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August 23rd, 2011
07:33 AM ET

Human Factor: A bridge from dyslexia

In the Human Factor,  we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week Ben Foss shares how his own disability led him to invent a device that helps others who share his condition.

People like to say that I have overcome dyslexia.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

What I have overcome is the mainstream world. A person in a wheelchair overcomes stairs with a ramp. In the same way, I have overcome people who think dyslexia equals lazy.

This experience is why I am now the executive director of Disability Rights Advocates, a national legal center that tries to get people to do what they should have done in the first place, i.e., include people with disabilities in the mainstream.

Eighteen veterans a day commit suicide. We are fighting to make sure that the Department of Veterans Affairs provides the services vets with disabilities such as post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury deserve. In New York, they are about to replace all the cabs in the city with vans, but they have not picked one with a ramp built-in.

Wheelchair users can use 100% of the cabs in London, but less than 2% of those in NYC. That is wrong. For 17 years DRA has been fighting for equal access to work and school for all.
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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