bocelli (Italy): Singer. Blind.

Sabriye Tenberken (Germany): Creator of Tibetan braille. Blind.

Esref Armagen (Turkey): Painter. Blind.

Bernard Morin (France): Mathematician. Blind.


Floyd Morris (Jamaica): Senate leader/broadcaster. Blind.

Miguel Barbosa Huerta (Mexico): President of the Senate. Paralysis.

Gabriela Michetti (Argentina): Vice President. Paralplegia.

Johnathan Bastos (Brazil): Musician. Born without arms.

Lenin Moreno (Mexico): Vice President/Noble Peace Prize nominee. Paralysis.

Daniel de Faria Dias (Brazil): Swimmer. Malformed limbs.

Raul Montoya (Mexico): Painter. Mental health

Omara Durand (Cuba): Athlete. Visually impaired.



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