Blog

The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library

5 Disability Rights' Advocate Authors to Know

Posted 10/30/20 by April S

November 1st is National Authors Day, which means it’s the perfect time to celebrate the works of fascinating authors everywhere. This blog post features a handful of authors who have dedicated their lives to encouraging an open national dialogue on ableism, the challenges people with disabilities face and the ongoing fight for equal access to opportunities and resources for all.

Sara Novic

Sara Novic is an award-winning author, translator, creative writing professor and deaf rights’ activist. She has an MFA from Columbia University where she studied fiction and literary translation. Novic has written fiction, nonfiction, short stories and essays. Novic is well-known for writing about her experiences and challenges encountered as a deaf novelist in her short fiction and essays. Visit Sara-Novic.com to learn more about this fascinating author.

Recommended Short Story

Things Unspoken by Sara Novic

An interesting story about the power of nonverbal communication written from the perspective of a deaf child facing many challenges simply trying to figure out the world around her.

Source: Massachusetts Review. Summer 2014, Vol. 55, Issue 2, p.298-304.

Note: Access to this article online requires a valid Library card and PIN.

Cover of America is Immigrants

America is Immigrants
By Sara Novic

Stories featuring immigrants from countries around the world brought to life with full-color illustrations and lyrical writing.

Keah Brown

Keah Brown is a journalist, author, screenwriter and disability rights’ advocate. She earned a B.A. in journalism from The State University of New York at Fredonia and is the creator of the #DisabledAndCute viral campaign. Brown has written essays, poetry, opinion pieces and recently a nonfiction book entitled The Pretty One. Visit KeahBrown.com to learn more about this amazing woman and access a list of her selected works.

Recommended Essay

My Joy is My Freedom by Keah Brown

An essay about telling the stories that need to be told, living unapologetically and choosing happiness.

Source: Elle. Jun 30, 2020

Cover of The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me
By Keah Brown

A thoughtful, inspiring and charming collection of essays exploring what it means to be black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied white America.

Nadina LaSpina

Nadina LaSpina is an award-winning author, teacher and disability rights’ activist. She has written articles, essays and books about her experiences as a disabled person and activist. LaSpina is well-known for her work with community groups and spirited speeches. Visit NadinaLaSpina.com to learn more about this amazing social justice advocate.

Recommended Radio Program

Nadina LaSpina On Struggle, Empowerment, & Disability Pride by Lea Ceasrine and Rose Aguilar

An hour-long radio program from KALW (San Francisco public radio) featuring activist and author Nadina LaSpina. She talks about her story and experiences within the disability rights’ movement.

Source: Your Call from KALW. Jan 8, 2020.

Cover of Such a Pretty Girl: A Story of Struggle, Empowerment, and Disability Pride Cover of Such a Pretty Girl: A Story of Struggle, Empowerment, and Disability Pride

Such a Pretty Girl: A Story of Struggle, Empowerment, and Disability Pride

By Nadina LaSpina
Print (Search Ohio)   |   hoopla (eAudio)

Nina LaSpina’s story from her infancy in Sicily, where she contracted polio, to her present-day activist work in the disability rights’ movement.

Haben Girma

Haben Girma is an author, keynote speaker and human rights lawyer who advocates for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. She graduated from Harvard Law School and has been honored by leaders from around the world. Visit HabenGirma.com to learn more about this enigmatic figure, access a selection of articles, interviews and speeches.

Recommended Essay

Haben Girma: Why I Never Tell People with Disabilities to "Just Work Harder" by Haben Girma

Source: POPSUGAR. Dec 5, 2019

Cover of Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law

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

Overdrive (eAudio)

A memoir rich with details from Girma’s childhood, hair-raising and hilarious adventures around the world, pioneering work with a text-to-braille communication system, and later her disability rights’ advocacy work.

Amanda Leduc

Amanda Leduc is an author, disability rights’ advocate and the Communications and Development Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD). Leduc writes essays, short stories, articles and creative nonfiction. Her essays and stories have appeared in LitHub, The Rumpus, and many other publications in Canada, the US, the UK and Australia. Visit AmandaLeduc.com to learn more about her and access a selection of her work and media interviews.

Recommended Article

Q&A with Amanda Leduc on Fairy Tales and Disability

Source: Disability Visibility Project. Feb 10, 2020.

Cover of Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability and Making Space Cover of Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability and Making Space

Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability and Making Space

By Amanda Leduc
Print (Search Ohio)   |   hoopla (eBook)   |   hoopla (eAudio)

Leduc’s creative nonfiction book Disfigured challenges the ableism of fairy tales. She looks at traditional and modern fairy tale adaptations, arguing for an increased awareness and acceptance of that which is other. Leduc hopes to encourage an open dialogue and celebrate the magic inherent in different bodies.

​Further Reading

5 Disability Activists You Should Pay Attention To - Idealist

8 Disability Rights Activists Changing the World for Disabled People - Disability Horizons

What Does it Mean to be a Disabled Writer? - Electric Lit

‘Nothing About Us Without Us’: 16 Moments in the Fight for Disability Rights - NYT

OTHER ITEMS YOU MAY ENJOY