Disability Independence Day
On July 26th the Americans with Disabilities Act will be celebrating its 32nd birthday. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990 and has continued to promote the importance of equal opportunities for people with disabilities ever since. Below you will find an assortment of books that discuss the experiences of people with a variety of disabilities.
Disability Friendly : How to Move From Clueless to Inclusive by John D Kemp
Although progress has been made around equality for many marginalized groups, people with disabilities are still massively underrepresented in organizations' Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts. People with disabilities make up at least 15% of the population, yet they are still too often overlooked. Many people with disabilities are highly motivated, create fantastic work, and add tremendous value to organizations. "Disability Friendly" is a clarion call to businesses around the world to realize the opportunities presented by employing people with disabilities. It explains the potential of disabled employees, how to create a culture of inclusion, and, in the process, help people with disabilities become proud contributors.
Demystifying Disability : What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally by Emily Ladau
An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more inclusive place.
The Disability Experience : Working Toward Belonging by Hannalora Leavitt
People with disabilities (PWDs) have the same aspirations for their lives as you do for yours. The difference is that PWDs don't have the same access to education, employment, housing, transportation and healthcare in order to achieve their goals. In "The Disability Experience" you'll meet people with different kinds of disabilities, and you'll begin to understand the ways PWDs have been ignored, reviled and marginalized throughout history. The book also celebrates the triumphs and achievements of PWDs and shares the powerful stories of those who have fought for change.
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories From the Twenty-First Century by Alice Wong (editor)
One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent--but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people.
Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
In this collection of essays, Lambda Literary Award–winning writer and longtime activist and performance artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha explores the politics and realities of disability justice, a movement that centers the lives and leadership of sick and disabled queer, trans, Black, and brown people, with knowledge and gifts for all.
Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc
If every disabled character is mocked and mistreated, how does the Beast ever imagine a happily-ever-after? Amanda Leduc looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behavior and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate difference.
Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse by Shane Burcaw
With his signature acerbic wit and hilarious voice, 20-something author, blogger, and entrepreneur Shane Burcaw is back with an essay collection about living a full life in a body that many people perceive as a tragedy. From anecdotes about first introductions where people patted him on the head instead of shaking his hand, to stories of passersby mistaking his able-bodied girlfriend for a nurse, Shane tackles awkward situations and assumptions with humor and grace.
Blind Man's Bluff : A Memoir by James Tate Hill
For 15 years, Hill hid his blindness from friends, colleagues, and lovers, even convincing himself that if he stared long enough, things would come into focus. At 30, faced with a stalled writing career, a crumbling marriage, and a growing fear of leaving his apartment, he began to wonder if there was a better way.
Rolling Warrior: The Incredible, Sometimes Awkward, True Story of a Rebel Girl on Wheels Who Helped Spark a Revolution by Judith Heumann
In this young listeners' edition of her acclaimed memoir, "Being Heumann", Judy shares her journey of battling for equal access in an unequal world - from fighting to attend grade school after being described as a "fire hazard" because of her wheelchair, to suing the New York City school system for denying her a teacher's license because of her disability. Judy went on to lead 150 disabled people in the longest sit-in protest in US history at the San Francisco Federal Building. Cut off from the outside world, the group slept on office floors, faced down bomb threats, and risked their lives to win the world's attention and the first civil rights legislation for disabled people.
Being Seen : One Deafblind Woman's Fight to End Ableism by Elsa Sjunneson
As a deafblind woman with partial vision in one eye and bilateral hearing aids, Elsa Sjunneson lives at the crossroads of blindness and sight, hearing and deafness - much to the confusion of the world around her. While she cannot see well enough to operate without a guide dog or cane, she can see enough to know when someone is reacting to the visible signs of her blindness and can hear when they're whispering behind her back. And she certainly knows how wrong our one-size-fits-all definitions of disability can be.
The World's Strongest Librarian : A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne
At first glance, Josh Hanagarne seems an improbable librarian. He stands 6'7", competes in strongman contests, and was diagnosed in high school with Tourette's syndrome. But books are his first love - Josh's earliest memories involve fantastic adventures between the pages of "Gulliver's Travels" and a passionate infatuation with Fern from "Charlotte's Web". Everything in Josh's life - from his Mormon upbringing, to finally finding love, to learning to control his tics through lifting - circles back to a close connection with books. Today, Josh is a librarian at the Salt Lake City Public Library, founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting - and the proud father of four-year-old Max, who has already started to show his own symptoms of Tourette's.
Limitless : The Power of Hope and Resilience to Overcome Circumstance by Mallory Weggemann
On January 21, 2008, a routine medical procedure left Mallory paralyzed from her waist down. Less than two years later, Mallory had broken eight world records, and by the 2012 Paralympic Games, she held 15 world records and 34 American records. Two years after that, a devastating fall severely damaged her left arm. But despite all of the hardships that Mallory faced, she was sure about one thing: she refused to give up.
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