(Cover Photo Credit Source)

You will find that these people , out of many with countless disabilities, have some things in common. They don’t want to be left behind! They don’t want a label to go with an excuse!! Poor Johnny , if only he could ___ , then he would’ve _____.

They want to prove to themselves that they are strong and ABLE. They listen not to naysayers, but to their own inner voices. 

#1.  Nolan Stillwell is a businessman who founded  “Sweet Heat Jam Company”.

He is the  mastermind behind this unique jam company, and he created this business while also living with Down syndrome. 

It  is a successful and unique company , that sells handcrafted all-natural jams. These jams are a great product to consume due to its use of a special blend of fresh chili peppers paired with fruits. This business has successfully produced over 5,000 jars of jam a year, using fruits and peppers grown in Texas. Sweet Heat Jam Co. makes jams that are gluten and fat free which caters to a large consumer base and also allows consumers to use the jams in a variety of ways. Additionally, Sweet Heat Jam started up a culinary program that works to assist young adults that are living with intellectual disabilities.

#2.  Ralph Braun created  the first wheelchair accessible van

This was an outstanding invention,  not only for its significance for the consumer world, but because Ralph Braun was able to successfully pioneer this idea despite his own disability and diagnosis of muscular dystrophy. 

This invention expanded into Braun Corporation, of which Ralph Braun was the founder. This company also manufactures accessible wheelchairs and transportational-vehicles. Ralph Braun was acknowledged by President Barack Obama as “a champion of change”, which exemplifies the impact of the inventor as well as the invention.

#3.  Blake Pyron

Blake’s Snow Shack is a successful company that sells snow cones and was founded by Blake Pyron, a brilliant individual living with Down Syndrome. Despite his diagnosis, Blake Pyron was able to open up Blake’s Snow Shack in 2015, launching his business career, and gaining the attention and support of his local community in Texas. Blake’s story has been recognized nationally due to its inspiring nature and impactful message about the strength and limitless potential  that individuals with disabilities have.

#4.  Paul Orfalea is the man behind Kinkos…

He was diagnosed with dyslexia and severe ADHD, but has been living and working through it from a very young age. Having these diagnoses never stopped or hindered Orfalea. These things made him stronger today contributed to his success as a philanthropist and businessman. Orfalea believes that these conditions assisted him in getting angrier and pushing himself harder and harder. He was his own best friend and advocate. It gave him the ability to push past all the naysayers, and successfully startup Kinko’s . 


#5.  Richard Branson has dyslexia

He  is the successful head of Virgin Group, which consists of 400 individual companies within it.  This disability has made his academic life very difficult. He was not able to learn and retain facts correctly. Despite this diagnosis, Richard Branson went on to be hard working, persistent, and determined to succeed at his game. He has carved out a path for many others to move past any obstacles and land on the Forbes list as a high-ranking billionaire.


#6.  David Neeleman

David Neeleman is the successful founder of the airlines Morris Air, Jetblue, and Azul Brazilian while also founding the Jetblue Airways’ online ticketing system. Neeleman is diagnosed with and living with ADHD but this has not hindered his ability to successfully pioneer business and impact the airlines world. Neeleman has utilized his diagnosis as a factor that empowers him and drives him rather than as one that holds him back.