The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has helped create a more accessible society for individuals with disabilities. The people whom it was designed to help are those individuals who have (or have had) a physical or mental impairment or whom others perceive as having such a limitation. Employers with at least 15 employees must provide equal opportunity for individuals who are protected under the ADA. There are a number of other protections that are listed in the act, which includes clauses for transportation, voter registration, and institutionalization among others. And yet, there are still barriers that exist for people with disabilities. If you would like more information, please visit https://www.ada.gov/.
While there is a still so much to do, we want to take this time to recognize the impact the ADA has made in the lives of so many people in our communities and in our history. To celebrate this milestone, we have created the following selection of books.
DB 86568 Seeing home: the Ed Lucas story: a blind broadcaster’s story of overcoming life’s greatest obstacles by Ed Lucas
A blind baseball broadcaster tells his personal and professional story. Lucas lost his sight in an accident in 1951 at age twelve. His love of baseball led him to a career broadcasting games and interviewing players. His love of his children led him to fight for custody after his wife left. 2015.
DB 89784 I’ll push you: A journey of 500 miles, two best friends, and one wheelchair by Patrick Gray
Gray and Skeesuck, friends for the entirety of their lives, detail their 2014 journey along the 500-mile-long Camino de Santiago--with Skeesuck, who has multifocal acquired motor axonopathy, using a wheelchair. Discusses their friendship, the faith that sustained them for their trek, and the people they met. 2017.
DB 94027 Accessible America: a history of disability and design by Bess Williamson
A history of design in the United States that provides increased accessibility for those with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. Also discusses the individuals and events that propelled the civil rights movement leading to the Architectural Barriers Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 2019.
DB 38931 Brilliant idiot: an autobiography of a dyslexic by Abraham Schmitt
The author portrays his difficulty in coping with a condition that he could not comprehend until he discovered in middle age that it was a serious learning disability. Born into a nearly illiterate Mennonite village in a Canadian prairie province, Schmitt suffered humiliation, confusion, and failure. Now he looks upon his handicap as something to survive, not resolve.
DB 66076 Joni: An unforgettable story by Joni Eareckson Tada
Tada, paralyzed from the neck down by a diving accident in 1967, shares her struggle--what she calls an "incredible adventure"--to adjust to her disability. Describes overcoming, through faith in God, her physical and emotional challenges and even becoming a skillful artist by using her mouth to guide her pen. 1976.
DB 58425 Reflections from a different journey: what adults with disabilities wish all parents knew by John D. Kemp
Forty informative essays by successful adult role models who have "lived the disability experience." Individuals with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, autism, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, learning disabilities, and other health conditions share their thoughts on acceptance, parenting, sexuality, and education. 2004.
DB 96188 Haben: the deafblind woman who conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma
The author shares her life journey beginning when she was a child and diagnosed with an eye disease and adjusting to life without sight. She shares real lilfe stories and describes how she dealt with the challenges with grit and gratitude.
DB 87485 Eyes wide open: overcoming obstacles and recognizing opportunities in a world that can’t see clearly by Isaac Lidsky
A former child actor tells of his experiences gradually losing sight between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five. He gives advice for overcoming fears, counting your blessings, silencing your inner critic, and not letting other people's assumptions define how you see yourself. Commercial audiobook. 2017.
DB 81009 Girl in the dark: a memoir by Anna Lydnsey
A young woman writes of a light sensitivity that has forced her to live in darkness. She describes how the first symptom--her face burning from the computer screen--progressed to her entire body's intolerance of fluorescent light and sunlight. Audiobooks, word games, occasional relative remissions, and the man she loves make it bearable. Commercial audiobook. 2015.
Juvenile and Young Adult Nonfiction
DB 85245 This kid can fly: it’s about ability (not disability) by Aaron Philip
Young artist and disability activist's memoir recounts his inspirational journey. Discusses living with cerebral palsy in New York City, his many challenges, and triumphs such as his popular Tumblr blog, Aaronverse, that has succeeded in raising awareness. For grades 4-7. 2016.
DBC03928 Oh, yes I can! by Robinette Apelgren
Story based on the early experiences of Carmen Apelgren, who never let her visual impairment keep her from being a reader, a swimmer, a cheerleader, or anything else she wanted to be. For grades K-3.
DB 41327 The road back: living with a physical disability by Harriet Sirof
The author picks three young people to show how life can "change in a minute." Steven was skateboarding when a fall left him partially paralyzed. Trisha was sleeping in the backseat of a car when it was hit by a truck. Christopher was applying for colleges when blurry vision led to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Physical and emotional adjustments each encountered are described. For grades 6-9 and older readers.
DB 95960 Born just right by Jordan Reeves
Cofounder of the nonprofit Born Just Right, young Jordan mentors other kids with limb differences. She recounts her journey growing up without the bottom half of her left arm and discusses the inspiration for her invention of Project Unicorn, a prosthetic that shoots biodegradable glitter. For grades 4-7. 2019.
DB 73034 Americans with Disabilities Act by Susan Dudley Gold
Discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act and profiles its proponents and opponents. Examines the impact of the 1990 law on public policy protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities in the fields of employment, housing, public facilities and transportation, and communications systems. For grades 6-9 and older readers. 2011.
DB 59485 Soul surfer: a true story of faith, family, and fighting to get back on the board by Bethany Hamilton
Autobiography of a Hawaiian junior-champion surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack when she was thirteen. Describes her home life and Christian upbringing. Relates the experiences of consulting a blind psychologist about her disability, and relearning the sport. For senior high and older readers. 2004.
DB 68003 Nickie’s nook: sharing the journey by Nickie Coby
Selected writings from the online journal of blind college student and aspiring social worker Coby, who has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Discusses her guide dog Julio, her Christianity, and the differences between blindness and chronic illness. For senior high and older readers. 2007.
DB 75761 Do you dream in color? Insights from a girl without sight by Laurie Rubin
Rubin, a blind mezzo-soprano opera singer born with perfect pitch and Leber's Amaurosis--a disease that prevents the retina from developing--recounts her idyllic California childhood learning to read braille, use a cane, and ski and taking voice lessons. Highlights her struggles getting roles because of her disability. Young adult appeal. 2012.
DB 55075 Eleven seconds: a story of tragedy, courage, & triumph by Travis Roy
Hockey player Travis Roy was paralyzed and left a quadriplegic almost immediately after taking to the ice in his first collegiate game at Boston University in 1995. He describes his rehabilitation, supportive family, and eventual return to school in a wheelchair. For senior high and older readers. 1998.
DB 81567 Laughing at my nightmare by Shane Burcaw
Burcaw describes the challenges he faces as a twenty-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy--from awkward handshakes to trying to find a girlfriend, and everything in between. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2014.
DB 84795 Borderline: Arcadia Project, book 1 by Mishell Baker
Millie lost both her legs (and her career) when she jumped off the roof of her film school. Now she is recruited by a group called the Arcadia Project, who watch over the border between Hollywood and the world of the magical fey. Strong language and some violence. 2016.
DB 97118 A dog’s promise: Dog’s Purpose series, book 3 by W. Bruce Cameron
Bailey, a dog who has lived many lives--as recounted in books starting with A Dog's Purpose (DB 72218)--returns as a service dog named Cooper. Cooper helps Burke, a paraplegic teen who clashes with his brother, and meets Lacey, a special dog who helps him fulfill his purpose. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
DB 54201 The postcard: Amish Country Crossroad series, book 1 by Beverly Lewis
Mennonite widow Rachel Yoder, hysterically blind after witnessing her son and husband killed in a buggy accident, lives and works at her Amish parents' bed-and-breakfast along with her young daughter. There she meets writer Philip Bradley, who uncovers family secrets when he finds a love letter in an antique desk.
DB 91087 How to walk away by Katherine Carter
Margaret Jacobsen is in a plane crash with her boyfriend which leaves her paralyzed. In the aftermath, she reevaluates her relationships, reconnecting with the sister she hasn't seen in years and bonding with Ian, the tough physical therapist who won't let her give in to self-pity. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
DB 47078 The bone collector: Lincoln Rhyme series, book 1 by Jeffrey Deaver
Retired forensic scientist and criminologist Lincoln Rhyme is enlisted to track down a serial murderer who is stalking victims in New York City. Injured on the job and now a quadriplegic, Rhyme can move one finger--enabling him to use his computer. Assisted by policewoman Amelia Sachs, Rhyme races against time to find the killer. Includes a glossary of forensic terms. Violence and strong language. 1997.
DB 67040 Together: a novel of shared vision by Tom Sullivan
Colorado. Twenty-five-year-old Brenden McCarthy is a first-year medical resident and an avid mountain climber until a climbing accident blinds him. Now Brenden's widowed mother wants to care for him and his fiancée considers leaving him, while Brenden enters rehabilitation and gets a guide dog--thrice-rejected black Labrador Nelson. 2008.
DB 87210 In the country of the blind by Edward Hoagland
After losing his job as a stockbroker and his wife to divorce, Press has retired to his cabin in Vermont to deal with losing his sight. Interacting with his eclectic mix of neighbors provides him distraction and solace as he learns his new world. Some descriptions of sex. 2016.
Juvenile and Young Adult Fiction
DBC01380 Truesight by David Stahler Jr.
In a distant frontier world, thirteen-year-old Jacob is uncertain of his future in a community that considers blindness a virtue and those who see, as aberrations. For junior and senior high readers.
DB 90933 Rescue & Jessica: a life-changing friendship by Jessica Kensky
When he is paired with a girl who has lost her legs, Rescue worries that he isn't up to the task of being her service dog. Based on the true story of Rescue and Jessica Kensky, who was injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. For grades K-3. 2018.
DB 86352 Left out by Tim Green
Landon, who wears cochlear implants, struggles to get people to look past his disability and see him as a talented football player. Determination and an unlikely friendship help get Landon off the bench and onto the field. For grades 5-8. 2016.
DB 86726 The call by Peadar Ó Guilin
Every teenager in Ireland dreads the one day that they will be subjected to "the call," which whisks them away to battle monsters. With limited mobility due to polio, Nessa Doherty trains to survive and is determined to return alive. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2016.
DB 85736 Love blind by Christa Desir
After meeting at the school's radio station, shy Kyle forms an unusual friendship with Hailey, a spunky rocker living with degenerative blindness. Together, they decide to tackle their bucket lists of their greatest fears. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2016.
DB 81850 Push girl by Chelsie Hill
Kara, a popular high school senior, has an amazing boyfriend, until she leaves a party angry and wakes up in a hospital bed--paralyzed from the waist down. As she adjusts to her new reality, Kara learns who her friends really are. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2014.
DB 75536 Blink Once by Cylin Busby
When a bike accident leaves him paralyzed, high school senior West blinks to communicate. West connects with Olivia, a fellow hospital patient, who seems to understand his dreams and nightmares. But Olivia has a secret. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2012.