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Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-06-30
  • Publisher: Vintage

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“Disability rights activist Alice Wong brings tough conversations to the forefront of society with this anthology. It sheds light on the experience of life as an individual with disabilities, as told by none other than authors with these life experiences. It's an eye-opening collection that readers will revisit time and time again.” —Chicago Tribune

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. Activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act,

From Harriet McBryde Johnson’s account of her debate with Peter Singer over her own personhood to original pieces by authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma; from blog posts, manifestos, and eulogies to Congressional testimonies, and beyond: this anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and the past with hope and love.

Author Biography

Alice Wong is a disabled activist, media maker, and research consultant based in San Francisco, California. She is the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated tocreating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture. Alice is also the host and co-producer of the Disability Visibility podcast and co-partner in a number of collaborations such as #CripTheVote and Access Is Love. From 2013 to 2015, Alice served as a member of the National Council on Disability, an appointment by President Barack Obama. You can followher on Twitter: @SFdirewolf. For more: disabilityvisibilityproject.com.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Alice Wong


Unspeakable Conversations
Harriet McBryde Johnson

For Ki’tay D. Davidson, Who Loves Us
Talila A. Lewis

If You Can’t Fast, Give
Maysoon Zayid

There’s a Mathematical Equation That Proves I’m Ugly—Or So I Learned in My Seventh-Grade Art Class
Ariel Henley

The Erasure of Indigenous People in Chronic Illness
Jen Deerinwater

When You Are Waiting to Be Healed
June Eric-Udorie

The Isolation of Being Deaf in Prison
Jeremy Woody, as told to Christie Thompson  

Common Cyborg
Jillian Weise

I’m Tired of Chasing a Cure
Liz Moore


We Can’t Go Back
Ricardo T. Thornton Sr.

Radical Visibility: A Disabled Queer Clothing Reform Movement Manifesto
Sky Cubacub

Guide Dogs Don’t Lead Blind People. We Wander as One.
Haben Girma

Taking Charge of My Story as a Cancer Patient at the Hospital Where I Work
Diana Cejas

Canfei to Canji: The Freedom of Being Loud
Sandy Ho

Nurturing Black Disabled Joy
Keah Brown

Last but Not Least — Embracing Asexuality
Keshia Scott 

Imposter Syndrome and Parenting with a Disability
Jessica Slice  

How to Make a Paper Crane from Rage
Elsa Sjunneson

Selma Blair Became a Disabled Icon Overnight. Here’s Why We Need More Stories Like Hers.
Zipporah Arielle


Why My Novel Is Dedicated to My Disabled Friend Maddy
A. H. Reaume

The Antiabortion Bill You Aren’t Hearing About
Rebecca Cokley

So. Not. Broken.
Alice Sheppard

How a Blind Astronomer Found a Way to Hear the Stars
Wanda Díaz-Merced

Incontinence Is a Public Health Issue—And We Need to Talk About It
Mari Ramsawakh

Falling/Burning: Hannah Gadsby, Nanette, and Being a Bipolar Creator
Shoshana Kessock

Six Ways of Looking at Crip Time
Ellen Samuels

Lost Cause
Reyma McCoy McDeid  

On NYC’s Paratransit, Fighting for Safety, Respect, and Human Dignity
Britney Wilson

Gaining Power through Communication Access
Lateef McLeod


The Fearless Benjamin Lay: Activist, Abolitionist, Dwarf Person
Eugene Grant

To Survive Climate Catastrophe, Look to Queer and Disabled Folks
Patty Berne, as told to and edited by Vanessa Raditz

Disability Solidarity: Completing the “Vision for Black Lives”
Harriet Tubman Collective

Time’s Up for Me, Too
Karolyn Gehrig  

Still Dreaming Wild Disability Justice Dreams at the End of the World
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna- Samarasinha  

Love Means Never Having to Say . . . Anything
Jamison Hill  

On the Ancestral Plane: Crip Hand- Me Downs and the Legacy of Our Movements
Stacey Milbern

The Beauty of Spaces Created for and by Disabled People
s.e. smith


About the Editor

About the Contributors

Further Reading

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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