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By Michael J. Fox. 2020
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A moving account of resilience, hope, fear and mortality, and how these things resonate in… our lives, by actor and advocate Michael J. Fox. The entire world knows Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, the teenage sidekick of Doc Brown in Back to the Future; as Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties; as Mike Flaherty in Spin City; and through numerous other movie roles and guest appearances on shows such as The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Diagnosed at age 29, Michael is equally engaged in Parkinson’s advocacy work, raising global awareness of the disease and helping find a cure through The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the world’s leading non-profit funder of PD science. His two previous bestselling memoirs, Lucky Man and Always Looking Up, dealt with how he came to terms with the illness, all the while exhibiting his iconic optimism. His new memoir reassesses this outlook, as events in the past decade presented additional challenges.In No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, Michael shares personal stories and observations about illness and health, aging, the strength of family and friends, and how our perceptions about time affect the way we approach mortality. Thoughtful and moving, but with Fox’s trademark sense of humor, his book provides a vehicle for reflection about our lives, our loves, and our losses. Running through the narrative is the drama of the medical madness Fox recently experienced, that included his daily negotiations with the Parkinson’s disease he’s had since 1991, and a spinal cord issue that necessitated immediate surgery. His challenge to learn how to walk again, only to suffer a devastating fall, nearly caused him to ditch his trademark optimism and “get out of the lemonade business altogether.”Does he make it all of the way back? Read the book.
By Amanda McDonough. 2018
When author Amanda McDonough started losing her hearing at the age of 4 she swore her parents to secrecy. She… hid her hearing loss for 18 years from her friends, family, teachers, and acquaintances. As the author grew older, her hearing gradually decreased, causing her to begin struggling in school, in her relationships with family and friends, and with her identity. By age twenty-two, she could no longer rely on her wit to hide her hearing loss. She became one hundred percent deaf in both ears. Amanda found herself unable to hear, talk, lip-read or sign. Her only method of communication with the world was through writing. Ready to be Heard is the story of how Amanda taught herself to speak again, to lip-read, and to sign. McDonough explains how she discovered a new culture, language, and most importantly, herself. In this memoir, the author narrates how she managed to finish college after becoming deaf. How she garnered straight As in school, entered the workforce, enjoyed a successful Hollywood acting career (Freeforms Switched at Birth, ABCs Speechless, NBCs Bad Judge, Google, 7UP, Deaf West/ Pasadena Playhouses Our Town, etc.), fought for her independence, and found her purpose. Ready to be Heard tells about the authors journey to find a balance between the hearing world she was raised in and the Deaf culture to which she now belonged.
By Antonia Felix, Janice Deblois. 2005
The inspiring true story of an exceptional autistic savant whose musical gifts thrill audiences the world overEver since he was… born--blind and weighing less than two pounds--Tony DeBlois has been defying the odds and wildly surpassing others' expectations. Diagnosed early on as autistic, at two years old his talent for music was revealed when he played "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on a toy piano. Going on to graduate with honors from the Berklee College of Music, today Tony leads an improvisational jazz ensemble and performs solo shows from Dublin to Taipei and even Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center. Some Kind of Genius weaves details of Tony's amazing musical accomplishments--he can play 20 instruments--with a fascinating look at savant syndrome, in which a person with certain developmental limitations exhibits brilliance in some other aspect of his life. Tony's fiercely devoted mother, Janice, also tells of her own crusade--not only for the rights of her son but also on behalf of all those with special needs.
By T. Alan Hurwitz. 2020
Alan Hurwitz ascended the ranks of academia to become the president of not one, but two, universities—National Technical Institute for… the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology and Gallaudet University. In Let’s Go In: My Journey to a University Presidency, Hurwitz discusses the unique challenges he encountered as a Deaf person, and the events, people, and experiences that shaped his personal and professional life. He demonstrates the importance of building a strong foundation for progressive leadership roles in higher education, and provides insights into the decision-making and outreach required of a university president, covering topics such as community collaboration, budget management, and networking with public policy leaders. He also stresses that assessing students’ needs should be a top priority. As he reflects on a life committed to service in higher education, Hurwitz offers up important lessons on the issues, challenges, and opportunities faced by deaf and hard of hearing people, and in doing so, inspires future generations of deaf people to aim for their highest goals.
By Philip W. Bravin. 2020
In March 1988, students at Gallaudet University led a successful protest to demand the selection of the university’s first deaf… president. The Deaf President Now (DPN) movement was a watershed event in American deaf history; it achieved self-governance for the deaf community and placed Gallaudet in the center of a national media spotlight. Controlling Our Destiny is Philip Bravin’s personal perspective of these momentous events. A lifelong member of the deaf community and proud Gallaudet alumnus, Bravin was a member of the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees and the chair of the presidential search committee during DPN. Although the deaf community had been strongly advocating for a deaf president to lead the university, the board (which had a hearing majority) selected the lone hearing candidate. Bravin recounts the discussions and decision-making that happened behind the scenes leading up to and following the ill-fated announcement. He reflects on the integrity of the process and the internal conflict he experienced as a deaf person who supported a deaf president yet felt compelled to abide by his duties as a board member. After the protests, his leadership was recognized when he was selected as the first deaf chair of the board. Photographs and documents add depth to Bravin’s account, many of which will be seen by the public for the first time. I. King Jordan, the first deaf president of Gallaudet, provides a foreword in which he shares his own unique insight into these events. Controlling Our Destiny captures the energy and the urgency of DPN. Readers will understand the complexities of the presidential search process and the cultural and historical contexts that triggered the protest. Bravin’s memoir contemplates power, access, community, and the enduring legacy of a movement that inspired deaf people around the world.
By Judith Heumann, Kristen Joiner. 2019
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. <P><P>A story of fighting to belong in a world that wasn't built for all of us and of one woman's activism--from the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco to inside the halls of Washington--Being Heumann recounts Judy Heumann's lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society. <P><P>Paralyzed from polio at eighteen months, Judy's struggle for equality began early in life. From fighting to attend grade school after being described as a "fire hazard" to later winning a lawsuit against the New York City school system for denying her a teacher's license because of her paralysis, Judy's actions set a precedent that fundamentally improved rights for disabled people. <P><P>As a young woman, Judy rolled her wheelchair through the doors of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in San Francisco as a leader of the Section 504 Sit-In, the longest takeover of a governmental building in US history. Working with a community of over 150 disabled activists and allies, Judy successfully pressured the Carter administration to implement protections for disabled peoples' rights, sparking a national movement and leading to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. <P><P> Candid, intimate, and irreverent, Judy Heumann's memoir about resistance to exclusion invites readers to imagine and make real a world in which we all belong.
By Riva Lehrer. 2020
The vividly told, gloriously illustrated memoir of an artist born with disabilities who searches for freedom and connection in a… society afraid of strange bodies&“Golem Girl is luminous; a profound portrait of the artist as a young—and mature—woman; an unflinching social history of disability over the last six decades; and a hymn to life, love, family, and spirit.&”—David Mitchell, author of Cloud AtlasWhat do we sacrifice in the pursuit of normalcy? And what becomes possible when we embrace monstrosity? Can we envision a world that sees impossible creatures?In 1958, amongst the children born with spina bifida is Riva Lehrer. At the time, most such children are not expected to survive. Her parents and doctors are determined to "fix" her, sending the message over and over again that she is broken. That she will never have a job, a romantic relationship, or an independent life. Enduring countless medical interventions, Riva tries her best to be a good girl and a good patient in the quest to be cured.Everything changes when, as an adult, Riva is invited to join a group of artists, writers, and performers who are building Disability Culture. Their work is daring, edgy, funny, and dark—it rejects tropes that define disabled people as pathetic, frightening, or worthless. They insist that disability is an opportunity for creativity and resistance. Emboldened, Riva asks if she can paint their portraits—inventing an intimate and collaborative process that will transform the way she sees herself, others, and the world. Each portrait story begins to transform the myths she&’s been told her whole life about her body, her sexuality, and other measures of normal.Written with the vivid, cinematic prose of a visual artist, and the love and playfulness that defines all of Riva's work, Golem Girl is an extraordinary story of tenacity and creativity. With the author's magnificent portraits featured throughout, this memoir invites us to stretch ourselves toward a world where bodies flow between all possible forms of what it is to be human.Priase for Golem Girl&“Lehrer&’s story is a revelation of an inner subjective life—full of tragedy, love, and creativity—pushing against the external social stigmas, cultural narratives, and prejudices surrounding disability. She admits a felt kinship with other &“monsters&” because their bodies were also &“built by human hands,&” but unlike them, she is her own purpose, her own meaning, her own unstoppable golem.&”—Stephen Asma, author of On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears
By Tristan Jones. 1988
In 1983 Tristan Jones, well known as one of the finest sailing adventure writers of our time, had his left… leg amputated. Refusing to become landbound after a lifetime at sea, he acquired a specially designed, virtually untippable 38-foot trimaran and began to sail around the world. Outward Leg is the tale of his intrepid voyage from San Diego to London. The Improbable Voyage chronicles his heroic journey along an unusual and hazardous route from the North Sea, through the rivers of Central Europe, to the Black Sea. In Somewheres East of Suez, the final installment of this extraordinary saga, Tristan sails eight thousand miles from Istanbul to Thailand. From the tourist- and terrorist-dominated ports of the eastern Mediterranean to African outposts peopled with famine refugees, Tristan maintains the unique perspective of a man who has had minimal contact with society's restraints, using his acerbic wit to spare no fools and offer biting social commentary. After barely escaping with his life in South Yemen, he sets off for the Far East, determined to win out against the difficulties of his disability, whether battling a tropical cyclone or surviving on a dwindling ration of fresh water in the vast windless expanse of the Indian Ocean.
By Tristan Jones. 1985
After seven years ashore and after having his left leg amputated, Tristan Jones decided to return to the sea. He… began to piece together Operation Star and found the perfect vessel in a 36-foot trimaran. In October 1983, Jones and his only crew member, Wally Rediske, set out in Outward Leg from San Diego, intending to circumnavigate the world from west to east by sail.The book is the exciting story of Tristan's preparation for this major seagoing event and the chronicle of half of it. Tristan sailed down the western coast of Central America through the Panama Canal to a small Colombian town. There he had to fight for survival among hostile natives, drug dealers, and uncooperative port officers. He went on to Venezuela, Aruba, and the Dominican Republic during its 1984 revolution. Finally he reached New York and crossed the Atlantic to return to St. Katharine's Dock in London where he began his seagoing life thirty years before.
By Jaipreet Virdi. 2020
At the age of four, Jaipreet Virdi’s world went silent. A severe case of meningitis left her alive but deaf,… suddenly treated differently by everyone. Her deafness downplayed by society and doctors, she struggled to “pass” as hearing for most of her life. Countless cures, treatments, and technologies led to dead ends. Never quite deaf enough for the Deaf community or quite hearing enough for the “normal” majority, Virdi was stuck in aural limbo for years. It wasn’t until her thirties, exasperated by problems with new digital hearing aids, that she began to actively assert her deafness and reexamine society’s—and her own—perception of life as a deaf person in America. Through lyrical history and personal memoir, Hearing Happiness raises pivotal questions about deafness in American society and the endless quest for a cure. Taking us from the 1860s up to the present, Virdi combs archives and museums in order to understand the long history of curious cures: ear trumpets, violet ray apparatuses, vibrating massagers, electrotherapy machines, airplane diving, bloodletting, skull hammering, and many more. Hundreds of procedures and products have promised grand miracles but always failed to deliver a universal cure—a harmful legacy that is still present in contemporary biomedicine. Weaving Virdi’s own experiences together with her exploration into the fascinating history of deafness cures, Hearing Happiness is a powerful story that America needs to hear.
By Rebekah Taussig. 2020
A memoir-in-essays from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty Rebekah Taussig, processing a lifetime of memories to… paint a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most.Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling.Writing about the rhythms and textures of what it means to live in a body that doesn’t fit, Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life. Disability affects all of us, directly or indirectly, at one point or another. By exploring this truth in poignant and lyrical essays, Taussig illustrates the need for more stories and more voices to understand the diversity of humanity. Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.
By Allan Jones. 2018
In this unique and exhilarating autobiography, Allan Jones – Canada’s first blind diplomat – vividly describes how an untreatable eye… disease slowly decimated his visual world, most challengingly during his postings in Tokyo and New Delhi, and how he discovered and took to heart the revelatory Indian philosophy that changed his life. Advaita Vedanta, the most iconoclastic and liberating of the classical Indian philosophies, profoundly altered the author’s experience of self and world. He found that the true self, as distinct from the individual ego, far exceeds the boundaries of individuality. It lies beneath sightedness or blindness and is absolutely unaffected by the latter. This welcome shift of perspective was reinforced by startling discoveries in contemporary physics, evolutionary biology, and developmental psychology that are fully consistent with Advaitic metaphysics. As for the practical applications of metaphysics, this book demonstrates step by step how Advaitic insight and practice significantly reduce physical and psychological tension. The most telling examples have to do with adjustments compelled by extreme circumstances. Thus Jones describes how he drew upon Advaitic mindfulness techniques to maintain his white cane mobility skills in the teeth of permanent spinal, nerve, and muscle pain. The arc of Beyond Vision moves from the claustrophobically personal to the openness of the transpersonal. It begins in a dysfunctional family background, breaking out into a full life encompassing an adventurous foreign service career, spiritual exploration, and an unconventional kind of marital love.
By Haben Girma. 2019
The incredible life story of Haben Girma, the first Deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School, and her amazing journey from… isolation to the world stage. <p><p> Haben grew up spending summers with her family in the enchanting Eritrean city of Asmara. There, she discovered courage as she faced off against a bull she couldn't see, and found in herself an abiding strength as she absorbed her parents' harrowing experiences during Eritrea's thirty-year war with Ethiopia. Their refugee story inspired her to embark on a quest for knowledge, traveling the world in search of the secret to belonging. She explored numerous fascinating places, including Mali, where she helped build a school under the scorching Saharan sun. Her many adventures over the years range from the hair-raising to the hilarious. <p> Haben defines disability as an opportunity for innovation. She learned non-visual techniques for everything from dancing salsa to handling an electric saw. She developed a text-to-braille communication system that created an exciting new way to connect with people. Haben pioneered her way through obstacles, graduated from Harvard Law, and now uses her talents to advocate for people with disabilities. <p> HABEN takes readers through a thrilling game of blind hide-and-seek in Louisiana, a treacherous climb up an iceberg in Alaska, and a magical moment with President Obama at The White House. Warm, funny, thoughtful, and uplifting, this captivating memoir is a testament to one woman's determination to find the keys to connection.
By Kitty Ferguson. 2011
Kitty Ferguson, the award-winning and international bestselling author of Stephen Hawking’s biography, presents an even deeper portrait of the legendary… physicist’s life and scientific theories.This updated edition of Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind looks at one of the most remarkable figures of our age: the bestselling author of A Brief History of Time, celebrated theoretical physicist, and an inspiration to millions around the world. Ferguson offers fresh insights into the way Hawking thinks and works, his ever-more-imaginative adventures in science at the “flaming ramparts of the world,” the discovery of gravity waves, the blockbuster proposal for “Starshot” to explore the cosmos, and his powerful use of his celebrity on behalf of human rights and survival on earth and beyond.With rare access to Hawking, including childhood photos and in-depth research, Ferguson creates a rich and comprehensive picture of his life: his childhood; the heartbreaking ALS diagnosis when he was a first-year graduate student; his long personal battle for survival in pursuit of a scientific understanding of the universe; and his rise to international fame. She also uses her gift for translating the language of theoretical physics into the language of the rest of us to make Hawking’s scientific work accessible.This is an insightful, absorbing, and definitive account of a brilliant mind and the extraordinary life of a man who always looks towards tomorrow.
By Fanny J. Crosby. 2008
The memoirs and observations of the composer of over eight thousand hymns. Stories from her entire life from her blindness… as an infant through her old age. Fanny Crosby was friends with famous people the world over including several presidents. She tells her story with love and compassion.
By Alice Wong. 2020
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. <P><P>From Harriet McBryde Johnson’s account of her debate with Peter Singer over her own personhood to original pieces by authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma; from blog posts, manifestos, and eulogies to Congressional testimonies, and beyond: this anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and the past with hope and love.
By Jack R. Gannon. 2020
Get Your Elbow Off the Horn is a collection of interactions and observations written by Jack R. Gannon, a lifelong… advocate for the Deaf community. Warm and amusing, Gannon’s stories begin with his rural childhood in the Ozarks and continue through his experiences as a student, educator, coach, husband, parent, and community leader. These vignettes reveal a down-to-earth family man who believed in making a difference one person at a time. Many of his recollections are brief sketches that reveal much about being Deaf—and about being human. From reflecting on the difficult choices parents must make for their children, to recounting awkward communication exchanges, Gannon marries good humor with a poignant advocacy for sign language rights. His stories preserve and share Deaf American life and culture as he experienced it.
By Amanda Leduc. 2020
Fairy tales shape how we see the world, so what happens when you identify more with the Beast than Beauty?… If every disabled character is mocked and mistreated, how does the Beast ever imagine a happily-ever-after? Amanda Leduc looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behaviour and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate difference. "Leduc persuasively illustrates the power of stories to affect reality in this painstakingly researched and provocative study that invites us to consider our favorite folktales from another angle." —Sara Shreve, Library Journal
By Marie Killilea. 1963
The Killilea family returns in the heartwarming sequel to national bestseller KarenWith Love from Karen picks up five years after… the conclusion of Karen, the miraculous and true story of a girl with cerebral palsy who triumphed against all odds. It follows the Killileas through Karen's teen years and into adulthood. Karen and her family continue to face seemingly insurmountable obstacles: They must fight for Karen's right to attend public school, support Karen in her dream to raise and exhibit champion show dogs, and encourage her in her decision to use a wheelchair or walk on her own. Once again, the Killilea family proves that the power of faith, love, and courage in the face of adversity can make miracles happen.
Daniel's Music: One Family's Journey from Tragedy to Empowerment Through Faith, Medicine, and the Healing Power of Music
By Jerome Preisler, The Trush Family. 2013
In 1997, Daniel Trush, a bright, active, outgoing twelve-year-old, collapsed on the basketball court and fell into a deep coma.… Rushed to the hospital, he was found to have five previously undetected aneurysms in his brain. One had burst, causing a massive cerebral hemorrhage.While Daniel remained comatose, the uncontrolled pressure inside his skull caused him to suffer multiple strokes. Tests showed that his brain functions had flat-lined, and doctors would soon tell his parents his chances of survival were slim to none--or that he'd likely remain in a vegetative state if he awakened.But the doctors were wrong.Daniel's traumatic injury did not bring his life to a premature end. Thirty days after lapsing into a coma, he would return to consciousness, barely able to blink or smile. Two years later, he took his first extraordinary steps out of a wheelchair. A decade after being sped to the emergency room, Daniel Trush completed the New York Marathon.But his incredible journey into the future had just begun. With music having played a crucial role in his recovery, Danny and his family launched Daniel's Music Foundation, a groundbreaking nonprofit organization for people with disabilities. In time DMF would be honored on a Broadway stage by the New York Yankees, gaining notoriety and admiration across America.Daniel's Music is the gripping story of Daniel's recovery against odds experts said were insurmountable; of medical science, faith, and perseverance combining for a miracle; and of an average family turning their personal trials into a force that brings joy, inspiration, and a powerful sense of belonging to all those whose lives they touch.