“What he could do with just the muscles in his face was amazing,” she said. “He enriched the world so much.”
Kolb was born with a rare condition known as Werdnig-Hoffmann disease or spinal muscular atrophy that eventually led to quadriplegia.
In a blog post, he wrote that his parents raised him as a normal child and insisted he go to regular public school even though he and his wheelchair had to be carried up and down stairs to attend class.
He then graduated from Kearney State College, now the University of Nebraska at Kearney, as a fully trained physics and math teacher in high school.
In the days before the Disabled Americans Act, he couldn’t be hired as a full-time teacher. But he taught substitute high schools in Kearney and Franklin and taught numerous students from the Franklin area. He has also appeared on a Kearney religious show and taught Sunday School for teenagers.
In the middle of life, Kolb increasingly campaigned for disabled people. He dealt with issues of accessibility and employment as well as measures to help disabled people gain more control over their lives.
“Advocacy is essentially an act of educating oneself and others, not only about their legal rights, but also about the exercise of our right to seek authority over and ability to do the things we need to survive Community thrive. ” he said in a 2015 blog post.
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