Flying Scholarships for Disabled People (FSDP), an organization in the UK, is changing the lives of people who live with a disability. Since 1983 nearly 400 people with disabilities have been awarded scholarships – and their wings – through the completion of their flying certificates.
FSDP’s mission was inspired by Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader, a World War II fighter pilot who lost both of his legs in a flying accident. The Captain continued flying post-injury with prosthetic legs. FSDP was formed the year after he died, and has since been serving to help people with disabilities learn to fly.
Karen lives with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis which causes pain in her joints. She hadn’t traveled in nearly seventeen years. But after Karen became a recent FSDP recipient, she got a boost in both her confidence in and desire for traveling.
“The scholarship has taught me to live – then fly."
Sean, a former RAF gunner, is now a volunteer mentor for FSDP. He sustained a spinal cord injury in 1993 from a motor bike accident, and was a 2011 scholarship recipient. “In the Regiment my feet were pretty much firmly on the ground,” says Sean. “But because of everything that has happened I have been able to fly.”
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