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

Vintage. Jun. 2020. 240p. ed. by ed. by Alice Wong. ISBN 9781984899422. pap. $16. SOC SCI
In the powerful introduction to this collection, Wong, founder of the Disability Visibility Project and host of the related podcast Disability Visibility, reminds us that disability is not a monolith and that disability rights are civil rights. As she does on her podcast, Wong, creator of #CripTheVote, lets people speak for themselves. Standout essays include those by Jen Deerinwater on disparities in health care among Indigenous people; Diana Cejas on the vulnerability of being a patient in the hospital where she works; A.H. Reaume on the myth of independence and the need for more representation in literature; and Ellen Samuels on "crip time," or not living life in normative stages. Alongside prominent figures, such as Maysoon Zayid, Keah Brown, and Haben Girma, readers are introduced to others who are sharing their experiences for the first time. The collection sheds insight on topics that are rarely explored in mainstream works, including the difficulties of finding adaptive clothing, the dangerous mindset of the cure mentality, and the high rates of disability among LGBTQ people. Overall, Wong urges people with disabilities to expect more and deserve more.
VERDICT Bringing varied voices to the forefront, this collection is an ideal starting ground for finding community and sparking further reading.
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