Disability spokesperson Spann Cordle continues to gain local and international attention for his inspirational story, including recognition from the Chattooga County Historical Society and from Dena Ackerman, a fine artist and illustrator living in Israel. “I never thought that Finn and I would have these opportunities to represent disability awareness around the world,“ Cordle said.
Cordle was recognized by Eugene McGinnis at the April Chattooga County Historical Society Meeting. McGinnis, Historical Society President, presented him with a 60-year old Summerville News article covering his first steps as a four year old child after years of therapy and medical care for his disability. The April meeting featured Gene Espy, Publisher of The Summerville News, who spoke of his family’s 120-year ownership of the paper and the many local and national issues which it has covered throughout those decades.
Cordle and Finn are the subjects of a new painting by Dena Ackerman, a watercolor artist who lives in Israel. Ackerman said on her page, #artbydena, “when I posted this painting on my Instagram, someone commented,” I know that guy, it’s Spann.” The work can be seen on Cordle’s new disability awareness Facebook page, “From Finn’s Vision.”
Cordle has decided to return to public speaking after taking time out of the spotlight when he lost his beloved service dog Finn several years ago. He will be available to speak at events in addition to continuing his 40-hour work week at Walmart Supercenter 756 in Trion, Georgia. He has launched “From Finn’s Vision” to chronicle this new phase of his life.
Prior to Finn’s passing, Cordle made many speaking appearances, including Sirius Radio, podcasts by nationally known celebrities such as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and the annual Walmart Shareholder’s Meeting. He also made corporate training videos for the company. “I’ve come such a long way, I’m such a blessed man with the things that have happened, Cordle said. “First the Coke bottle painting by Billy Smith and now an international painting of Finn and I. I’m absolutely speechless and I am so honored.”
By Kay Willingham Shiver
Former Editor, Career Pilot Magazine, Former News Editor Berry College Office of Public Information, Former Feature Writer, The Summerville News