Model, actress and advocate -- double-amputee Aimee Mullins has some extraordinary insights on "disability," the quest for "normalcy" and the "opportunity of adversity."
Born without fibular bones, Aimee Mullins' legs were both amputated below the knee when she was an infant. She learned to walk on prosthetics, then to run. At Georgetown, where she double-majored in history and diplomacy, she became the first double amputee to compete in NCAA Division 1 track and field. Mullins has since done notable work as a model, actress, and commercial "ambassador." She's a passionate advocate for new thinking about prosthetics (she's worked with the MIT Media Lab on a powered robotic ankle). In a TED talk, The opportunity of adversity (below), she shares some profound insights on "disabilities," the fallacy of "normalcy," and the "opportunity of adversity."
Changing my legs - and my mindset - 22:25 - TED talk filmed February 1998
It's not fair having 12 pairs of legs - 9:58 - TED talk filmed February 2009
On The Colbert Report - 5:55 - April-15-2010
Dancing with adversity - Aimee Mullins discusses how adversity actually opens the door for human potential. - TED talk filmed October 2009 (21:58)