Resources: Books: Adults
Books that feature historical people with disabilities
(or have central ideas that promote accepting differences)
A Woman of No Importance
by Sonia Purnell
Prologue: “She [Virginia Hall] helped to pioneer a daredevil role of espionage, sabotage, and subversion behind enemy lines in an era when a woman barely featured in the prism of heroism, when their part in combat was confined to the supportive and palliative. When they were just expected to look nice and act obedient and let the men do the heavy lifting. When disabled - or men - were confined to staying at home and leading often narrow, unsatisfying lives.”
by Judith Heumann
"One of the most influential disability rights activists in US history tells her personal story of fighting for the right to receive an education, have a job, and just be human." -
Disability Visability: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century
by Alice Wong
"One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent—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 this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people."
Nothing About Us Without Us
by James I. Charlton
"Nothing About Us Without Us expresses the conviction of people with disabilities that they know what is best for them. Charlton's combination of personal involvement and theoretical awareness assures greater understanding of the disability rights movement."
FDR's Body Politics: The Rhetoric of Disability
by Davis W. Houck and Amos Kiewe
"Franklin Roosevelt instinctively understood that a politician unable to control his own body would be perceived as unable to control the body politic. He took care to hide his polio-induced lameness both visually and verbally. Through his speeches—and his physical bearing when delivering them—he tried to project robust health for himself while imputing disability, weakness, and even disease onto his political opponents and their policies."