Sunday, October 20, 2002

Disability myth and fact often confused

How aware are you of the difference?

Do you know fact from myth in the realm of disability information? Have some fun with the following quiz and see how you fare.

1. October is National Disability Employment Awareness month. True/False

2. About 70 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities are unemployed. True/False

3. The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1991. True/False

4. An estimated one in every five Americans has some kind of disability. True/False

5. The two age groups currently most affected by disability are newborn babies and people over 65. True/False

6. Michael J. Fox, Patty Duke, and Christopher Reeve are celebrities who have openly acknowledged their own disabilities. True/False

7. Guide dogs are trained to indicate to their blind handlers that the light has changed and it is thus safe to cross the street. True/False

8. Rather than a word-for-word translation of spoken English, American Sign Language has its own form and is a language in its own right. True/False

9. Multiple sclerosis can cause:

A. paralysis

B. blindness

C. deafness

D. fatigue.

10. With appropriate adaptations, people with learning disabilities can earn advanced degrees and achieve significant success in many fields of interest. True/False

11. Film and television characters with disabilities are only occasionally played by actors with the same disabilities. True/False

12. People with mental retardation are able to live in their own homes, go to work and serve as community volunteers. True/False

13. Diabetes, the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin, is a serious condition that, without management, can lead to such disabling conditions as blindness, paralysis and heart disease. True/False

14. It is rude to ask people questions regarding their disabilities. True/False

15. Before 1975, many children who used wheelchairs were not allowed to attend public schools. True/False

16. The United States was represented in the 2000 Paralympics by which of the following:

A. Swimmers with cerebral palsy

B. Bicyclists who were blind

C. Runners who were double amputees

D. Comedians who were deaf


1. True.

2. True.

3. False. The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George Bush on July 26, 1990.

4. True.

5. True.

6. True.

7. False. Dogs guiding blind people are trained to stop at every street.

They move forward to cross the street only when commanded to do so by their blind handlers, who determine safety by listening to traffic patterns.

8. True.

9. Al, B, C and D.

10. True. A few notable examples: Tom Cruise, Charles Schwab, Walt Disney, Winston Churchill, and Cher.

11. True.

12. True.

13. True.

14. False. Most people with disabilities are comfortable with themselves and how they do things, and would much rather be asked questions than be excluded or ignored.

15. True.

16. A, B, and C. There may have been some deaf comedians there, too, but they didn't make the sports pages.

If you have any questions you wish you'd seen here, send them along for possible inclusion in a future quiz.

Contact Deborah Kendrick by phone: 673-4474; fax: 321-6430; e-mail: