Roy Frank Mitte III will be speaking at the University of Tennessee this week as part of the National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Mr. Mitte is a representative for the National Disability Institute’s Real Economy Impact Tour. They work with low income disabled persons to help improve their financial situations. RJ is well known for the role of Walter Flynn White Jr on Breaking Bad. Mr. Mitte and the character share cerebral palsy. UT is holding its third annual disability week and RJ is expected to give a talk. His talk covers “overcoming Adversity: Turning a disadvantage into an advantage.” The talk will cover how disabilities are portrayed in the media, Mr. Mittes experiences and challenges as an actor.
RJ on Cerebral Palsy
RJ Mitte was born in Lafayette, Louisiana and delivered by emergency C-section. The result of the effort was permanent brain damage and was adopted by RF Mitte Jr and Dyna Mitte. At the age of three, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The doctors tried to straighten out his legs by putting them in casts for six months. Mitte was fitted with leg braces and crutches for most of his childhood. He participated in sports and his body gained the needed strength.
Mittes life as a child had plenty of hardships that included surgeries, braces and bullies. “I had kids that would push and shove me. I had my hand broken,” Mittes said in a Huffington Post interview. His family helped him handle the pressures of society and encourage him to let the frustrations glide off his back. He found sympathy for those who teased him. “Dealing with bullies and dealing with it growing up, it was interesting, but it taught me to show—I hate to use the word—but to show pity to bullies,” RJ continued in the interview.
Awareness for Disabilities in Hollywood
Hollywood focuses on exposing certain elements over the years, especially with skin-colors and for sexual orientations, but this coverage has not been given to those with disabilities. His sole goal is to help bring awareness that is more positive to those with disabilities in all occupations.