International Day of People with Disabilities 2022

November 30, 2022 | Winona

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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.

Blue IDPWD logo which features four colourful figures surrounded by the UN laurel leaves and text that reads International Day of People with Disabilities

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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Fiction

Cover of the book (In)visible by Ivan Baĭdak which features a face obscured by a distorted checkerboard pattern in sepia-tones. 

(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.

Cover of the book Just by Looking at Him by Ryan O'Connell featuring a painting of the back of a nude person watching another person swimming.

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.

Cover of the book Kerbs by Michael Southan featuring two people in wheelchairs taking a selfie as they cheers each other with cocktail glasses in hand.

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.

Cover of the book Pacifique by Sarah L. Taggart featuring a hot pink vinyl record melting against a deep blue background.

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.

Cover of the book Panpocalypse by Carley Moore featuring the front half of an upside-down bicycle.

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.

Cover of the book True Biz by Sara Nović featuring an image of a colourful patchwork hand making the "D" handshape.

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."

Memoir

Cover of the book The Beauty of Dusk by Frank Bruni that features the title and author name in blurry letters.

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.

Cover of the book Deaf Utopia by Nyle DiMarco features a photo of a smiling man looking at the camera.

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.

Cover of the book Easy Beauty by Chloé Cooper Jones which features shards of mirror against a pink background.

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.

Cover of the book Fractured by Susan Mockler which features a broken white line running down the middle against a black background.

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.

Cover of the book Year of the Tiger by Alice Wong which features a red paper cut tiger against a bright yellow background with red paper cut flowers.

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

Cover of the book Black Disability Politics by Sami Schalk which features the book title and author name in bold yellow text between two red horizontal bars against a black backround.

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.

Cover of the book Disability Injustice edited by Fritsch  Monaghan  and van der Meulen, which features a large square made up of tiny multicoloured squares in a random pattern.

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.

Cover of the book Disability Pride by Ben Mattlin which features abstract shapes in shades of yellow, orange, blue, and white.

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.

Cover of the book The Future is Disabled by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha which features a sundial made of small brown figures telling the time of the world, on a rainbow nebula background.

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.

Cover of the book May Tomorrow Be Awake by Chris Martin which features a drawing of an upside-down staircase.

May Tomorrow Be Awake: On Poetry, Autism, and Our Neurodiverse Future by Chris Martin

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.


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Related Reading

For more great reads, check out:

Accessibility at Toronto Public Library

For information about accessibility in library branches, collections, and services, please visit tpl.ca/accessibility

 

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