This list of titles available through our Perkins Library features some amazing accomplishments of people who have visual or other disabilities and who have made an impressive mark on various sports or outdoor recreational activities. Other titles describe inspiration that can be obtained through recreational activities outdoors or just contemplating the natural world. Happy reading and enjoy your experiences in the world of the Great Outdoors, no matter which activity you choose!
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 Linda Rossman
Alpine Achievement: A Chronicle of the United States Disabled Ski Team
by Lori J. Batcheller
DB 55239, Available as BARD Download
A brief history of skiing in which adaptive equipment is used to compensate for physical disabilities. Discusses the challenges faced by world-class athletes including vision-impaired skiers and amputees who participate in the United States Disabled Ski Team. 2002.
Always Climb Higher
by Jeff Pagels
DB 80208, Available as BARD Download
Paralympian Pagels discusses being paralyzed in a 1984 tree-cutting accident, his recovery, becoming involved in wheelchair sports, and eventually going to the Paralympics in Albertville, France, and winning gold medals. Explains how he then went on to climb mountains using a specialized chair. 2014.
by Bill Irwin
DB 36368, Available as BARD Download
A variety of problems involving family, alcoholism, and blindness prompted middle-aged Bill Irwin’s decision to tackle the 2,000-mile-long Appalachian Trail with his dog guide Orient. For eight months in 1990, the self-proclaimed non-hiker made his way along the sometimes treacherous trail—a feat he credits to God. In describing the trip, Irwin stresses the helpfulness of the other “thru-hikers” he met. 1992.
Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver
by Mary Oliver
DB 94183, Available as BARD Download
Collection of more than two hundred poems by Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Upstream (DB 87127) and Felicity (DB 84944) originally published between 1963 and 2015. Curated by Oliver herself to highlight poems that she thought best represented her work in observing the natural world. 2017.
The Encyclopedia of Sports and Recreation for People with Visual Impairments
by Andrew Leibs
DB 76499, BR 19943, Available as BARD Download
Profiles thirty-six sports and recreational activities, from alpine skiing to yoga, that are adapted for individuals with low or no vision. Lists camps, products, and organizations and highlights athletes, coaches, and participants in a variety of programs. 2013.
I Can Do That!: Adventuring with Disabilities
by Andrea Jehn Kennedy and Craig P. Kennedy
DB 69444, Available as BARD Download
This guide to sports and travel for people with disabilities features interviews with world-class athletes, including a paraplegic skier. Describes forty-five individual and team sports adapted for people of varying physical abilities. Covers rules and equipment. 2007.
Nature as Spiritual Practice
by Steven Chase
DB 75081, Available as BARD Download
Author examines the spiritual side of nature and offers exercises that the reader can practice to connect with the physical world. Discusses earth’s influence on Christian identity and combines the themes of classical spiritual teachings with nature writing. Also explores the “green beatitudes.” 2011.
No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon
by Erik Weihenmayer
DB 87291, BR 21928, LT 22326, Available as BARD Download
The author of Touch the Top of the World (DB 51505) lost his sight as a teen but still seeks adventure around the world. He shares his experience kayaking the Colorado River and his efforts to help other blind people, especially children, learn to live adventurous lives. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2017.
No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer
by Rachael Scdoris and Rick Steber
DB 61948, BR 16418, Available as BARD Download
Twenty-one-year-old author discusses her Oregon childhood, her experience with low vision, and her determination to become a professional sled dog racer. Describes being introduced to the sport by her father, becoming the youngest athlete to win a five-hundred-mile race, and the obstacles she overcame to qualify for the Iditarod. 2006.
No Finish Line: My Life as I See It
by Marla Runyan
DBC 16986, BR 14414, Available as BARD Download
Memoirs of the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. Discovering that attitude can be more disabling than vision loss, Marla describes how she overcame difficulties at school by playing the violin and becoming a competitive runner. 2001.
The Great Conversation: Nature and the Care of the Soul
by Belden C. Lane
DB 95994, BR 22829, Available as BARD Download
Theologian presents an argument for spiritually centered environmentalism. Uses personal experiences along with writings of saints and sages from multiple religious traditions to illustrate the ways nature acts as a teacher. In a chapter on birds, he discusses sandhill cranes, the Platte River, and Sufi poet Farid ud-Din Attar. 2019.
The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife
by Nancy Lawson
DB 88880, Available as BARD Download
A journalist who writes for the Humane Society challenges gardeners to rethink ideas about what is welcome in a backyard garden. She encourages planting native plants, allowing native weeds, and encouraging the presence of wildlife, even wildlife usually thought of as pests. Includes profiles of gardeners who have embraced this philosophy. 2017.
101 Accessible Vacations: Travel Ideas for Wheelers and Slow-Walkers
by Candy B. Harrington
DB 67755, Available as BARD Download
Author of Barrier-Free Travel (DB 61293) provides a guide to United States destinations for people with mobility problems. Details cities, national parks, historical attractions, and recreational opportunities under categories such as big city, the great outdoors, road trips, cruises, small towns, and family fun. Covers lodging. 2008.
This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon
by Nancy Plain
DB 83852, Available as BARD Download
Details the life of John James Audubon (1785-1851), an artist and naturalist, who set about documenting in both words and images the birds of North America, culminating in his masterpiece, The Birds of America. For senior high and older readers. 2016.
ed. Marc Maurer
DB 56407, BR 14827, Available as BARD Download
Seven blind persons recall how they have reached the summit as they scaled “personal mountains.” “To Climb Every Mountain” describes Erik Weihenmayer’s successful ascent of Mt. Everest. Other chapters recount a blind student’s camp counselor job and a teenager’s conquest of the fear of losing her physical freedom on becoming blind. 2002.
Walking: One Step at a Time
by Erling Kagge
DB 95316, Available as BARD Download
An explorer offers his thoughts on the activity of walking. He believes that walking provides a natural time for thinking and creativity. It is also an antidote for the speed at which we live the rest of our lives. Translated from the original Norwegian. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
Walking the Americas: 1,800 Miles, Eight Countries, and One Incredible Journey from Mexico to Colombia
by Levison Wood
DB 95893, Available as BARD Download
British explorer and author of Walking the Himalayas (DB 84780) recounts his travels by foot from the Yucatán in Mexico through Central and South America to Colombia. Describes people he meets, including indigenous tribes, refugees, and revolutionaries. Discusses the history of the land and challenges he faced. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2017.
Why We Swim
by Bonnie Tsue
DB 99409, Available as BARD Download
A journalist and lifelong swimmer explores the many reasons why humans, who are not natural-born swimmers, have always been drawn to water. Stories of swimming experiences range from athletes like Michael Phelps to an Icelandic fisherman who had to swim to survive in frigid waters. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.