Disability in America: An eBook Special

On July 26th, America celebrates the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This month, we’re getting caught up on the history, politics, and cultural understandings of disability in America through the curated list of reading selections below. You can get each eBook for just $1.99 through the end of July!

Offer good through July 31, 2021, only available through US retailers


Accessible America

A History of Disability and Design

by Bess Williamson

“This illuminating and thoughtful overview of the evolution of accessible design in the U.S. between the end of WWII and the late 1990s is a strong introduction to the topic…Williamson skillfully connects design concepts to changing social narratives; this work should reward readers interested in either topic.”—Publishers Weekly

“The contents of this book are a win for historians of disability as well as for historians of technology, architecture, and design.”—H-Net Reviews


A Body, Undone

An Introduction to Biological Findings and Their Implications

by Christina Crosby

“Part grueling diary of living with chronic pain and part celebration of survival, this is a complicated understanding of what it means to change your definition of living while living through it.”—Elle

“Most memoirs about life with a disability ‘almost always move toward a satisfying conclusion of lessons learned, Crosby writes. But Crosby knows that there are no satisfying conclusions when one lives ‘a life beyond reason’–and that bit of wisdom alone is cause to read this elegant and harrowing book.”—The Washington Post


Disability Media Studies

Edited by Elizabeth Ellcessor and Bill Kirkpatrick

“An important contribution is Ellcessors chapter on conceptualizing access to media not only in relation to consumption but also in relation to production.”—Choice

“A vital, spot-on collection, assembled with much care and attention, Disability Media Studies encourages readers to question ones training and reach toward interdisciplinarity.”—Petra Kuppers, author of Studying Disability Arts and Culture and The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performance


Restricted Access

Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation

by Elizabeth Ellcessor

“Ellcessor calls for cultural collaboration that does not exclude disability culture or attempt to erase disability culture in the name of universal design.”—Choice

“Elizabeth Ellcessor’s inspiring book Restricted Access: Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation lies at the intersection of disability, technology, culture, and bodies, and it raises new questions in these intersecting research fields. It is a timely and welcome work that fills in the research gap between disability studies and media studies.”—International Journal of Communication


Chronic Youth

Disability, Sexuality, and U.S. Media Cultures of Rehabilitation

by Julie Passanante Elman

Chronic Youth is a gripping read; a fascinating and much welcome addition to studies of disability and youth moving beyond dominating and naturalised tropes of youth-as-becoming and disability-to-be-overcome to instead engage with the politics of adulthood.”—Disability and Society

“In her rigorous, ambitious, and timely study, Chronic Youth, Julie Passanante Elman powerfully demonstrates how the transformation of the teenager from rebel to patient in the US not only reflects an understanding of the teenager as a problem to be managed and solved but has also participated more broadly in an ongoing normalization of a culture of rehabilitation as coterminous with good citizenship for everyone.”—Journal of American Studies


Fantasies of Identification

Disability, Gender, Race

by Ellen Samuels

“Samuels examines in depth how stereotypes relating to disability, gender, and race are first created through literature, which shapes basic schema held by society. These stereotypes are then reinforced by media through cinematic representations of what Samuels calls fantasy of identity or cultural tropes, often idealized with tangential relation to actual bodies. Summing Up: Highly recommended.”—Choice

Fantasies of Identification is enormously suggestive, bringing together disability studies, comparative racialization, queer theory, and cultural analysis in new and exciting ways.”—MELUS


The Disarticulate

Language, Disability, and the Narratives of Modernity

by James Berger

“[T]he book is a valuable contribution to disability studies both for its speculations and specific readings. It is a very thoughtful and thought-filled work, nuanced and wide-ranging, which should have an effect on the field.”—Critical Inquiry


The Radical Lives of Helen Keller

by Kim E. Nielsen

“Nielsen has compiled an outstanding collection, including many letters and photos that are being published for the first time. And even if you didn’t grow up in Alabama, you may still marvel about how a little girl from Tuscumbia not only beat the odds but also blazed trails.”—Dallas Morning News

“The book’s compactness, straightforward writing style, and revolutionary approach make The Radical Lives of Helen Keller invaluable for both teachers and scholars. Keller would be delighted that Nielsen allowed her her Scotch.”—Journal of American History


Claiming Disability

Knowledge and Identity

by Simi Linton

Claiming Disability is the most comprehensive book in disability studies to come along yet. It wisely defines terms and concepts, linking them to and questioning the dominant issues in identity politics and multiculturalism, while mapping a direction for future study. A must read for anyone seriously thinking about the body and body politics in the postmodern era.”—Lennard Davis, author of Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness and the Body

“Provides a broadened and enriched definition of disability, and its author unfolds a compelling way to evaluate Special Education.”—Laurie R. Lehman, Educators for Urban Minorities