According to the last census, one in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some are visible, some are hidden--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 an urgent, galvanizing collection of personal essays by contemporary disabled writers. There is Harriet McBryde Johnson's "Unspeakable Conversations," which describes her famous debate with Princeton philosopher Peter Singer over her own personhood. There is columnist s. e. smith's celebratory review of a work of theater by disabled performers. There are original pieces by up-and-coming authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma. There are blog posts, manifestos, eulogies, and testimonies to Congress. Taken together, this anthology gives a glimpse of the vast richness and complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own assumptions and understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and past with hope and love.
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 to creating, 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. She has been published or featured in The New York Times, Eater, Teen Vogue, the CNN original series United Shades of America, Transom, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Vice, and BuzzFeed. 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.
Introduction by Alice Wong PART 1: BEING 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 PART 2: BECOMING 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 PART 3: DOING 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 D
"If we're going to talk about diversity in earnest then we must acknowledge the contributors in Alice Wong's anthology and how their essays encapsulate intersectional dialogue, intellectual thought, and intimate details. Disability Visibility is the perfect name for this collection because the authors words resound loudly and deserve to be heard. Books like this showcase why change is needed, what needs to be part of the larger political consciousness, and who is often left out of the conversation. This book is a celebration and a source of deep education for many to bear witness (and feel seen by) the vastness of disabled stories, voices, and backgrounds." -- Jennifer Baker, editor of Everyday People: The Color of Life--A Short Story Anthology "As a Deaf Asian American, it wasn't until recent years that I started considering myself disabled. These stories validated many complicated experiences I had while growing up and felt fully relatable. When did I realize I deserved a better future? When did I stop feeling the need to assimilate? When did I become radicalized by ableism? There are many ways to be disabled and even though we aren't offered many platforms to present ourselves, we exist and we want to write our own history. This is a very informed starting point for anyone who, like myself, would like to get a better understanding of disability as a massive and beautifully nuanced spectrum." -- Christine Sun Kim, artist "Wong's discerning selections, bolstered by the activism that shines through, will educate and inspire readers." -- Kirkus Reviews
A groundbreaking collection of first-person writing on the joys and challenges of the modern disability experience- Disability Visibility brings together the voices of activists, authors, lawyers, politicians, artists, and everyday people whose daily lives are, in the words of playwright Neil Marcus, "an art . . . an ingenious way to live." A Vintage Books Original.
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