International Day of People with Disabilities 2022
December 3 is International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD). Started in 1992 by the United Nations, this is a day to increase understanding of disability issues and promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities in all aspects of everyday life.
To celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities 2022, I’ve put together a list of some fantastic books that were published this year and written by people with disabilities and people who are Deaf.
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(In)visible by Ivan Baĭdak, translated by Hanna Leliv and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler
The fictional stories of four people who together find support, friendship, and self-acceptance: Adam who has Tourette’s Syndrome, Anna who has a facial haemangioma, Marta who has alopecia, and Eva who has vitiligo. From Ukrainian author Ivan Baĭdak, who moved to Canada in February of this year.
Just By Looking at Him by Ryan O’Connell
This funny and tender novel follows a gay TV writer with cerebral palsy as he fights addiction and searches for acceptance in an overwhelmingly ableist world. From Queer as Folk actor Ryan O'Connell, who also wrote the memoir/manifesto I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.
Kerbs by Michael Southan
A rom-com play about romance, sex, and disability, that tackles the universal challenge faced by anyone experiencing a new relationship: letting someone in. Debut from Michael Southan of the UK's leading disabled-led theatre company, Graea.
Pacifique by Sarah L. Taggart
Is love real if the beloved isn’t? A taut, literary psychological tale about love, madness, identity, and the thin veil between fantasy and reality. Named one of Lambda Literary October's most anticipated LGBTQIA+ literature.
Panpocalypse by Carley Moore
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a queer disabled woman bikes through a locked-down New York City in search of connection. Originally written and published in weekly installments on the Feminist Press website.
True Biz by Sara Nović
A coming-of-age story that follows a year of seismic romantic, political, and familial shifts for a teacher and her students at a boarding school for the Deaf, from the author of the acclaimed novel Girl at War. True biz is an expression in American Sign Language that in English means "for sure," "seriously," "no joke" and/or "real-talk."
The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found by Frank Bruni
From New York Times columnist Frank Bruni comes a wise and moving memoir about aging and optimism after becoming partially blind.
Deaf Utopia: A Memoir and a Love Letter to a Way of Life by Nyle DiMarco
A heartfelt memoir and celebration of Deaf culture by Nyle DiMarco, actor, producer, two-time reality show winner, and cultural icon of the international Deaf community.
Easy Beauty: A Memoir by Chloé Cooper Jones
A thoughtful memoir about disability, motherhood, and the search for a new way of seeing and being seen, from philosophy professor, journalist, and Pulitzer Prize finalist Chloé Cooper Jones.
Fractured: A Memoir by Susan Mockler
A collision with a moose on a dark highway left Susan Mockler with a spinal injury and changed every aspect of her life. A compelling illumination of the challenges of acquired disability and the ways in which people with disabilities are sidelined and infantilized.
Year of the Tiger: An Activist's Life by Alice Wong
An impressionistic scrapbook that draws from essays, conversations, photos, art, and more, to offer readers a glimpse into a disabled Asian American activist’s journey to finding and cultivating community and the continued fight for disability justice. From the formidable founder of the Disability Visibility Project and editor of Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century.
Disability Culture and Justice
Black Disability Politics by Sami Schalk
Explores how issues of disability have been, and continue to be, central to Black activism from the 1970s to the present, drawing on archives from the Black Panther Party, the National Black Women's Health Project, and interviews with contemporary Black disabled cultural workers. From the author of Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)abiity, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction.
Disability Injustice: Confronting Criminalization in Canada edited by Kelly Fritsch, Jeffrey Monaghan, and Emily van der Meulen
Ableism is embedded in Canadian criminal justice institutions, policies, and practices, making incarceration and institutionalization dangerous - even deadly - for disabled people. Disability Injustice brings together highly original work by a range of scholars and activists to explore disability in the historical and contemporary Canadian criminal justice system.
Disability Pride: Dispatches from a Post-ADA World by Ben Mattlin
A revealing portrait of the diverse disability community as it is today, and how disability attitudes, activism, and representation have evolved since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990.
The Future is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes, and Mourning Songs by Leah Laksmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
What if, in the near future, the majority of people will be disabled–and what if that's not a bad thing? And what if disability justice and disabled wisdom are crucial to creating a future in which it's possible to survive fascism, climate change, and pandemics and to bring about liberation? From disability activist and Lambda Literary Award-winning author of Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice.
A neurodivergent author and educator’s pioneering approach to helping autistic students find their voices through poetry—a powerful and uplifting story that shows us how to better communicate with people on the spectrum and explores how we use language to express our seemingly limitless interior lives.
Do you have a title you'd like to share? Tell us in the comments below.
For more great reads, check out:
- Deaf and Disability Book Lists – recommendations for kids, teens, and adults
- Black d/Deaf and Disability Excellence – excellent titles for all ages
- Disability Representation in Comics and Graphic Novels – superheroes, memoirs, and nonfiction
- International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 – books from 2021
- Invisible Disabilities Week – biographies and memoirs
Accessibility at Toronto Public Library
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