We’ve come across some fabulous books and movies on people with disabilities; either written by or written about. Here are some of our favorites – feel free to share any you think are noteworthy!
Too Late to Die Young by Harriet McBryde Johnson
Summary: Due to a congenital neuromuscular disease, Johnson has never been able to walk, dress, or bathe without assistance. With help, however, she manages to take on the world. From the streets of Havana, where she covers an international disability rights conference, to the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, to an auditorium at Princeton, where she defends her right to live against philosopher Peter Singer, she lives a life on her own terms. And along the way, she defies and debunks every popular assumption about disability.
This unconventional memoir opens with a lyrical meditation on death and ends with a surprising sermon on pleasure. In between, we get the tales Johnson most enjoys telling from her own life. This is not a book “about disability” but it will surprise anyone who has ever imagined that life with a severe disability is inherently worse than another kind of life.
The Lost Puppy – A positive story for any child with limited mobility who is a wheelchair user. by MRS Kate Gaynor
Summary: Children with limited mobility can often feel somewhat isolated from their peers as a result of times in the past when they were excluded from certain activities. Through the experience of the main character, this book encourages children to look at their wheelchair as playing a positive rather than a negative role in their life. By reading this story with a young child, it also gives parents an opportunity to discuss any feelings of anxiety that their child may be feeling
Movies / Documentaries
It’s Not Yet Dark – by Frankie Fenton (Also a book)
Summary: In 2008, Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (also known as ALS). He was given four years to live. In 2010, in a state of lung-function collapse, Simon knew with crystal clarity that now was not his time to die. Against all prevailing medical opinion, he chose to ventilate in order to stay alive. Here, the young filmmaker, a husband and father of five small children, draws us deeply into his inner world. Told in simply expressed and beautifully stark prose—in the vein of such memoirs as Jean-Dominique Bauby’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—the result is an astonishing journey into a life which, though brutally compromised, is lived more fully and in the moment than most, revealing at its core the power of love its most potent. Written using an eye-gaze computer, It’s Not Yet Dark is an unforgettable book about relationships and family, about what connects and separates us as people and, ultimately, about what it means to be alive.