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Disability & America: Perkins’ Recommended Reads

Stories exploring the history, advancements, and continued work surrounding access and disability awareness in the U.S.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, and National Disability Employment Awareness Month

This year marks not only the 75th observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, but also the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act being signed into law. The Department of Justice is recognizing the many ways in which the ADA has transformed American society and enabled a generation of Americans with disabilities to thrive. At the same time, we recognize that many barriers to equal opportunity still remain. Finding employment can be difficult, for people with differing abilities this can be even more so. Here is a list of titles that can serve as resources for people of all abilities looking for information on the history of the ADA and resources on finding employment.

Digital book (DB), braille (BR), large print (LT), and audio described videos (DVD) copies of these titles are available from the Perkins Library or the Worcester Talking Book Library. Please contact the library to order any of these books.

Prepared by Erin Fragola
Outreach Coordinator
Perkins Library


Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design

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.

Download Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design, DB 94027

Download Braille, Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design, BR 22552

Americans with Disabilities Act

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.

Download Americans with Disabilities Act, DB 73034

Download Braille, Americans with Disabilities Act, BR 19318

As the Twig Is Bent

Kenneth Jernigan

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) presents essays from individuals who discuss aspects of growing up blind. Overcoming others’ misconceptions about blindness is the central theme among experiences such as being overprotected as children, deciding whether or not to use a cane, and seeking employment. Contributors range from a seven-year-old boy to the creator of the braille math code. Many stress the importance of NFB in their lives. 1992.

Download As the Twig Is Bent, DB 37264

Download Braille, As the Twig Is Bent, BR 9348

Disability Awareness — Do It Right! Your All-In-One How-To Guide: Tips, Techniques, And Handouts for A Successful Awareness Day

Mary Johnson

The Ragged Edge Online community’s guide to planning and presenting a disability awareness event. Explains the negative consequences of disability simulations and suggests alternative activities that promote the concept of “ableism,” as advocated by the disability rights movement. Includes a countdown calendar, a checklist, resources, and readings. 2006.

Download Disability Awareness — Do It Right!, DB 64616

Download Braille, Disability Awareness — Do It Right!, BR 17395

The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation

Doris Zames Fleischer

Legislative history of the civil rights movement for individuals with disabilities in the United States. Discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, various advocacy organizations, and the roles of technology and deinstitutionalization. 2001.

Download The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation, DB 52812

Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights

Lennard J. Davis

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) serves as the model for disability-based laws around the world. Disability scholar Lennard J. Davis recounts the behind-the-scenes narrative of how the bipartisan bill came to be as well as discussing its long-reaching impacts. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

Download Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights, DB 82272

The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money

John Maynard Keynes

Outlines and explains the author’s theory of economics, which has been of tremendous significance in the world economic situation. 1936.

Download The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, DB 16178

I’d Rather Be Working: A Step-By-Step Guide to Financial Self-Support for People with Chronic Illness

Gayle Backstrom

Author with fibromyalgia offers a guide to finding a job that can accommodate a chronic illness or disability. Discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act, government programs, education and training, assistive technology, and self-employment opportunities. Provides real-life examples and resources and includes exercises to assess abilities and limitations. 2002.

Download I’d Rather Be Working: A Step-By-Step Guide to Financial Self-Support for People with Chronic Illness, DB 61969

Interviewing

Arlene S. Hirsch

Psychotherapist, career counselor, and outplace consultant Hirsch explains how to “remove some of the negative imagery from the interviewing process by developing better interview skills and attitudes.” Her formula consists of getting to know yourself inside and out; researching employers most likely to want you; and presenting yourself as someone who can add value to the organization. 1994.

Download Interviewing, DB 42769

Job-Hunting for the So-Called Handicapped or People Who Have Disabilities

Richard Nelson Bolles

In this updated edition of the popular guidebook first published in 1991, the authors explain the hiring process in the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They present job-hunting strategies and tips, offer advice for the interviewing process, including research and face-to-face issues, and suggest other resources available. 2001.

Download Job-Hunting for the So-Called Handicapped or People Who Have Disabilities, DB 53895

Download Braille, Job-Hunting for the So-Called Handicapped or People Who Have Disabilities, BR 14098

Job Search Handbook for People with Disabilities

Daniel J. Ryan

Comprehensive resource guide to career development for people with disabilities. Covers locating openings, preparing for interviews, writing resumes, using government programs, networking, and succeeding at work. Discusses available accommodations and provides job links from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy. 2011.

Download Job Search Handbook for People with Disabilities, DB 77534

Download Braille, Job Search Handbook for People with Disabilities, BR 20270

Making Self-Employment Work for People with Disabilities

Cary Griffin and David Hammis

Experienced vocational counselors offer a practical handbook that provides individuals with disabilities information on how to start and maintain a small business. Includes suggestions on preparing a business plan and market strategies, understanding and using government programs, and finding mentors and useful web sites. 2004.

Download Making Self-Employment Work for People with Disabilities, DB 56855

Download Braille, Making Self-Employment Work for People with Disabilities, BR 14945

A Matter of Dignity: Changing the Lives of the Disabled

Andrew Potok

The author of Ordinary Daylight (DB 16674) portrays activists, technicians, health professionals, and others working to improve the everyday lives of people with disabilities through technological progress or advances in public policy and awareness. Potok discusses independence, quality of life, and dignity, relating these issues to his own experience with retinitis pigmentosa. 2002.

Download A Matter of Dignity, DB 53824

Download Braille, A Matter of Dignity, BR 14083

Meeting the Needs of Employees with Disabilities

Resources for Rehabilitation

Information for people with disabilities and employers about measures that can be taken to promote full employment. Covers federal laws, environmental adaptations, and technology to help in the workplace. Includes advice for persons with speech, vision, and hearing impairments; the elderly; and those with chronic medical conditions. 1999.

Download Meeting the Needs of Employees with Disabilities, DB 46081

Persistence Is Power! A Real-World Guide for the Newly Disabled Employee

Jeanne Lazo and Carol J. Amato

Provides disabled employees with information about disability insurance, Social Security, and Workers’ Compensation. Explains the Americans with Disabilities Act. Offers advice for filing claims and managing paperwork, and provides forms and resources. Addresses emotional, medical, legal, privacy, and monetary issues. 2004.

Download Persistence Is Power!, DB 61175

What We Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement

Fred Pelka

Twentieth-century disability activists describe their political struggles for basic human rights, which led to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. They discuss landmark campaigns, including the demand for a deaf president at Gallaudet University and ADAPT’s struggle for accessible public transit. 2012.

Download What We Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement, DB 74570

You’ve Got Rights!

Cathy Taylor

CORD (Cape Organization for Rights of the Disabled) has compiled information for people with disabilities about their civil rights. Covers what protections the laws provide; a review of the Americans with Disabilities Act; discussions of abuse, harassment, education, and driving laws; advocacy tips; and phone numbers of many organizations. Especially useful to Massachusetts residents. 2011.

Download You’ve Got Rights!, DBM 698

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