Give Us The Tools Author:Henry Viscardi, Jr. I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon--if I can. — That is the credo of Abilities, Inc., the fabulous Long Island concern run entirely by severely disabled workers. But the workers themselves are more than uncommon. They are incredible. They are people like these: — ...Jim Wadsworth. He had a knack for inventing things.... more » Unable to sit and work, he swung from his bench at a 45 degree angle in a sling he devised from a window cleaner's belt.
...Esther Caldwell. Trapped in the sightless, soundless prison of her own body, she refused to surrender hope.
...Murray Nemser. He works flat on his back. On a litter.
...Lou Blersch. A legless ex-paratrooper, he fought his big battle when he got out of the army.
...Ellen Vaughn. Paralyzed, confined to a wheelchair, she worried a lot--about other people.
...Alex Alazraki. Lacking both arms and legs, he outworks everyone in his crew.
...Emmett Hood. He talks through a hole in his throat. He wasn't supposed to live--but he did.
...And, of course, Henry Viscardi himself, founder of Abilities--the most uncommon of them all. This book tells the improbable story of the industrial miracle set in motion by his imagination and ingenuity.
Abilities began in a grimy, unfurnished garage with four employees who had only five good arms among them, only one good leg. In five years it was a million dollar business hiring 300 disabled people. It has become a national, then an international model of how disable people have helped themselves to help themselves.
Henry Viscardi tells the whole story. The hopes and fears, the successes and failures, the mistakes which almost destroyed the dream. Through it all shines a spirit which is also expressed in the Abilities credo:
I want to take the calculated risk...to stand erect...to think and act for myself...to face the world boldly and say, This I have done.« less