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

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

by Alice Wong (Editor)


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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 thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people.

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984899422
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/30/2020
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 18,055
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

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 follow her on Twitter: @SFdirewolf. For more: disabilityvisibilityproject.com.

Table of Contents

Introduction Alice Wong xv

Part 1 Being

Unspeakable Conversations Harriet McBryde Johnson 3

For Ki'tay D. Davidson, Who loves Us Talila A. Lewis 28

If You Can't Fast, Give Maysoon Zayid 36

There's a Mathematical Equation That Proves I'm Ugly-Or So I Learned in My Seventh-Grade Art Class Ariel Henley 39

The Erasure of Indigenous People in Chronic Illness Jen Deerinwater 47

When You Are Waiting to Be Healed June Eric-Udorie 53

The Isolation of Being Deaf in Prison Jeremy Woody, as told to Christie Thompson 59

Common Cyborg Jillian Weise 63

I'm Tired of Chasing a Cure Liz Moore 75

Part 2 Becoming

We Can't Go Back Ricardo T. Thornton Sr. 85

Radical Visibility: A Disabled Queer Clothing Reform Movement Manifesto Sky Cubacub 90

Guide Dogs Don't Lead Blind People. We Wander as One. Haben Girma 101

Taking Charge of My Story as a Cancer Patient at the Hospital Where I Work Diana Cejas 104

Canfei to Canji: The Freedom of Being Loud Sandy Ho 112

Nurturing Black Disabled Joy Keah Brown 117

Last but Not Least-Embracing Asexuality Keshia Scott 121

Imposter Syndrome and Parenting with a Disability Jessica Slice 129

How to Make a Paper Crane from Rage Eisa Sjunneson 134

Selma Blair Became a Disabled Icon Overnight. Here's Why We Need More Stories Like Hers. Zipporah Arielle 141

Part 3 Doing

Why My Novel Is Dedicated to My Disabled Friend Maddy A. H. Reaume 149

The Antiabortion Bill You Aren't Hearing About Rebecca Cokley 159

So. Not. Broken. Alice Sheppard 164

How a Blind Astronomer Found a Way to Hear the Stars Wanda Díaz-Merced 168

Incontinence Is a Public Health Issue-And We Need to Talk About It Mari Ramsawakh 174

Falling/Burning: Hannah Gadsby, Nanette, and Being a Bipolar Creator Shoshana Kessock 179

Six Ways of Looking at Crip Time Ellen Samuels 189

Lost Cause Reyma McCoy McDeid 197

On NYC's Paratransit, Fighting for Safety, Respect, and Human Dignity Britney Wilson 205

Gaining Power through Communication Access Lateef McLeod 220

Part 4 Connecting

The Fearkss Benjamin Lay: Activist, Abolitionist, Dwarf Person Eugene Grant 229

To Survive Climate Catastrophe, Look to Queer and Disabled Folks Patty Berne, as told to and edited by Vanessa Raditz 232

Disability Solidarity: Completing the "Vision for Black Lives" Harriet Tubman Collective 236

Time's Up for Me, Too Karolyn Gehrig 243

Still Dreaming Wild Disability Justice Dreams at the End of the World Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha 250

Love Means Never Having to Say … Anything Jamison Hill 262

On the Ancestral Plane: Crip Hand-Me-Downs and the Legacy of Our Movements Stacey Milbern 267

The Beauty of Spaces Created for and by Disabled People s.e. smith 271

About the Editor 277

About the Contributors 279

Further Reading 293

Permission Acknowledgments 305

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