Illustration of two people leaning against a stack of books. The blog is about books by authors with disabilities.

Celebrate National Book Lover’s Day 

August 9th is National Book Lover’s Day, and this year, we are highlighting some of our favorite works written by authors with disabilities. These books work to broaden the narrative around what it means to live with a disability and challenge commonly held views within our ableist society. 

We also include information about our free eBook, A Guide to Creating Accessibility in the Workplace, to help business leaders create a workplace culture that is inclusive, accessible, and celebrates the unique skill set of all employees. 

Recommended Reading/Listening List 

Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma

In her memoir, Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, Haben Girma provides insights into her childhood and the non-visual techniques she utilizes to learn. She developed a text-to-braille communication system and used her many talents to overcome challenges, graduate from an Ivy League university, and advocate for others experiencing disabilities. “Warm, funny, thoughtful, and uplifting, this captivating memoir is a testament to one woman’s determination to find the keys to connection.”

About the Author: Haben Girma is a human rights lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area. As the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben advocates for disability justice, working with organizations on the importance of accessibility and inclusion. She has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Helen Keller Achievement Award, Forbes 30 Under 30 List, and TIME100 Talks. 

“Haben defines disability as an opportunity for innovation.”

Find books from Haben here.

Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century Edited by Alice Wong

Although one in five people live with a disability in the United States, disabilities continue to be underrepresented or misrepresented in the media. In Disability Visibility, Alice Wong compiles a collection of essays written by disabled people from various backgrounds. Divided into four sections, Being, Becoming, Doing, and Connecting, “This anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community.” 

About the Author: Alice Wong is an accomplished disabled activist living in San Francisco, California. She is the founder of the Disability Visibility Project, host and producer of the Disability Visibility podcast, and former member of the National Council on Disability. Learn more about her work and upcoming collaborations by visiting their website here.

“I was, however, certain about three things: (1) I wanted to see more stories about the disabled experience in the present while honoring the past; (2) I wanted to see more stories about everyday people rather than the usual “very important people” duly mentioned at each ADA anniversary; (3) I wanted to increase the diversity of mainstream representation of disability.” 

Find Disability Visibility here.

Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig 

After growing up with a disability, Rebekah sought to find and create stories around disabilities that were more nuanced, complex, and life-affirming than the standard narrative in mainstream media. In Sitting Pretty, she reflects on everyday experiences, intimacy, ableism, and how disability affects everyone, directly or indirectly. Through her workshops, Instagram, and this book, Rebekah challenges all of us to reimagine disabilities and “to write an entirely different story.”  

About the Author: Rebekah Taussig, Ph.D., is a writer and teacher. She received her doctorate in Creative Nonfiction and Disability studies and leads workshops on disability representation and identity. She also manages her Instagram @sitting_pretty, an account dedicated to providing nuance and stories around disabilities. Learn more about her work by visiting her website here.

“When someone’s difference scares you, that’s the precise moment to lean in, shut up, and listen.” 

Find Sitting Pretty here.

Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist by Judith Heuman 

Fighting to belong in a world plagued with inaccessibility was an uphill battle for Judy Heuman. After being paralyzed by polio at eighteen months, Judy fought for disability rights throughout her life. She won a lawsuit against New York City schools for denying her a teacher’s license due to her condition. In this groundbreaking memoir, Judy tells the story of advocating for a world where everyone belongs. 

About the Author: Judith Heumann was considered the “Mother” of the disability rights movement. Judy dedicated her life to activism, advocating for disability rights legislation and advising various industries. Her story was featured in the documentary Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution

“Change never happens at the pace we think it should. It happens over years of people joining together, strategizing, sharing, and pulling all the levers they possibly can. Gradually, excruciatingly slowly, things start to happen, and then suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, something will tip.”

Find Being Heumann here.

Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss by Gael Hannan and Shari Eberts and The Way I Hear it: A Life with Hearing Loss by Gael Hannan 

Gael Hannan’s books detail the journey of living with hearing loss. Hannan offers advice, tips, and stories to make your experience with hearing loss feel less lonely. With a witty and insightful tone, Hannan can help those with hearing loss and others around them see hearing loss in a new light. 

About the Author: Gael Hannan is an author, advocate, and speaker on hearing loss issues. Through humor and performance, she helps people understand life with hearing loss in a new way. Hannan is passionate about providing advice and tips for those going through life with hearing loss. 

Find her books here.

Bonus Recommendations

Disability Matters Podcast by Joyce Bender

The podcast centers on the advancement and support of individuals with disabilities. Highlighting influential figures like Congressman Tony Coelho, Governor Dick Thornburgh, Andy Imparato, and other senior executives from a variety of industries. Additionally, the podcast incorporates real-time captioning for an accessible listening experience.

Listen here.

A Guide to Creating Accessibility in the Workplace by Caption Pros 

Crafting an accessible workplace is vital to your company’s success in more ways than just being inclusive to your employees. Businesses that practice accessibility are eight times more likely to have overall better business outcomes. Accessibility fosters better engagement and increases the longevity of employees. Creating an accessible workplace, however, can feel daunting. That’s why the Caption Pros team developed this guide to navigate the implementation of accessibility into your business successfully. Our eBook covers the importance of inclusion, key statistics, recruiting best practices, and on-the-job protocols that benefit all employees. 

“Diverse teams are 6x as likely to be innovative and agile.” 

Download your free eBook here.

Inclusivity For All  

At Caption Pros, our team of certified and professional human captioners provide accurate captioning services for many types of events. From public forums to business meetings and virtual conferences, we will help to make your next event accessible to all participants. 

Learn more about our award-winning captioning services.