Boldly claiming a space in which people with disabilities can be seen and heard as they are-not as others perceive them-About Us captures the voices of a community that has for too long been stereotyped and misrepresented. Speaking not only to those with disabilities, but also to their families, coworkers and support networks, the authors in About Us offer intimate stories of how they navigate a world not built for them. Since its 2016 debut, the popular New York Times' "Disability" column has transformed the national dialogue around disability. Now, echoing the refrain of the disability rights movement, "Nothing about us without us," this landmark collection gathers the most powerful essays from the series that speak to the fullness of human experience-stories about first romance, childhood shame and isolation, segregation, professional ambition, child-bearing and parenting, aging and beyond.
Disability advocates fought tirelessly to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities became a standard part of public design thinking. That fight took many forms worldwide, but in the United States it became a civil rights issue; activists used design to make an argument about the place of people with disabilities in public life. The US became the first country to enact federal accessibility laws, beginning with the Architectural Barriers Act in 1968 and continuing through the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Bess Williamson provides an extraordinary look at everyday design, marrying accessibility with aesthetic, to provide an insight into a world in which we are all active participants, but often passive onlookers. Richly detailed, with stories of politics and innovation, Williamson's Accessible America takes us through this important history, showing how American ideas of individualism and rights came to shape the material world, often with unexpected consequences.
Grandin reports from the forefront of autism science, bringing her singular perspective to a thrilling journey into the heart of the autism revolution. Weaving her own experience with remarkable new discoveries, Grandin introduces the neuroimaging advances and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scan to show us which anomalies might explain common symptoms. We meet the scientists and self-advocates who are exploring innovative theories of what causes autism and how we can diagnose and best treat it. Grandin also highlights long-ignored sensory problems and the transformative effects we can have by treating autism symptom by symptom, rather than with an umbrella diagnosis. Most exciting, she argues that raising and educating kids on the spectrum isn't just a matter of focusing on their weaknesses; in the science that reveals their long-overlooked strengths she shows us new ways to foster their unique contributions.
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for Nonfiction "...an essential and engaging look at recent disability history."-- Buzzfeed One of the most influential disability rights activists in US history tells her personal story of fighting for the right to receive an education, have a job, and just be human. A story of fighting to belong in a world that wasn't built for all of us and of one woman's activism--from the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco to inside the halls of Washington--Being Heumann recounts Judy Heumann's lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society. Paralyzed from polio at eighteen months, Judy's struggle for equality began early in life. From fighting to attend grade school after being described as a "fire hazard" to later winning a lawsuit against the New York City school system for denying her a teacher's license because of her paralysis, Judy's actions set a precedent that fundamentally improved rights for disabled people. As a young woman, Judy rolled her wheelchair through the doors of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in San Francisco as a leader of the Section 504 Sit-In, the longest takeover of a governmental building in US history. Working with a community of over 150 disabled activists and allies, Judy successfully pressured the Carter administration to implement protections for disabled peoples' rights, sparking a national movement and leading to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Candid, intimate, and irreverent, Judy Heumann's memoir about resistance to exclusion invites readers to imagine and make real a world in which we all belong.
Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world but his carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor's dog dead and he is initially blamed for the killing. Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents' marriage. The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally.
This volume offers a rare mix of interpretive chapters and primary sources that will be of value to anyone interested in learning about important disability-related issues from the perspective of disabled people themselves. In the 21st century, disability rights have become a social justice issue that concerns all American citizens--access to safe, affordable, and effective health care, access to safe and affordable housing, access to reliable and efficient public transportation, and the ability to work and participate freely in the community and in society without fear of violence. Unlike encyclopedias or biographical dictionaries that only offer brief accounts of key topics, people, events, and organizations, Disability: A Reference Handbook provides important interpretive and analytical frameworks and meaningful primary evidence.
Covering the entirety of US history from pre-1492 to the present, A Disability History of the United States is the first book to place the experiences of people with disabilities at the center of the American narrative. It pulls from primary-source documents and social histories to retell American history through the eyes, words, and impressions of the people who lived it. As historian and disability scholar Nielsen argues, to understand disability history isn't to narrowly focus on a series of individual triumphs but rather to examine mass movements and pivotal daily events through the lens of varied experiences. Throughout the book, Nielsen deftly illustrates how concepts of disability have deeply shaped the American experience-from deciding who was allowed to immigrate to establishing labor laws and justifying slavery and gender discrimination. Included are absorbing-at times horrific-narratives of blinded slaves being thrown overboard and women being involuntarily sterilized, as well as triumphant accounts of disabled miners organizing strikes and disability rights activists picketing Washington.
The #1 New York Times bestselling and Newbery Honor winning graphic novel memoir. Starting at a new school is scary, especially with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom but anywhere her teacher is in the school--in the hallway . . . in the teacher's lounge . . . in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it's just another way of feeling different . . . and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?
Your face, and your life, has been radically altered. Accident, military injury, medical condition...the result is the same. You are now having to confront the world with a "different" face, and understandably this has wrecked your self-image and undermined your confidence, leaving you with a thousand questions and concerns including: What should I do when people stare at me? Wouldn't it be easier if I just stayed home and didn't go anywhere? And most significantly, How will this physical change affect current and future relationships? Will anyone ever be able to love me? Facial Shift is about integrating your life before and after, and is a helpful guide to navigating the world with a facial difference. You can count on it as a source of hope, validation and reassurance, as well as a link to a vibrant community of people who can share experiences and tips for dealing with the common challenges associated with surviving, and thriving in the world with a changed countenance.
Solomon tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so. Solomon's startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on forty thousand pages of interview transcripts with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges. Woven into their courageous and affirming stories is Solomon's journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent. Elegantly reported by a spectacularly original thinker, Far from the Tree explores themes of generosity, acceptance, and tolerance--all rooted in the insight that love can transcend every prejudice. This crucial and revelatory book expands our definition of what it is to be human.
A comprehensive history of deafness, signed languages, and the unresolved struggles of the Deaf to be taught in their unspoken tongue Partially deaf due to a childhood illness, Gerald Shea is no stranger to the search for communicative grace and clarity. In this eloquent and thoroughly researched book, he uncovers the centuries-long struggle of the Deaf to be taught in sign language--the only language that renders them complete, fully communicative human beings.
With acerbic wit and a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw describes the challenges he faces as a twenty-one-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to having a girlfriend and everything in between, Shane handles his situation with humor and a "you-only-live-once" perspective on life. While he does talk about everyday issues that are relatable to teens, he also offers an eye-opening perspective on what it is like to have a life-threatening disease.
Every day, your school, your teachers, and even your peers draw lines to measure and standardize intelligence. They decide what criteria make one person smart and another person stupid. They decide who will succeed and who will just get by. Perhaps you find yourself outside the norm, because you learn differently--but, unlike your classmates, you have no system in place that consistently supports your ability and desire to learn. Simply put, you are considered lazy and stupid. You are expected to fail. Learning Outside the Lines is written by two such "academic failures"--that is, two academic failures who graduated from Brown University at the top of their class. Jonathan Mooney and David Cole teach you how to take control of your education and find true success--and they offer all the reasons why you should persevere. Witty, bold, and disarmingly honest, Learning Outside the Lines takes you on a journey toward personal empowerment and profound educational change, proving once again that rules sometimes need to be broken.
Jonathan Mooney blends anecdote, expertise, and memoir to present a new mode of thinking about how we live and learn--individually, uniquely, and with advantages and upshots to every type of brain and body. Here he explores the toll that being not normal takes on kids and adults when they're trapped in environments that label them, shame them, and tell them, even in subtle ways, that they are the problem. But, he argues, if we can reorient the ways in which we think about diversity, abilities, and disabilities, we can start a revolution.A highly sought after public speaker, Mooney has been inspiring audiences with his story and his message for nearly two decades. Now he's ready to share what he's learned from parents, educators, researchers, and kids in a book that is as much a survival guide as it is a call to action.
Nothing About Us Without Us is the first book in the literature on disability to provide a theoretical overview of disability oppression that shows its similarities to, and differences from, racism, sexism, and colonialism. Charlton's analysis is illuminated by interviews he conducted over a ten-year period with disability rights activists throughout the Third World, Europe, and the United States. Charlton finds an antidote for dependency and powerlessness in the resistance to disability oppression that is emerging worldwide. Nothing About Us Without Us expresses the conviction of people with disabilities that they know what is best for them. Charlton's combination of personal involvement and theoretical awareness assures greater understanding of the disability rights movement.
Not So Differentoffers a humorous, relatable, and refreshingly honest glimpse into Shane Burcaw's life. Shane tackles many of the mundane and quirky questions that he's often asked about living with a disability, and shows readers that he's just as approachable, friendly, and funny as anyone else. Shane Burcaw was born with a rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy, which hinders his muscles' growth. As a result, his body hasn't grown bigger and stronger as he's gotten older--it's gotten smaller and weaker instead. This hasn't stopped him from doing the things he enjoys (like eating pizza and playing sports and video games) with the people he loves, but it does mean that he routinely relies on his friends and family for help with everything from brushing his teeth to rolling over in bed.
Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can't walk. She can't talk. She can't write. All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She's the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it. Most people--her teachers, her doctors, her classmates--dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can't tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she's determined to let everyone know it...somehow.
Saltz examines the latest scientific discoveries, profiles famous geniuses who have been diagnosed with all manner of brain "problems"--including learning disabilities, ADD, anxiety, Depression, Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Autism--and tells the stories of lay individuals to demonstrate how specific deficits in certain areas of the brain are directly associated with the potential for great talent. Saltz shows how the very conditions that cause people to experience difficulty at school, in social situations, at home, or at work, are inextricably bound to creative, disciplinary, artistic, empathetic, and cognitive abilities.
An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love. Arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, Graeme Simsion's distinctive debut will resonate with anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of great challenges. The Rosie Project is a rare find: a book that restores our optimism in the power of human connection.
Thomas G. West investigates how different kinds of brains and different ways of thinking can help to make discoveries and solve problems in innovative and unexpected ways. West focuses on what he has learned over the years from a group of extraordinarily creative, intelligent, and interesting people -- those with dyslexia, Asperger's syndrome, and other different ways of thinking, learning, and working. Based on first-person accounts, West tells stories that include a dyslexic paleontologist in Montana, a special effects tech who worked for Pink Floyd and Kiss and who is now an advocate for those with Asperger's syndrome, a group of dyslexic master code breakers in a British electronic intelligence organization, a Colorado livestock handling expert who has become a forceful advocate for those with autism and a family of dyslexics and visual thinkers in Britain that includes four winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
From Paralympic ski racer and YouTube star, Josh Sundquist, comes an always-funny (and sometimes-awkward) memoir about teenage misadventures. Poignant, relatable, and totally hilarious, this memoir is for anyone who has ever wondered, "Is there something wrong with me?" (Spoiler Alert: the answer is no.)
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid--but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can't blend in when you were born to stand out.