7 wheelchair racers in the middle of a race

Disability Resources & Educational Services

Disability Allyship Resources

Click on the subject title that you are interested in learning more about!

How Might You Use This Resource List as a Disability Ally?

Discussion Questions to Ask Yourself or Others


Resource Key


General Topics on Disability (e.g., Disability oppression, civil rights, disability identity, and more!)

Acquired Brain Injury

ADHD/ADD

Blind/Low Vision

Cancer

Cerebral Palsy

Cystic Fibrosis

Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Intellectual Disabilities

Learning Disabilities

Mobility/Physical

Psychological

Speech

Systemic/Medical Disabilities

Do you have suggestions for resources you would like to add or resources you think should be removed?  Let us know!


How Might You Use this Resource List as a Disability Ally?

  • Add resources to your personal library or suggest additions to your public or university library
  • Post a list of your favorite resources in a public space such as your work building or residence hall (e.g.,  bulletin board, doorway, office, etc.)
  • Start/attend a book club
  • Host a “coffee talk” to discuss a resource
  • Post a personal reflection or review of the resource on your social media or blog account
  • Share the link to this webpage with your family, friends, and co-workers
  • Integrate a resource into the content of your classroom or workshop
  • Host an author to speak at your local library or university unit

Back to Top


Discussion Questions to Ask Yourself or Others

  • Were any disability allies represented in the resource? What actions did the ally take that helped you identify them as an ally?  What verbal words or thoughts were expressed that helped you identify a specific character or author as an ally?
  • A microaggression is a term used for brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward any group, particularly culturally marginalized groups. Were any disability-related microaggressions portrayed or discussed in the resource? What was the impact of the microagressions?
  • What kind of language did the resource use around disability? For instance, was person-first language such as “individual with a Traumatic Brain Injury” or identity-first language such as “Autistic Person” used? Brainstorm the impact our words have on individual and social attitudes, actions, and power structures.
  • Disability identity is defined by some as a person who possesses a positive sense of self and feelings of connection to, or solidarity with, the disability community. Describe what you perceive to be change in a character or author’s disability identity over time.
  • In what ways was there agreement or disagreement in the understanding of disability between the person with a disability and their family members, friends, community, and society? What was the impact of agreement? What was the impact of disagreement?
  • Share if and how disability culture was represented in the resource. (e.g., disability norms, sense of pride as a member in the group, certain values or attributes valued within the group such as advocacy or comfort with disability, language that the in-group can use that the out-group cannot, etc.)
  • Describe how the intersection of other social identities (gender, race, ethnicity, social class, sexual identity, age, religion, etc.) may have impacted the expression or understanding of disability within the individual with a disability.

Back to Top


Resource Key

Reading Level: A (Adult; Contains language and/or content that may be unsuitable for young adults.)

Reading Level:  YA (Young adult; For young adults in Grades 5-12; more complicated plots and topics of general interest to the young adult population.)

Reading Level:  JF (Juvenile Fiction; Children's fiction or chapter books; for children in Grades 2-6; ranging from 60 to 200 pages, the books are generally divided into chapters, contain fewer illustrations, and have more complicated plots or concepts than either AC or JE books.)

Reading Level:  JE (Juvenile Easy Reader; For children who are beginning to read on their own, such as those in Grades 1-2; ranging from 30 to 80 pages; illustrations are included to break up the text.)

Reading Level:  AC (Adult read to children; For Pre-K to Grade 3, ranging from 10 to 30 pages, with illustrations; typically designed for parents to read to their children.)

*Recommended by DRES students

**Recommended by DRES staff

Back to Top


General Topics on Disability 

(e.g., Disability oppression, civil rights, disability identity, and more!)

ARCHIVES

Disability in the Modern World: History of a Social Movement is a landmark online collection that fills the gap, with a comprehensive and international set of resources to enrich study in a wide range of disciplines from media studies to philosophy. At the completion, it will include 150,000 pages of sources along with 125 hours of video. 

WEBSITES

Disability Justice - Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) SURJ seeks to build a movement that is informed by anti-ableism, access and Diability Justice. We offer an introduction on our webpage to Disability Justice politics, practice and access, seeking to deepen our political analysis and re-imagine our cultural values whithin white racial justice organizing. In short, to fundamentally expand our base by building the capacity to engage disability activists with relevancy and respect.

young girl in blue dress holding small white dog

*Jessica Kellgren-Fozard I'm a deaf YouTuber who, through warm and amusing videos adds vintage fabulousness to a life with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Showing that a little positivity will go a long way! My content encompasses not just vintage lifestyle and fashion but also disability and LGBTQ+ awareness. I make adorable, chatty videos about different aspects of life and cinematic travel blogs with my wife Claudia.

VIDEOS

Stella Young giving lecture

*Inspiration Porn Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair - a fact that doesn't, she'd like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this very funny talk, Young breaks down society's habit to turning disabled people into "inspiration porn."

 

READINGS

Reading Level: A

cover of Abiity magazine

Ability Magazine is the leading magazine to cover disability. Accessible information for people with disabilities, about people with disabilities. Features celebrities who have disabilities. 

cover of book titled Care Work: Dreaming disability justice

Care Work Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Book titled Disability and Theater

*Disability and Theater: A Practical Manual for Inclusion in the Arts by Stephanie Barton-Farcas

cover of book titled Disability Incarcerated

**Disability Incarcerated: Imprisonment and Disability in the United States and Canada edited by Ben-Mishe, L., Chapman, C., Carey, A.

cover of book titled Don’t Call Me Inspirational

Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back by Harilyn Rousso

cover of book titled No Pity

**No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movementby Joseph Shapiro

Book cover reading Nothing About Us Without Us

Nothing About us Without Us: Disability Oppression and Empowermentby James Charlton

cover of book titled Feminist Queer Crip

**Queer, Feminist, Crip by Alison Kafer

cover of book titled The Disabled God

The Disabled God by Nancy L. Eiesland

cover of book titled Question of Access

**The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning by Tanya Titchkosky

Reading Level:  YA

book titled Are You Alone on Purpose

Are You Alone on Purpose? by Nancy Werlin

book titled Extraordinary People with Disabilities

Extraordinary People with Disabilities by Deborah Kent and Kathryn A. Quinlan

book titled Views from Our Shoes

Views from Our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs by Donald Meyer

Reading Level:  JF

book titled Rosie: A visiting Dog

Rosie: A Visiting Dog's Story by Stephanie Calmenson

Reading Level:  JE

book titled I'm Like You, You're Like Me

I'm Like You, You're Like Me: A Child's Book about Understanding and Celebrating Each Other by Cindy Gainer

book titled We Can Do It

We Can Do It! by Laura Dwight

Reading Level:  AC

book titled What It's Like to be me

What It's Like to Be Me by Helen Exley

Back to Top


Acquired Brain Injury

READINGS

Reading Level:  JF

book titled My Friend Ben

My Friend Ben by Wanda Gilberts Kachur

Reading Level:  AC

book titled Elvin the elephant who forgets

Elvin the Elephant Who Forgets by Heather Snyder

Back to Top


ADHD/ADD

READINGS

Reading Level:  YA

picture book titled Cory Stories, A kid's book about living with ADHD

Cory’s Stories  by Jeanne Kraus

Reading Level:  JF

Cover of picture book Eagle eyes, showing the face of a young boy

Eagle Eyes: A Child's View of Attention Deficit Disorder by Jeanne Gehret, M.A.

Young girl in a hammock looking up at a starlit night sky

First Star I See by Jaye Andras Caffrey

teenage boy drumming with sticks on a garbage can

Zipper, the Kid with ADHD by Caroline Janover

Reading Level:  JE

cartoon turtle on a skateboard

Shelley: The Hyperactive Turtle by Deborah M. Moss

Reading Level:  AC

cartoon elephant wearing shorts and baseball hat

Eukee: The Jumpy Jumpy Elephant by Clifford L. Corman and Esther Trevino

cartoon cars with eyes for headlights

Otto Learns About His Medicine: A Story About Medication for Hyperactive Children by Matthew Galvin

Back to Top


Blind/Low Vision

VIDEOS

50-year-old man with bookcases behind him

The Tommy Edison Experience Tommy Edison, who has been blind since birth, uses humor to answer the most popular questions about living without sight, takes on more challenges which test his other senses, and goes on adventures that allow him to experience things for the first time.

movie poster with 30-year-old man wearing sunglasses, with woman of same age

At First Sight "A blind man has an operation to regain his sight at the urging of his girlfriend and must deal with the changes to his life."

3 smiling young children holding hands running on a hillside

The Color of Paradise “Mohammad, a boy at Tehran's institute for the blind, waits for his dad to pick him up for summer vacation. While waiting, he realizes a baby bird has fallen from its nest: he chases away a cat, finds the bird, climbs a tree, and puts it back. His father finally comes and takes him to their village where his sisters and granny await. The lad is a loving student of nature and longs for village life with his family, but his father is ashamed of him, wanting to farm the boy out to clear the way for marriage to a woman who knows nothing of this son. Over granny's objections, dad apprentices Mohammad far from home to a blind carpenter. Can anything bring father and son together?” 

man and woman in their 20s touching foreheads

Fanaa “Set in Delhi and the Kashmir Valley, a blind woman falls in love with a rakish tour guide who hides a terrible secret…”

Ray Charles playing piano

Ray “The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.”

young man walking with middle-aged man using a cane used by blind people

Scent of a Woman “A prep school student needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated.” 

READINGS

Reading Level:  YA

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder by John Swenson

Reading Level:  JE

10-year-old girl working in a flower garden

Naomi Knows It's Springtime by Virginia L. Kroll

cartoon drawing of 4 grade school students

See You Tomorrow, Charles by Miriam Cohen

drawing of small girl walking in a forest

The Night Search by Kate Chamberlin

Reading Level:  AC

young boy holding a rope with an older man

Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin and John Archambault

Back to Top


Cancer

VIDEOS

movie poster showing James Caan and Billie Dee Williams

Brian’s Song “True story of Brian Piccolo, Bears football player diagnosed with cancer, showing the relationship between Piccolo and Gale Sayers, despite their racial differences and the fact they are competing for the same position”

silhouette of 2 people with arms outstretched, next to William Hurt

The Doctor “Jack McKee is a doctor with it all: he's successful, he's rich, and he has no problems.... until he is diagnosed with throat cancer. Now that he has seen medicine, hospitals, and doctors from a patient's perspective, he realizes that there is more to being a doctor than surgery and prescriptions.” 

teenage boy and girl laying down in grass nuzzling heads

The Fault in Our Stars “Two teenage cancer patients begin a life-affirming journey to visit a reclusive author in Amsterdam.” 

young man and woman embracing back to back

Love Story “A boy and a girl from different backgrounds fall in love regardless of their upbringing - and then tragedy strikes.” 

teenage boy looking inside paper lunchbag

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl An awkward high-school senior (Thomas Mann) and a gravely ill classmate (Olivia Cooke) surprise themselves by becoming inseparable friends.

Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman

My Life "'My Life' tells a story that sets your mind at work, wondering how you would feel and what you would do. The movie is about a man named Bob Jones who has received some good news and some bad news.” 

teenage boy and girl about to kiss

Restless "'Restless' is an uncommonly touching romance about a young man and woman who essentially worship at the shrines of their own deaths. The girl with infinite tact and sweetness is able to coax the boy back into the world of the living, even though we learn cancer will allow her only three more months of life.” 

Benedict Cumberbatch with image of 4 people on a bicycle cart

Third Star "James and his three closest lifelong friends go on an ill-advised trip to the stunning coastal area of Barafundle Bay in West Wales. What follows is a touching and comical adventure dealing with friendship, heroism and love.” 

young man shaving his head while another watches in dismay

50/50 “Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.” 

READINGS

Reading Level:  YA

young girl looking out a window

Waiting for Johnny Miracle by Alice Hendricks Bach

Reading Level:  JE

cartoon of young girl surrounded by many hats

Kathy's Hats: A Story of Hope by Trudy Krisher

Back to Top


Cerebral Palsy

WEBSITES

person in a powered chair approaching a large building

Crutches and Spice A graduate of Eastern University with a degree in creative writing and a minor in French from the Sorbonne, Imani Barbarin writes from the perspective of a black woman with Cerebral Palsy. She specializes in blogging, science fiction and memoir.

VIDEOS

smiling young man laying in a yard with flowers

*Special Netflix Series, Actor-writer Ryan O'Connell stars in this semi-autobiographical series based on his memoir. He plays Ryan, a gay man with cerebral palsy who decides to do away with his identity as an accident victim and go after the life that he wants. After years of dead-end internships, blogging in his pajamas and mainly communicating through text, Ryan figures out how to take his life from bleak to chic as he gets ready to start limping toward adulthood.

5-year-old boys wearing headphones

Including Samuel-Inclusion starts out young; don’t fix the disability, fix the system;  Shot and produced over four years, Habib’s award-winning documentary film, Including Samuel, chronicles the Habib family’s efforts to include Samuel in every facet of their lives. The film honestly portrays his family’s hopes and struggles as well as the experiences of four other individuals with disabilities and their families. Including Samuel is a highly personal, passionately photographed film that captures the cultural and systemic barriers to inclusion.

younger woman standing in street with middle-aged man with briefcase

Door to Door “A man with cerebral palsy is determined to become a salesman.”

young man with beard standing in front of middle-aged woman

My Left Foot “Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.” 

READINGS

Reading Level:  YA

Don't Stop the Music by Robert Perske

goldfish leaping out of fish bowl

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Reading Level:  AC

cartoon style drawing of small girl talking to small boy in a wheelchair

Danny and the Merry-Go-Round by Nan Holcomb

small boy with 5 puppies jumping on his lap

Reading Level:  JE

Andy Opens Wide by Nan Holcomb

cartoon of young girl with curly hair

Can't You Be Still? by Sarah Yates

young boy with leg braces using a walker

Patrick and Ima Lou by Nan Holcomb

 

Reading Level:  JF

cartoon of boy holding glowing marble

Adam and the Magic Marble by Adam and Carol Buehrens

cartoon of smiling birl sirrounded by random letters of the alphabet

Here's What I Mean To Say... by Sarah Yates

young boy in a wheelchair

Howie Helps Himself by Joan Fassler

young boy with leg braces standing proudly

I'm Joshua and "Yes I Can" by Joan Lenett Whinston

Back to Top


Cystic Fibrosis

VIDEOS

woman with tattoo of heart and veins, dancing

65 Red Roses Cystic fibrosis documentary on Netflix; extremely awesome documentary following a girl who is waiting for a double lung transplant; shows that using the internet has helped CF patients who can’t necessarily interact with people, but there are still support systems out there.

young woman with oxygen tube in nose

*Claire Wineland was an American activist and author. She was born with Cystic Fibrosis and later created a non-profit organization "Claire's Place Foundation" supporting individuals with terminal and chronic illness. 

Back to Top


Deaf/Hard of Hearing

VIDEOS

young boy using sign language

Sound and Fury This documentary controversy of cochlear implant shown within a single extended family one family wants the implant, the other doesn’t because of the pressure being brought in by the deaf culture the six year old daughter is asking for the implant while her parents are unsure.

photos of same girl as a 6-year-old and as teenager

Sound and Fury: Six Years Later This movie discusses Heather and family getting cochlear implants, and how it affected them. Heather now attends a hearing/mainstream school and plays sports.

Heather Artinian giving a lecture

Heather Artinian from Sound and Fury This TED talk focuses on the “Heather world” because she doesn’t want to just be a part of the deaf culture or the hearing culture, but both summarizes what happened after the Sound and Fury documentaries.

2 teenage girls laying together in grass lawn

Switched at Birth This TV show focuses on two girls who were “switched at birth”; one is hard of hearing, one is not discusses cochlear implant in first episode; father who raised hearing child wants other child (his real one) to get the implant while the mother who raised the daughter who was deaf was against the implant. More of a Hollywood point of view of disability but still a resource.

Marlee Matlin and William Hurt

Children of a Lesser God Starting his new job as an instructor at a New England school for the deaf, James Leeds (William Hurt) meets Sarah Norman (Marlee Matlin), a young deaf woman who works at the school as a member of the custodial staff. A romance slowly develops between the pair in spite of Sarah's withdrawn emotional state due in part to her difficult relationship with her mother (Piper Laurie). Matlin, who is deaf in real life, won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this, her first film role.

Younger woman standing next to older man in a snowstorm

Black-Paul (Dhritiman Chaterji) and Catherine McNally (Shernaz Patel) give birth to their first daughter, Michelle (Rani Mukherji), who can neither hear nor see. Not knowing how to care for a deaf and blind child, they isolate their daughter from the outside world and as a result, she is ill-behaved and emotionally distraught. Paul even considers putting Michelle in a mental hospital until an eccentric teacher with a questionable past (Amitabh Bachchan) offers to help

woman with sunglasses talking to 12-year-old girl

The Miracle Worker Blind and deaf after suffering a terrible fever as a baby, young Helen Keller (Patty Duke) has spent years unable to communicate, leaving her frustrated and occasionally violent. As a last chance before she is institutionalized, her parents (Inga Swenson, Andrew Prine) contact a school for the blind, which sends half-blind Annie Sullivan (Anne Bancroft) to teach Helen. Helen is initially resistant, but Annie gradually forms a bond with her and shows Helen ways of reaching others.

READINGS

Reading Level:  JF

collage of various images of Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven: Musical Pioneer by Carol Greene

Reading Level:  JE

cartoon of small boy raising hand to eye level

When I Grow Up by Candri Hodges

Reading Level:  AC

cartoon of young girls going for a walk, holding hands, accompanied by dog

A Very Special Friend by Dorothy Hoffman Levi

2 small girls looking out a window

Silent Observer by Christy MacKinnon

Thomas Edison holding a lightbulb

Thomas Alva Edison: Great Inventor by David A. Adler

cartoon drawing of young girl in dress from 1890s

A Picture Book of Helen Keller by David A. Adler

Back to Top


Intellectual Disabilities

VIDEOS

smiling 52-year-old man

Best Boy/Best Man Director Ira Wohl documents three years in the life of her cheerful, mentally handicapped 52-year-old cousin, Philly Wohl, whose elderly parents have recently started to prepare him for the day when they can no longer be his caretakers. Ira follows Philly as he travels from his apartment in Queens into Manhattan, where he takes classes to learn to care for himself. Slowly, Philly begins to learn the ways of the world and becomes more self-reliant and independent.

teenage girl and boy in a forest

Girlfriend A young man with Down syndrome romances a single mother who is mixed up with a violent ex.

young man and woman laughing together

Yo, Tambien A recent university graduate with Down syndrome falls in love -- on his first day at work -- with Laura, a woman who spends her nights in the city's crowded clubs and singles bars. The two begin a bittersweet friendship that puts them both on the road to happiness.

Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeifer

I am Sam A compelling story of Sam Dawson (Sean Penn), a mentally-challenged father raising his daughter Lucy (Dakota Fanning) with the help of a unique group of friends. As Lucy turns seven and begins to intellectually surpass her father, their close bond is threatened when their unconventional living arrangement comes to the attention of a social worker who wants Lucy placed in foster care.

young man holding exuberant young woman in his arms

The Other Sister A girl with an intellectual disability proves herself to be every bit as capable as her "perfect" sister when she moves into an apartment and begins going to college. 

Cuba Gooding and Ed Harris above image of football team

Radio In a racially divided town, coach Jones (Ed Harris) spots a mentally disabled African-American student named Radio (Cuba Gooding Jr.) near his practice field and is inspired to befriend him. Soon, Radio is Jones' loyal assistant, and principal Daniels (Alfre Woodard) happily notes that Radio's self-confidence is skyrocketing. But things start to sour when Jones begins taking guff from fans who feel that his devotion to Radio is getting in the way of the team's quest for a championship.

Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) is a small-town young man with a lot of responsibility. Chief among his concerns are his mother (Darlene Cates), who is so overweight that she can't leave the house, and his mentally impaired younger brother, Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio), who has a knack for finding trouble. Settled into a job at a grocery store and an ongoing affair with local woman Betty Carver (Mary Steenburgen), Gilbert finally has his life shaken up by the free-spirited Becky (Juliette Lewis)

READINGS

Reading Level:  YA

yoiung woman holding a plate

Bus Girl by Gretchen Josephson

Reading Level:  JF

small girl looking through a chain link fence at a little league baseball player

My Sister Annie by Bill Dodds

Reading Level:  AC

young boy with down's syndrome holding a flower

Be Good to Eddie Lee  by Virginia FilIing

young boy with Down's Syndrome holding a baby

Big Brother Dustin by Alden R. Carter

young boy standing in front of apple tree with bushel basket full of apples

Russ and the Apple Tree Surprise by Janet Elizabeth Rickert

Reading Level:  JE

young boy petting a sleeping dog

Buddy's Shadow by Shirley Becker

young boy laughing at 5 adults wearing humorous masks

Charlsie's Chuckle by Clara Widess Berkus

young girl taking a cookie from a plate of cookies

Cookie by Linda Kneeland

3 young boys holding thumbs up

Thumbs Up, Rico! by Maria Testa

10-year-old girl painting a toy octopus red while an infant reaches for it

We'll Paint the Octopus Red by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

smiling father holding laughing 5-year-old daughter

Where's Chimpy? by Berniece Rabe

Back to Top


Learning Disabilities

WEBSITES

teacher helping 2 young students

Eye to Eye: Mentoring Program “Eye to Eye is the only national LD / ADHD movement dedicated to mentoring. But we do much more to reach many more people with our message. In addition to our core mentor/mentee relationships, Eye to Eye brings people together both inside and outside the LD / ADHD community with our Diplomat, summer camp, and Alumni programs. We're not just totally changing lives -- we're totally changing the conversation about LD / ADHD.”

9-year-old girl writing in a notebook

National Center for Learning Disabilities 

VIDEOS

3 grade-school kids writing and painting

I Can’t Do This But I Can Do That: (HBO Documentary) Four children with learning differences speaking about how they felt before and how they feel now that they are more confident about their disability thanks to adaptive technology/people knowing that they have a disability.

READINGS

Reading Level:  A

young person in small rowboat in rough sea

The Doctor He Begged to Be by A. McDonald Vaz

Reading Level:  YA

smiling young man

Dyslexia My Life: One Man's Story of His Life with a Learning Disability by Girard J. Sagmiller

teenage girl with school books walking with teenage boy

Emily in Love by Susan Goldman Rubin

teenage boy with eyes closed

Probably Still Nick Swansen by Virginia Euwer Wolff

flying angel holding the moon on a string

Reach for the Moon by Samantha Abeel

high school boy and girl in a classroom

The Worst Speller in Jr. High by Caroline Janover

Reading Level:  JF

zebra with numerical equations forming its stripes

A Gebra Named Al by Wendy Isdell

football player throwing a ball getting rushed by 2 opposing football players

How Dyslexic Benny Became a Star: A Story of Hope for Dyslexic Children and Their Parents by Joe Griffith

3 people on a small boat on a rough sea

How Many Days Until Tomorrow? By Caroline Janover

8-year-old boy building a toy helicopter while a mouse watches

Learning Disabilities and the Don't Give Up Kid by Jeanne Gehret

12-year-old boy with bicycle looking at flying geese

My Name Is Brain Brian by Jeanne Betancourt

cartoon of puzzled-looking girl standing at a blackboard

Trouble with School: A Family Story About Learning Disabilities by Kathryn Boesel Dunn and Allison Boesel Dunn

Reading Level:  AC

tiger in a field of tulips

Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus

Back to Top


Mobility/Physical

WEBSITES

*Wheelchair Repunzel Blog

Leaving Evidence Mia Mingus is a writer, educator and community organizer for disability justice and transformative justice. She is a queer physically disabled korean transracial and transnational adoptee raised in the Carribean.

VIDEOS

Aimee Mullins

Aimee Mullins: The Opportunity of Adversity TEDTalk about an athlete, actress, model and world record-breaker in Paralympic Games in 1996. She was the first double amputee to compete in Division 1 Track and Field gives a talk about her experiences.

collage of high school studentsand football players

Friday Night Lights TV show that follows a high school senior with spinal cord injury in first episode. Chronicles the injury, the rehabilitation and recovery, adapted sport teams, the sexual encounters/questions that come along with paralyzing injury.

4 glamorous women in wheelchairs

Push Girls-TV show that focuses on four friends who use wheelchairs and how they live in LA..

Jane Fonda and Jon Voigt sittong in a wheelchair

Coming Home The wife of a Marine serving in Vietnam, Sally Hyde (Jane Fonda) decides to volunteer at a local veterans hospital to occupy her time. There she meets Luke Martin (Jon Voight), a frustrated vet who uses a wheelchair and who has become disillusioned with the war. Sally and Luke develop a friendship that soon turns into a romance, but when her husband, Bob (Bruce Dern), returns unexpectedly, she must decide between staying with him and pursuing her new love.

young woman and slightly older man

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), editor-in-chief of French fashion bible Elle magazine, has a devastating stroke at age 43. The damage to his brain stem results in locked-in syndrome, with which he is almost completely paralyzed and only able to communicate by blinking an eye. Bauby painstakingly dictates his memoir via the only means of expression left to him.

Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy

The Intouchables An unlikely friendship develops between a wealthy quadriplegic (François Cluzet) and his caretaker (Omar Sy), just released from prison.

young boy with crutches kneeling on floor

Langer Gang In a rehabilitation center in Germany, a group of people suffering from various disabilities explore relationships with one another. Nesrin (Nina Kunzendorf) is a paraplegic, who uses a wheelchair at all times. Didi (Dieter Resch) suffers from dwarfism and atrophy of his arms, but is still able to play the drums and paint with his feet. Didi romances Nesrin, who struggles with her family's traditional values. Didi's carefree ways soon threaten to get him in trouble.

Roni Livingston and Melissa George

Music Within After a confrontation with one of his idols dashes his dreams of studying public speaking in college, Richard Pimentel (Ron Livingston) joins the Army and ships off to Vietnam. During his service, Richard loses nearly all of his hearing. Joining a new circle of friends, including a man with cerebral palsy and an alcoholic war veteran, Richard discovers his gift for motivational speaking and becomes an advocate for people with disabilities.

man and woman's leg dancing

Musical Chairs A handyman (E.J. Bonilla) helps a former dancer (Leah Pipes) prepare for a wheelchair ballroom-dancing competition.

Alfre Woodard and Mary McDonnell

Passion Fish After soap opera actress May-Alice Culhane (Mary McDonnell) has a car accident, she is paralyzed and forced into a wheelchair. She retreats to her family's vacant home in Louisiana and indulges in alcohol and self-pity. When nursing aides come to help, May-Alice unleashes her anger, prompting each to quit. Chantelle (Alfre Woodard), a nurse who desperately needs the job, arrives determined to change May-Alice's outlook. As the two women become friends, they help each other cope with challenges.

4 college-age women and 2 college-age men

Pumpkin Carolyn's (Christina Ricci) sorority sisters set their sights on the Sorority of the Year award and coaching challenged athletes is their ticket to the trophy. But when the queen of formals finds herself mentoring Pumpkin (Hank Harris), a disabled athlete, their two worlds collide.

able-bodied woman reclining on a wheelchair

Quid Pro Quo A paraplegic (Nick Stahl) meets a mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) who wants to be confined to a wheelchair.

3 teenagers, 2 wearing sunglasses

Rory O’Shea Was Here In a Dublin home for the disabled, Michael Connolly (Steven Robertson) leads a glum, introverted existence; his cerebral palsy makes it difficult for anyone to understand his speech. But everything changes when Rory O'Shea (James McAvoy) enters his life. Although muscular dystrophy limits Rory to a wheelchair, he has the wild, carefree attitude that Michael lacks. Together, they make an unstoppable team -- eventually landing their own apartment and a beautiful assistant (Romola Garai).

Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard

Rust and Bone Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), a former boxer and single father, meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) when he saves her from a brawl at the nightclub where he works as a bouncer. Their casual acquaintance develops into something much more after Stephanie, who trains killer whales at a marine park, suffers a horrible accident and loses both her legs above the knee. As Stephanie draws on Ali's physical strength, an unexpected courtship slowly comes to life.

young woman, and young man in an assistive chair, riding in a van

*Squirmy and Grubs Youtube Channel

woman and man in bed, kissing

The Waterdance Injured in a climbing accident, writer Joel Garcia (Eric Stoltz) wakes up in a hospital having lost the use of his legs. Soon after, he's placed in a recovery ward where he begins the arduous process of rehabilitation and meets others with injuries like his own. Raymond (Wesley Snipes) is a ladies' man whose girl has nevertheless split, and Bloss (William Forsythe) is a rather prejudiced biker. Together, this unlikely trio helps one another to overcome the greatest challenge of their lives.

middle-aged man and woman with 10 smiling kids

Who are the DeBolts? The story of Dorothy and Bob DeBolt's struggle to adopt and care for 19 children, with several of them being physically disabled war orphans

READINGS

Reading Level:  A

young able-bodied woman with nurse's hat holding man with shriveled body

*Strangers Assume my Girlfriend is My Nurse by Shane Burcow

woman in a wheelchaitr at the bottom of a swimming pool

Beauty is a Verb edited by Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen.

line drawing of wheelchair

The Me in the Mirror by Connie Panzarino

clock face

Under the Eye of the Clock: The Life Story of Christopher Nolan by Christopher Nolan

Reading Level:  YA

drawing of young women with arms around each other's shoulders

Best Friends by Hope Benton

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Gallant President by Barbara Feinberg

Lou Gehrig

Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time by Ray Robinson

portrait of girl wrapped in a nautilus shape

The Nautilus by Wanda Gilberts Kachur

Reading Level:  JF

girl with leg braces in front of campaign signs reading vote for arlene

Arlene On the Scene by Carol Liu and Marybeth Sidoti Caldarone

cartoon of embarrassed looking boy

Hi, I'm Adam. A Child's Story of Tourette Syndrome by Adam Buehrens

girl in a wheelchair reaching for a balloon

Margaret's Moves by Bernice Rabe

Reading Level:  JE

2 young boys playing a video game

Fair and Square by Nan Holcomb

Back to Top


Psychological

Websites

Autistic Hoya blog from Lydia X. Z. Brown who does a lot of varied work in grassroots organizing, public policy advocacy, and writing focused on disability justice and intersectionality.

Cracked Mirror Savannah began formally advocating at the age of 12 when her mother asked her to sit on a panel for a state level conference presentation. Advocacy became a true passion for Savannah once she became an adult. Co-morbidly diagnosed GAD, PTSD, and ASD, she worked in Mental Health advocacy before she connected with the ASD and DD communities. In adulthood, she was diagnosed with several chronic health disabilities, some of which have a mild-to-moderate impact on mobility depending on the day.

VIDEOS

Neurowonderful Hi I'm Amythest! I make videos about what it's like to be Autistic. I talk about Autism, disability, and living life on the spectrum.

young man and woman lying with heads next to each other

Adam-Adam Raki (Hugh Dancy), an electronics engineer, has an autism disorder called Asperger syndrome. When a young woman named Beth (Rose Byrne) moves into his apartment building, he is quite taken with her. She does not quite know how to react to Adam's unconventional overtures but decides to give him a chance nonetheless. But Beth's parents are apprehensive about her new romance, which could end the young lovers' relationship before it has a chance.

smiling Jack Nicholson holding small dog

As Good As it Gets Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is an obsessive-compulsive writer of romantic fiction who's rude to everyone he meets, including his gay neighbor Simon (Greg Kinnear), but when he has to look after Simon's dog, he begins to soften and, if still not completely over his problems, finds he can conduct a relationship with the only waitress (Helen Hunt) at the local diner who'll serve him.

5 young school kids in front of a stage

Autism: The Musical Originating in Los Angeles, "Autism: The Musical" is a 2007 documentary that follows the lives of five autistic children who write and perform their own musical. The film also follows the parents of the five, and reveals the intense personal struggles and challenges of raising children with autism. The parents in the film include well known figures like Rosanne Katon-Walden, a former Playboy model, and musician Steven Stills of the band Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Russell Crowe

A Beautiful Mind A human drama inspired by events in the life of John Forbes Nash Jr., and in part based on the biography "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Nasar. From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery.

Benny & Joon Benny (Aidan Quinn), who cares for his mentally disturbed sister, Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson), also welcomes the eccentric Sam (Johnny Depp) into his home at Joon's request. Sam entertains Joon while he dreams of a job at the video store. Once Benny realizes Joon and Sam have started a relationship, he kicks Sam out of the house. This leads to an altercation between brother and sister. Joon runs away with Sam, who soon realizes that she may need more support than he alone can provide.

Tommie Lee Jones in an Army uniform with Jessica Lange hugging him

Blue Sky In the late 1950s, the U.S. Army assigns nuclear engineer Hank Marshall (Tommy Lee Jones) to an isolated weapons testing facility in Alabama. Hank causes waves with his superior officers due to his stance against the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. Marshall's wife, Carly (Jessica Lange), further aggravates the situation because of her emotional instability and flirtatious nature. The move to Alabama sends her into the arms of base commander Vince Johnson (Powers Boothe).

Marcia Gay Harden embracing Joe Pantoliano

Canvas In a small coastal town, contractor John Marino (Joe Pantoliano) struggles to understand his wife, Mary (Marcia Gay Harden), when she starts behaving strangely. After a doctor's visit, they discover she has schizophrenia. Nothing the doctors do helps, however, so John must live with his wife's incurable mental illness, while also helping their confused child Chris (Devon Gearhart) make sense of it. But as Mary's mental state declines, John finds an unexpected source of comfort in his son.

Kirstie Alley hugging young boy

David's Mother A woman (Kirstie Alley) estranged from her husband and family insists on caring for her autistic son alone.

super closeup of half of a woman's face

Girl, Interrupted Set in the changing world of the late 1960s, "Girl, Interrupted" is the searing true story of Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder), a young woman who finds herself at a renowned mental institution for troubled young women, where she must choose between the world of people who belong on the inside -- like the seductive and dangerous Lisa (Angelina Jolie) -- or the often difficult world of reality on the outside.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story Stressed by adolescence, 16-year-old Craig Gilner (Keir Gilchrist) checks himself into a mental-health clinic. Unfortunately, the youth wing is closed, so he must spend his mandated five-day stay with adults. One of them, Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), quickly becomes his mentor -- and protege, while Craig finds himself drawn to a fellow teen, Noelle (Emma Roberts), who just may be the cure he needs to forget an unrequited crush.

young girl in track shirt and arms raised

The Loretta Claiborne Story Gutsy Loretta Clairborne (Kimberly Elise), born with mental and physical disabilities, realizes at an early age that she's a talented athlete. Always able to stick up for herself, Loretta is thrown out of school after a fight, but, urged on by her mother (Tina Lifford) and a devoted social worker (Camryn Manheim), she runs in Special Olympics meets and the Boston Marathon. Loretta's resolve is tested again when her mother becomes seriously ill and her own health requires attention.

cartoon figure anxiously typing on old-fashioned typewriter

Mary and Max A lonely Australian girl (Toni Collette) and an elderly Jewish man (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in New York develop an unlikely friendship through letters.

young man and smiling young woman

Mozart and the Whale New York taxi driver Donald Morton (Josh Hartnett) has Asperger's syndrome, a type of autism. Proficient with numbers but shy around people, Donald organizes a support group for others with with his condition. Isabelle Sorenson (Radha Mitchell), who is direct to a fault and practical, but easily upset by any perceived insult, joins the group. The two fall in love, but their mutual difficulty in coping with their condition threatens their fragile relationship.

young man and young woman looking very earnest

My Name is Khan A mildly autistic man (Shah Rukh Khan) travels across the U.S. to meet President Obama.

3 framed family pictures

Ordinary People Tormented by guilt following the death of his older brother, Buck, in a sailing accident, alienated teenager Conrad Jarrett (Timothy Hutton) attempts suicide. Returning home following an extended stay in a psychiatric hospital, Conrad tries to deal with his mental anguish and also reconnect with his mother, Beth (Mary Tyler Moore), who has grown cold and angry, and his emotionally wounded father, Calvin (Donald Sutherland), with the help of his psychiatrist, Dr. Berger (Judd Hirsch).

Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx

The Soloist Los Angeles columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) has reached an impasse in his life. His marriage is on the rocks, and he's disillusioned with his job. Then, while wandering through L.A.'s Skid Row, he spots a homeless man (Jamie Foxx) playing a two-stringed violin with a virtuoso's skill. Lopez initially thinks of the man, named Nathaniel Ayers, as just a story idea. But as he begins to unravel the mystery of Ayers' strange fate, Lopez realizes that a change is happening within himself.

Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, and Carrie Ann Moss

Snow Cake Traveling through Canada, ex-con Alex Hughes (Alan Rickman) picks up a vivacious young hitchhiker, Vivienne (Emily Hampshire), who needs a ride to her hometown. Soon afterward, the pair are involved in a horrible car accident that kills Vivienne. Alex continues on to her home to tell Vivienne's mother (Sigourney Weaver) about her fate. Later he begins an affair with a neighbor (Carrie-Anne Moss) who paves the way for his healing.

 

READINGS

Reading Level:  A

Butterflies and Birds

Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman.

soldier grieving at a graveside

Tears of a Warrior by Janet J. Seahorn, E. Anthony Seahorn

the letter "L" in "bloodletting" extended to look like a needle

Blood Letting: A Memoir of Secrets, Self-Harm, and Survival by Victoria Leatham

7-year-old boy grimacing with eyes closed

**Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison

Temple Grandin sitting in a cattle pen

Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin

Reading Level:  JE

2 smiling young bboys with arms around each others' shoulders

Joey and Sam by Illana Katz and Edward Ritvo

Reading Level:  AC

young boy by himself playing with a frisbee while group of kids play in the background

Andy and His Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson

young boy walking outside staring straight up

Ian's Walk: A Story About Autism by Laurie Lears

Back to Top


Speech

VIDEOS

Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush

The King’s Speech England's Prince Albert (Colin Firth) must ascend the throne as King George VI, but he has a speech impediment. Knowing that the country needs her husband to be able to communicate effectively, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) hires Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian actor and speech therapist, to help him overcome his stammer. An extraordinary friendship develops between the two men, as Logue uses unconventional means to teach the monarch how to speak with confidence.

READINGS

Reading Level:  JE

man in basketball jersey spinning a bean on his finger

The Bob (Butterbean) Love Story by Terry Page and Bob Love

Reading Level:  AC

young boy with cat

Armann and Gentle by Kristin Steinsdottir

worried looking girl holding a teddy bear

Cat's Got Your Tongue? by Charles E. Schaefer

Back to Top


Systemic/Medical Disabilities

VIDEOS

young man smoking a cigarette

Control-A profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23.

child holding sword sitting on shoulders of an adult

The Mighty “This tells the story of a strong friendship between a young boy with Morquio's syndrome and an older boy who is always bullied because of his size. Adapted from the novel, Freak the Mighty, the film explores a building of trust and friendship. Kevin, an intelligent guy helps out Maxwell to improve his reading skills. In return, Kevin wants Maxwell to take him out places since he is not allowed out unauthorized. Being the social outcasts of the town, Kevin and Maxwell come to realize that they are similar to each other and accept that they are "freaks" and nothing will stop them.” 

Cameron Diaz smiling with Abigail Breslin

My Sister’s Keeper Conceived as a marrow donor for her gravely ill sister, Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) has undergone countless surgeries and medical procedures in her short life. Though their older daughter's life has no doubt been prolonged, the unorthodox decision of Anna's parents has cracked the entire family's foundation. When Anna sues her parents for emancipation, it sets off a court case that threatens to destroy the family for good.

Meryl Streep holding small boy

First Do No Harm The true story of one woman's struggle against a narrow-minded medical establishment.

READINGS

Reading Levels: A

Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life by Harriet McBryde Johnson

Reading Level:  JE

cartoon of young girl holding a teddy bear

Anna Joins In by Katrina Arnold

anthropomorphic tree being hugged by a fox

Little Tree: A Story for Children with Serious Medical Problems by Joyce C. Mills

young girl holding a stuffed lamb

Sarah and Puffle: A Story for Children About Diabetes by Linnea Mulder

young girl looking out a window while sibling is in a bed in room behind her

What About Me? When Brothers and Sisters Get Sick by Allan Peterkin

Reading Level:  AC

a happy rabbit with human clothes holding a happy goldfish in palm of hand

The Rabbit with Epilepsy by Deborah M. Moss

10-year-old boy with inhaler sitting next to younger boy on a bench

Luke Has Asthma, Too by Alison Rogers

young boy and girl sitting on front steps of a house

You Can Call Me Willy: A Story for Children About AIDS by Joan C. Verniero