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By Tony Dungy, Keith O'Neil. 2017
Ever since he was a child, Keith O’Neil wanted to play football. Born on the same day that his father,…Ed O’Neil, was cut from the New England Patriots, football was all Keith could think about . . .aside from his anxiety. Offered a scholarship to Northern Arizona University, O’Neil jumped at the chance to prove himself. Though it wasn’t a Division I-A school, he brought his all and was a natural on the field, achieving first-team All-Big Sky choice as a junior and senior, as well as earning All-American honors. Going undrafted, luck came from the Dallas Cowboys, who offered O’Neil an invite to rookie mini-camp. But while trying to learn the playbook, his anxiety and insomnia returned. Even so, he made the team as an undrafted free agent. His dream had come true. While proving himself as a hard-nosed special teamer, sleepless nights, constant anxiety, and suicidal thoughts clouded his mind. O’Neil considered stepping away from the game multiple times, even speaking to his coach, Bill Parcells. Parcells gave him the wisdom that ?Everyone has a demon in their head, and we have to beat that demon. Beat the demon!” After being released from the Cowboys, O’Neil spent time with the Colts and Giants, but still could not escape his inner demons. He asked for help but never received the attention he needed. In fact, for suicidal thoughts was given a CD to help him relax?Enya. It finally became too much for him to handle, and the final decision was made to walk away from the game. It wasn’t until sometime later that was finally diagnosed: Bipolar I disorder. Finally, everything made sense.Under My Helmet is the personal story of a man working every day to prove his worth while struggling with a debilitating?and undiagnosed?mental illness. O’Neil’s voice is honest and open as he shares his battles and the steps he’s taken to overcome adversity.
By J David Smith. 2016
Do children and adults with disabilities enrich our lives? Far more than most people imagine.Our Better Angels is a testament…to the value of individuals with disabilities and the value that society could derive from being more welcoming to and inclusive of them. The reward is the powerful humanizing influence that they can have on others-even some of the most hardened people among us.Colorful, real-life examples illustrate how a disability can be a valuable human attribute, a powerful source of compassion from which everyone can benefit.What are the challenges that face us as we strive for a more inclusive society? What are the values that should guide us in our efforts? Smith approaches these questions by examining his own experience and other unique perspectives: Meet the children and adults with disabilities who have touched his own life Consider what science-and pseudoscience-has said about disability View disability through the lens of history and literatureThe result is a compelling case for understanding and celebrating human diversity. Smith asks us to summon the "better angels" of our character and affirm our commitment to a society based on equality and democracy.
By Selma Blair. 2022
Selma Blair has played many roles: Ingenue in Cruel Intentions. Preppy ice queen in Legally Blonde. Muse to Karl Lagerfeld.…Advocate for the multiple sclerosis community. But before all of that, Selma was known best as … a mean baby. In a memoir that is as wildly funny as it is emotionally shattering, Blair tells the captivating story of growing up and finding her truth. "Blair is a rebel, an artist, and it turns out: a writer." —Glennon Doyle, Author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Untamed and Founder of Together RisingThe first story Selma Blair Beitner ever heard about herself is that she was a mean, mean baby. With her mouth pulled in a perpetual snarl and a head so furry it had to be rubbed to make way for her forehead, Selma spent years living up to her terrible reputation: biting her sisters, lying spontaneously, getting drunk from Passover wine at the age of seven, and behaving dramatically so that she would be the center of attention. Although Selma went on to become a celebrated Hollywood actress and model, she could never quite shake the periods of darkness that overtook her, the certainty that there was a great mystery at the heart of her life. She often felt like her arms might be on fire, a sensation not unlike electric shocks, and she secretly drank to escape. Over the course of this beautiful and, at times, devasting memoir, Selma lays bare her addiction to alcohol, her devotion to her brilliant and complicated mother, and the moments she flirted with death. There is brutal violence, passionate love, true friendship, the gift of motherhood, and, finally, the surprising salvation of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. In a voice that is powerfully original, fiercely intelligent, and full of hard-won wisdom, Selma Blair&’s Mean Baby is a deeply human memoir and a true literary achievement.
By Michael O Hanson. 2013
Minneapolis-based attorney Mike Hanson set out along the Appalachian Trail in the spring of 2010. Using only a GPS device…and trekking poles, the visually impaired Hanson plotted and completed the majority of the Appalachian Trail without outside assistance, making an important point about the power of technology and the independence of those without sight
By Denise Davy. 2021
At age eighteen, Margaret Jacobson was admitted to the Ontario Hospital, later renamed the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital. Years later, she…died homeless and alone in the city. With meticulous research and deep compassion Denise Davy has pieced together Margaret's story – from promising student to patient, to homeless woman, to an unmarked grave – and asks us to look hard at the system that buried her there.
By Steph The Hammer Hammerman. 2022
Steph Hammerman has been motivating herself and others her entire life. Since defying the odds by surviving as a one-pound,…fifteen-ounce baby and weeks later being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, to beating Hodgkin's Lymphoma Stage 3B cancer in 2016, Steph has been a living example of overcoming seemingly insurmountable objects in order to achieve the impossible.
By Nyle DiMarco, Robert Siebert. 2022
A heartfelt and inspiring memoir and celebration of Deaf culture by Nyle DiMarco, actor, producer, two-time reality show winner, and…cultural icon of the international Deaf communityBefore becoming the actor, producer, advocate, and model that people know today, Nyle DiMarco was half of a pair of Deaf twins born to a multi-generational Deaf family in Queens, New York. At the hospital one day after he was born, Nyle “failed” his first test—a hearing test—to the joy and excitement of his parents.In this engrossing memoir, Nyle shares stories, both heartbreaking and humorous, of what it means to navigate a world built for hearing people. From growing up in a rough-and-tumble childhood in Queens with his big and loving Italian-American family to where he is now, Nyle has always been driven to explore beyond the boundaries given him. A college math major and athlete at Gallaudet—the famed university for the Deaf in Washington, DC—Nyle was drawn as a young man to acting, and dove headfirst into the reality show competitions America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars—ultimately winning both competitions.Deaf Utopia is more than a memoir, it is a cultural anthem—a proud and defiant song of Deaf culture and a love letter to American Sign Language, Nyle’s primary language. Through his stories and those of his Deaf brothers, parents, and grandparents, Nyle opens many windows into the Deaf experience.Deaf Utopia is intimate, suspenseful, hilarious, eye-opening, and smart—both a memoir and a celebration of what makes Deaf culture unique and beautiful.
By Chloé Cooper Jones. 2022
"Soul-stretching, breathtaking...A game-changing gift to readers." — Booklist (starred review) From Chloé Cooper Jones—Pulitzer Prize finalist, philosophy professor, Whiting Creative…Nonfiction Grant recipient—a groundbreaking memoir about disability, motherhood, and a journey to far-flung places in search of a new way of seeing and being seen. "I am in a bar in Brooklyn, listening to two men, my friends, discuss whether my life is worth living." So begins Chloé Cooper Jones's bold, revealing account of moving through the world in a body that looks different than most. Jones learned early on to factor "pain calculations" into every plan, every situation. Born with a rare congenital condition called sacral agenesis which affects both her stature and gait, her pain is physical. But there is also the pain of being judged and pitied for her appearance, of being dismissed as "less than." The way she has been seen—or not seen—has informed her lens on the world her entire life. She resisted this reality by excelling academically and retreating to "the neutral room in her mind" until it passed. But after unexpectedly becoming a mother (in violation of unspoken social taboos about the disabled body), something in her shifts, and Jones sets off on a journey across the globe, reclaiming the spaces she'd been denied, and denied herself. From the bars and domestic spaces of her life in Brooklyn to sculpture gardens in Rome; from film festivals in Utah to a Beyoncé concert in Milan; from a tennis tournament in California to the Killing Fields of Phnom Penh, Jones weaves memory, observation, experience, and aesthetic philosophy to probe the myths underlying our standards of beauty and desirability, and interrogates her own complicity in upholding those myths. With its emotional depth, its prodigious, spiky intelligence, its passion and humor, Easy Beauty is the rare memoir that has the power to make you see the world, and your place in it, with new eyes
By Henry Fraser. 2017
A short, inspirational read from Henry Fraser, a young quadriplegic motivational speaker and artist.Henry Fraser was a 17-year old sports…enthusiast and senior prefect when he broke his spinal cord and was left paralysed from the shoulders down. Life as he knew it was over and yet, through extraordinary determination and a positive attitude, he has forged a successful career as an inspirational speaker and an artist. He chose survival over defeat, and transformed unimaginable difficulty into an opportunity to grow and inspire others. This book will combine his wisdom and insight into accepting life's challenges with positivity and hope, and will resonate with anyone facing an obstacle, no matter how big or small. It includes Henry's thoughts on how to look at the right things and avoid the wrong things, looking for progress in whatever you do, and acknowledging and accepting the darkness when it comes. Right at the heart of Henry's inspiring philosophy is his belief that every day is a good day.Written and Read by Henry Fraser(p) 2017 Orion Publishing Group
By Jennifer Natalya Fink. 2022
A provocation to reclaim our disability lineage in order to profoundly reimagine the possibilities for our relationship to disability, kinship,…and carework.Disability is often described as a tragedy, a crisis, or an aberration, though 1 in 5 people worldwide have a disability. Why is this common human experience rendered exceptional? In All Our Families, disability studies scholar Jennifer Natalya Fink argues that this originates in our families. When we cut a disabled member out of the family story, disability remains a trauma as opposed to a shared and ordinary experience. This makes disability and its diagnosis traumatic and exceptional.Weaving together stories of members of her own family with sociohistorical research, Fink illustrates how the eradication of disabled people from family narratives is rooted in racist, misogynistic, and antisemitic sorting systems inherited from Nazis. By examining the rhetoric of genetic testing, she shows that a fear of disability begins before a child is even born and that a fear of disability is, fundamentally, a fear of care. Fink analyzes our racist and sexist care systems, exposing their inequities as a source of stigmatizing ableism.Inspired by queer and critical race theory, Fink calls for a lineage of disability: a reclamation of disability as a history, a culture, and an identity. Such a lineage offers a means of seeing disability in the context of a collective sense of belonging, as cause for celebration, and is a call for a radical reimagining of carework and kinship. All Our Families challenges us to re-lineate disability within the family as a means of repair toward a more inclusive and flexible structure of care and community.
By Chloé Cooper Jones. 2022
From Chloé Cooper Jones—Pulitzer Prize finalist, philosophy professor, Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant recipient—a groundbreaking memoir about disability, motherhood, and a…journey to far-flung places in search of a new way of seeing and being seen. <p><p> “I am in a bar in Brooklyn, listening to two men, my friends, discuss whether my life is worth living.” <p><p> So begins Chloé Cooper Jones’s bold, revealing account of moving through the world in a body that looks different than most. Jones learned early on to factor “pain calculations” into every plan, every situation. <p><p> Born with a rare congenital condition called sacral agenesis which affects both her stature and gait, her pain is physical. But there is also the pain of being judged and pitied for her appearance, of being dismissed as “less than.” The way she has been seen—or not seen—has informed her lens on the world her entire life. She resisted this reality by excelling academically and retreating to “the neutral room in her mind” until it passed. But after unexpectedly becoming a mother (in violation of unspoken social taboos about the disabled body), something in her shifts, and Jones sets off on a journey across the globe, reclaiming the spaces she’d been denied, and denied herself. <p><p> From the bars and domestic spaces of her life in Brooklyn to sculpture gardens in Rome; from film festivals in Utah to a Beyoncé concert in Milan; from a tennis tournament in California to the Killing Fields of Phnom Penh, Jones weaves memory, observation, experience, and aesthetic philosophy to probe the myths underlying our standards of beauty and desirability, and interrogates her own complicity in upholding those myths. With its emotional depth, its prodigious, spiky intelligence, its passion and humor, Easy Beauty is the rare memoir that has the power to make you see the world, and your place in it, with new eyes.
By Carmella Broome. 2008
A young woman, legally blind since birth, must decide whether to surrender to her infirmity and remain dependent on others…for the rest of her life or go off to college, get a degree, and strive to become self-sufficient. Against enormous odds, she chose to make her own way in the world
By Louise Baker. 1946
The author lost her right leg in a bicycle-meets-car accident when she was eight, yet managed to roller skate, swim,…and play tennis. She went to Europe alone, married, reported for several newspapers, taught, and eventually, in a second marriage, went to Arizona to live. A humorous approach to a loss which she allowed to be only physically crippling
By John Ross. 1998
In his autobiography John Ross tells of being an avid athlete, freelance writer, teacher, journalist, and coach despite being blind…since childhood. His love of sports led him to refine the game of Beep Baseball, a sport adapted for players who are visually impaired
By Jennifer Thermes, Holly M. Barry, Holly Barry. 2013
By Don Brown, Donald L Brown. 2013
In this inspiring and uplifting memoir, the author chronicles his journey from disabled high school drop-out to middle-aged Harvard Law…graduate, walking across the country to raise money for children's charities
By Dale Sheldon. 2013
Dale Sheldon was born in Conrad, Montana, and lost his vision at the age of four. Encouraged by his family…and motivated by his just do it philosophy, Dale became a successful auto repair shop owner for thirty years, an avid hunter and fisherman, served for twelve years as a county commissioner, became a Russian interpreter, and expressed himself as a sculptor and woodworker. 2013
By Marcus Brotherton, Derrick Coleman Jr.. 2015
By Doreen Rappaport, Matt Tavares. 2012
This biography of Helen Keller introduces young readers to one of the world's most influential women. Using quotes from Keller…herself, the author brings to life her story of courage and achievement. For grades K-3
By Roy Garrabrant. 2008
A chronicle of Mr. Garrabrant's years of losing his eyesight from wet macular deterioration and his encouragement for others that…they are not alone in coping with this disease. Includes two poems