DISABILITY VISIBILITY is an urgent collection of contemporary essays by disabled people

By Coll Rowe | July 13 2020 | College & University Reads

Activist Alice Wong presents a galvanizing collection of thirty-seven essays by disabled people just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century celebrates and documents disability culture in the now.

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.

Voices from Disability Visibility:

Read Alice Wong’s piece published on Vox: “I’m disabled and need a ventilator to live. Am I expendable during this pandemic?”

Read Keah Brown’s essay from Disability Visibility “My Joy Is My Freedom” on Elle

Read Jeremy Woody’s essay from Disability Visibility: “The Isolation of Being Deaf in Prison” on Lithub.

Complete table of contents can be found here.

Praise for Disability Visibility:

“If we’re going to talk about diversity in earnest then we must acknowledge the contributors in Alice Wong’s anthology and how their essays encapsulate intersectional dialogue, intellectual thought, and intimate details. Disability Visibility is the perfect name for this collection because the authors words resound loudly and deserve to be heard. Books like this showcase why change is needed, what needs to be part of the larger political consciousness, and who is often left out of the conversation. This book is a celebration and a source of deep education for many to bear witness (and feel seen by) the vastness of disabled stories, voices, and backgrounds.”
Jennifer Baker, editor of Everyday People: The Color of Life—A Short Story Anthology

“To Alice Wong, words like ‘diversity’ and ‘intersectionality’ aren’t just buzzwords. They are marching orders. In this book, she has collected a staggering array of stories from writers who experience disability in vastly different ways. This isn’t meant to be THE DEFINITIVE BOOK on disability. It is a doorway, and Alice is inviting us all to go through the doorway and continue our learning process. She even ends the collection with a bibliography that extends far beyond your standard reading list. Whether you currently consider yourself part of the disability community or not, you’re gonna want to take in the wisdom woven throughout this book. Now more than ever, our society desperately needs to listen to and take action on the changes disabled artists and activists have been demanding for so long. I am lucky she is my friend.” —W. Kamau Bell, host of United Shades of America

Read a review on Shelf Awareness in which it describes Disability Visibility as “a raw, emotional collection, an investment in the power of storytelling to foster vibrant connections and an unapologetic rejection of ‘internalized ableism.’”

A discussion guide for Disability Visibility by Naomi Ortiz is available here.

The plain language summary of Disability Visibility by Sara Luterman is available here.

For regular updates from Alice Wong, follow her on Twitter: @SFdirewolf and Instagram: @disability_visibility

More on Alice Wong

Disability Visibility
First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century
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.