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Reads for Disability Pride Month 2023

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Reads for Disability Pride Month 2023

“Disability Pride Month” celebrates the important history of the disability civil rights movement and recognizes contributions that people with disabilities make in workplaces and communities. Observed in July to commemorate the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law in July, 1990, it’s a time to celebrate people with disabilities which is roughly 15% of the world’s population and 1 in 4 Americans.

Here are some recently published books available with your Livingston Library card, by and about the disabled and differently abled people, so that we can learn more about them, and hear different stories and voices.

access your drive

Access Your Drive And Enjoy The Ride : A Guide To Achieving Your Dreams From A Person With A Disability by Lolo Spencer

Spencer provides a candid and real inside look into the life of being a person with a disability. Lolo shares how she navigates daily life with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). You are more than your limits. Choosing to see herself as more than a person with a disability and wheelchair user, Lolo chooses to live a bold and courageous life now because representation matters. She created this intersectional guide to provide tools for people with disabilities to thrive in personal growth, independence, and community building.

The Beauty Of Dusk: On Vision Lost And Found by Frank Bruni

A  wise and moving memoir about aging, affliction, and optimism after partially losing his eyesight due to a rare overnight stroke.  Bruni hauntingly recounts his adjustment to this daunting reality, a medical and spiritual odyssey that involved not only reappraising his own priorities but also reaching out to, and gathering wisdom from, longtime friends and new acquaintances who had navigated their own traumas and afflictions. 

Being Seen : One Deafblind Woman’s Fight To End Ableism by Elsa Sjunneson

A deafblind writer and professor explores how the misrepresentation of disability in books, movies, and TV harms both the disabled community and everyone else.

Born Extraordinary : Empowering Children With Differences And Disabilities by Meg Zucker

Often the subjects of unwanted attention-ranging from pitying stares to bullying-Zucker and her sons have learned to ignore what others think and live fearlessly. Also incorporating the stories of other families with visible and invisible differences of all kinds, this book gives parents the tools to meet their children’s emotional needs while supporting the whole family unit. Parents learn how best to empower their children to confront others’ assumptions, grow in confidence, and encourage dialogue-rather than silence, fear, and shame-around differences.

crip up the kitchen

Crip Up The Kitchen : Tools, Tips And Recipes For The Disabled Cook by Jules Sherred

When Sherred discovered the Instant Pot multicooker, he was thrilled. And incensed. How had no one told him what a game changer this could be, for any home cook but in particular for those with disabilities and chronic illness? And so the experimenting–and the evangelizing–began. The kitchen is the most ableist room in the house. With 50 recipes that make use of three key tools–the electric pressure cooker, air fryer, and bread machine–Jules has set out to make the kitchen accessible and enjoyable. The book includes pantry prep, meal planning, shopping guides, kitchen organization plans, and tips for cooking safely when disabled, all taking into account varying physical abilities and energy levels. 

Demystifying Disability : What To Know, What To Say, And How To Be An Ally by Emily Ladau

A guide for how to be 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 accessible place.

Disability Pride : Dispatches From A Post-ADA World by Ben Mattlin

An eye-opening portrait of the diverse disability community as it is today and how attitudes, activism, and representation have evolved since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Easy Beauty: A Memoir by Chloé Cooper Jones

Jones was born with a rare congenital condition called sacral agenesis, which affects both the stature and gait, and so her pain is physical. But there is also the pain of being judged and pitied for her appearance, of being dismissed as “less than.” the ways she has been seen–or not seen–has informed her lens on the world for her entire life… But after unexpectedly becoming a mother (in violation of unspoken social taboos about the disabled body), she feels something in her shift, and Jones sets off on a journey across the globe, reclaiming the spaces she’d been denied and had denied herself.

fearlessly different

Fearlessly Different : An Autistic Actor’s Journey To Broadway’s Biggest Stage by Mickey Rowe

This is the moving, inspirational memoir of autistic actor Mickey Rowe, who pushed beyond the stereotypes and obstacles so many disabled individuals face to shine on Broadway’s biggest stage. It opens up the world of autism to those who feel locked out and helps those with autism feel seen and understood.

The Hard Parts : A Memoir Of Courage And Triumph by Oksana Masters

The United States’ most decorated winter Paralympic or Olympic athlete tells how she overcame Chernobyl disaster-caused physical challenges through sheer determination and a drive to succeed to win the world’s best in elite rowing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, and road cycling competitions.

I Live A Life Like Yours : A Memoir by Jan Grue

A sensitive examination of the meaning of disability. When he was 3 years old, award-winning Norwegian writer Grue was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative disease that compromised his ability to walk and, doctors predicted, would worsen over time. In a frank and often moving memoir, the author reflects on disability, identity, and difference, drawing on philosophy, sociology, literature, and art: Erving Goffman on the concept of stigma, for example; Joan Didion on grief and Michel Foucault on the clinical gaze.

Losing Music : A Memoir by John Cotter

A devastating account of the author’s experience with the debilitating condition known as Ménière’s Disease that sheds urgent, bracingly honest light on both the taboos surrounding disability and the limits of medical science.

no spring chicken

No Spring Chicken : Stories And Advice From A Wild Handicapper On Aging And Disability by Francine Falk-Allen

A memoir of the author’s adventures living with a disability. Intended as a follow-up to her earlier memoir, Not a Poster Child: Living Well With a Disability—A Memoir (2018), which detailed her contending with the effects of polio, this is an enthusiastic if rambling collection of stories from her life as a world traveler and polio survivor. Falk-Allen’s approach to enjoying travel as a “wild handicapper”—in her case, as someone who walks with an assistive device and has limited stamina—focuses on planning and understanding what to expect upon arrival at one’s destination, particularly researching accessibility options, packing light, and sticking to a budget.

Remedies For Sorrow : An Extraordinary Child, A Secret Kept From Pregnant Women, and a Mother’s Pursuit of the Truth by Megan Nix

An inspiring memoir and work of fierce advocacy by a mother whose child is born deaf, leading her to investigate and expose a preventable virus that causes more childhood disabilities than any other–but is kept quiet by the medical community. While doctors warn pregnant women against the risks of saunas, sushi, and unpasteurized cheese, they don’t mention that CMV is contagious in the saliva of one out of three toddlers, spread through a kiss, a shared cup, a bite of unfinished toast. Anna’s diagnosis led Megan to years of in-depth research, uncovering a shocking fact: obstetricians in the United States are advised not to mention CMV to women during their pregnancies. Unfolding across the dramatic landscape of Sitka, Alaska, where Megan’s husband makes his living as a salmon fisherman, this is lyrically written and a searing critique of the paternalistic practice of “benevolent deception” in medicine.”

Unmasking Autism : Discovering The New Faces Of Neurodiversity by Devon Price

A deep dive into the spectrum of Autistic experience and the phenomenon of masked Autism, giving individuals the tools to safely uncover their true selves while broadening society’s narrow understanding of neurodiversity.

We’ve Got This : Essays By Disabled Parents

The first major anthology by parents with disabilities. How does a father who is blind take his child to the park? How is a mother with dwarfism treated when she walks her child down the street? How do Deaf parents know when their baby cries in the night?? More than 15 percent of people worldwide live with a disability, and many of them are also parents. And yet their stories are rarely shared, their experiences almost never reflected in parenting literature. Parents around the world who identify as deaf, disabled, or chronically ill discuss the highs and lows of their parenting journeys and reveal that the greatest obstacles lie in other people’s attitudes. 

Archana Chiplunkar,Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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