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International Day of Persons with Disabilities


Selected memoirs and practical resources relating to disabilities in commemoration of December 3rd: The International Day of Persons with Disabilities.




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The Best Seat in the House: How I Woke Up One Tuesday and Was Paralyzed for Life

By Allen Rucker

Without warning the 50-year-old author is struck with transverse myelitis.


The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child

By Lawrence M. Siegel

The author, a special education attorney and advocate, explains the Individualized Education Plan process and discusses effective ways parents can advocate for their children.


Crash Course in Library Services to People with Disabilities

By Ann Roberts and Richard J. Smith

Discusses different types of disabilities and their specific needs. Includes implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and assistive technologies appropriate for the library setting.


Day-by-Day: The Chronicle of a Hard-of-Hearing Reporter

By Elizabeth Thompson

The writer tells of how she lives life to the fullest, despite progressive hearing loss and multiple sclerosis, by taking advantage of opportunities and technology.


Eavesdropping: A Life by Ear

By Stephen Kuusisto

A poetic memoir of blindness and listening by the author of the acclaimed Planet of the Blind


 I'll Scream Later

By Marlee Matlin

Memoir of the Academy Award-winning actress, who has been deaf since she was 18 months old.



In a Single Bound: Losing My Leg, Finding Myself and Training for Life

By Sarah Reinertsen with Alan Goldsher

A world-class athlete and T.V. personality talks frankly of her struggles and shares later triumphs.


 Intellectual Disability: A Guide for Families and Professionals

By James C. Harris

How to help those with an intellectual disability live a fulfilling life.



 Invisible: A Memoir

By Hugh de Montalembert

Blinded in a violent attack, the author tells of his rehabilitation, subsequent far-ranging travels, and how he learned to "see" without the use of his eyes.


 Kasey to the Rescue: The Remarkable Story of a Monkey and a Miracle

By Ellen Rogers

An extraordinary service animal gave a flustered family the miracle they were hoping for.



 Kicking Up Dirt: A True Story of Determination, Deafness and Daring

By Ashley Fiolek

Story of Ashley Fiolek, born deaf, who had won the Women's Motocross Championship—twice—by age 20.



 Parenting an Adult with Disabilities or Special Needs: Everything You Need to Know to Plan for and Protect Your Child's Future

By Peggy Lou Morgan

Step-by-step instructions to meet day-to-day challenges and prepare for the future.



Seven Wheelchairs: A Life Beyond Polio

By Gary Presley

One man's unvarnished story of building a life after contracting polio at 17.



Signing in Puerto Rican: A Hearing Son and His Deaf Family

By Andres Torres

Torres writes affectionately about straddling four worlds while growing up: Puerto Rican; New Yorker; Deaf; and Hearing.


  That Went Well: Adventures in Caring for My Sister

By Terrell Harris Dougan

This tale recounts, with humor and compassion, the author's memories of growing up with a special-needs sibling.



 The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa

By Josh Swiller.

The author, who lost his hearing as a child, tells of his experience in Zimbabwe with the Peace Corps, which he joined "to find a place past deafness."


 You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know: A True Story of Family, Faceblindness and Forgiveness

By Heather Sellers

Memoir of a woman with a neurological condition that prevents her from recognizing the faces of people she knows.


 Your Rights in the Workplace

By Barbara Kate Repa

A guide to help employees learn about their legal rights at work, including strategic suggestions, resources, and information about how to deal with unfair treatment, disability and workers' compensation insurance, discrimination, and wrongful demotion.


This list was compiled by Brigid Cahalan, Alexandra Gomez, and Dana Simon. These and other resources in different formats are available at your local library.


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

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