review: Disability Visability

Title: Disability Visibility 17 First-Person Stories for Today (adapted for young adults)
Editor: Alice Wong
Date: Delacorte Press, 2020
YA nonfiction

Alice Wong is a Chinese American disabled activist, writer, editor, and consultant. Originally from Indianapolis, IN her work is now based in San Francisco, CA. Wong works for systemic change for people with disabilities and with the Disability Visibility Project, she has built an online community that creates, shares and amplifies disability media and culture.  This book stems from that project. As the title indicates, it contains 17 stories written by people with disabilities who share a glimpse into their lives. As an outsider to this community, I appreciated that rather than being pain-based narratives, the stories were written to inform me of everyday complexities that are often filled with barriers, passions, losses and joys. I also appreciated the huge diversity of the stories. Reading about Jeremy Woody’s experience as a deaf prisoner, Maysoon Aayid’s difficulty fasting during Ramadan and the privilege Sandy Ho felt being a disable person in the United States brought a humanness to these stories that I don’t think I would have felt if the contributors wrote as if they were the typical all American person with these experiences. Oh, wait! These are typical all Americans!

I was glad to have located this gem in my library.

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