Skip to main content Skip to navigation

People with disabilities

Sean Halsted (Photo Lintao Zhang/Getty)
Winter 2018

Gold mettle man

Poles planted and ready, Sean Halsted ’92 waits at the starting gate for the 15-kilometer cross-country skiing race. It’s March 2018 at the PyeongChang Winter Games and he’s wearing the signature red cap and striped jersey of the U.S. Paralympic team.

Behind sunglasses, Halsted glances at the grandstand filled with thousands of cheering fans, colorful flags, and jangling cowbells. Cameras point in every direction and he catches a glimpse of himself on the jumbotron. Though the Air Force veteran has competed all over the world, the enormity of the event is overwhelming. His eyes turn back to the countdown clock where seconds creep by until … » More …

Tom Haig in Delhi, India
Spring 2018

Wheeling new heights

It’s a clear, warm Sunday morning in Portland. Sandy Boulevard is nearly deserted and Tom Haig is cruising on his bicycle. He tucks into the teardrop position, thinking, This is awesome.

Suddenly, an elderly couple blow through a stop sign. Haig reacts quickly—but he’s pissed and, looking back at them, yells something unprintable. A second later, he returns his attention to his direction of travel. Yellow light! And a truck coming at him. Bicyclist and driver lock eyes. Both brake and Haig thinks, I’ve got this. That truck has enough clearance for me to lay it down and slide right under.

Then the unthinkable happens—his … » More …

Fall 2009

Elevating engineering in the schools

Sean Neal is good at math, but one bit of geometry he can’t master involves moving ten feet up and two feet over. The wheelchair-bound teen isn’t able to climb into a combine to help harvest his family’s wheat fields.

While Neal’s dad was carrying him up a ladder and helping him into the operator’s seat, his math teacher at Garfield-Palouse High School was pondering ways to nudge students toward careers in which they could use their number-crunching skills. Jim Stewart thought an engineering design contest might do the trick. A former baseball coach, Stewart knows kids like to compete. Sure enough, his Gar-Pal design … » More …