Cover Image: Disability Visibility (Adapted for Young Adults)

Disability Visibility (Adapted for Young Adults)

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Member Reviews

This is such a rich introduction or a building block for young people interested in learning more about the disability communities. There are seventeen different stories, each highlighting important issues-like identity, transportation, and sexuality-and how they intersect with disability. I've read the original version and found this an excellent reflection of that original work. I recommend this for any and all young people as well as the adults who are in their lives, like teachers, parents, pastors, counselors, librarians, and youth leaders.
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We live in a very ableist society. I see it mostly as a person with mental illness, but it’s even more visible for those with physical disabilities. I think this book does a great job of humanizing disabled people and making them more than a concept or people to be pitied. They are just people, living in our world, and it would go a damn long way if we would make sure it works for all of us and not just the able-bodied.
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The short stories in this anthology are perfect for middle grade readers looking to hear Own Voices' stories from individuals with disabilities.  The stories are short, straight forward, and highlight so much more than a diagnosis.  The stories are written in an easy to understand manner and portray all life events that the authors are experiencing.  Highly recommend.
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This book is written by disabled people for disabled people and the importance of that CANNOT be understated. It is huge that now disabled teens can hear from disabled adults about what is like to exist as a disabled adult today.
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I read the original Disability Visibility and hoped the whole time that it was accessible for younger readers. It had a lot of important story lines but some too mature for a YA audience. 
I jumped at the opportunity to read this one to be able to recommend to my school library or students who show interest in helping with my special education classroom. 
This was a great adaption! It covered the important topics in a way that is accessible to a younger audience. Teens need to understand the way society is set for people with disabilities to fail. It is a younger audience that is going to
make a difference in the future.
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This was enlightening. I liked that there were a variety of disabilities represented and there were some essays that I really did take something away from. There were some that didn't hold my attention or "speak to me," but that doesn't take away from the overall necessity of this book. I'm sure those same essays that didn't resonate with me would undoubtedly speak to someone else.

These kinds of books and points of view are important. They remind us able-bodied people that there's so much more than what we've simply become accustomed to.
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Disability Visibility is an absolute must-read for everyone. The writing is not only deeply insightful, but also equally moving. It challenges so many wrongly-held notions about disability and forces you to confront your own ideas.
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This book, like the adult version, is essential reading. It is the most educational and eye-opening collection of writing about disability that I have ever read. What I appreciate is that there are so many stories that I didn't know, and that I should have known. Why haven't I thought more about disability and indigenous people? I would never have known what it's like for a blind person to have a guide dog. I also appreciate that this is a collection of writing by disabled people. Too often we seek to learn more about marginalized people from places of privilege. There are stories of discomfort and sadness, but there are also stories of love and hope. I am grateful for the mixture. As I move about my life now after reading it, I am always thinking about it. I see disability more, and I hope that makes me act in a way that moves more towards justice.
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This took me a while to read because it was very emotional as a disabled person myself. To read about other people experiencing the same things and feeling the same way was validating in a way I didn’t know I needed. Personally I have a love hate relationship with nonfiction. I love it because it can be so informative and I love learning, but I hate it because so often it’s shrouded in convoluted language and long sentences that quite frankly make it inaccessible to me and so many others. So when I saw that this was “adapted for young readers” I decided to give it a try and I’m glad I did. The essays give a clear picture of what it is like to be disabled and how that can manifest in different ways; while still being accessible and easy to read and understand. I also especially appreciate the content warnings before the essays as that gave me a chance to collect myself or put it down and come back when I was ready to handle that type of content. I learned a lot about my own community through this collection of essays and I’m so glad I read it. This is now one of those few books that I’ll be recommending to anyone who will listen because I think everyone should read it!
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I loved this book and I’m glad I was given the chance to review it. 
This book was excellently written and I loved the different perspectives it offered. There was a wide range of diversity in this book from skin color to gender to age and even the disabilities represented. The first story was about a Muslim woman and her journey from fasting for Ramadan to accepting that she couldn’t anymore. Having the first story be one that focused on religion as well as disability was my first high point of the book and one of the first things, I made a note of.
I also found myself learning and growing as I read. For example, before reading the story about guide dogs by Haden Girma I had thought that guide dogs led blind people, but after reading that story, I’ve realized my original thoughts were wrong. Another story that opened my eyes was the story about being deaf in prison. I had never before thought about that problem and this opened my eyes to an issue that I had never really seen talked about. The poem “I Am Too Pretty For Some ‘Ugly Laws’” was not only a powerful poem, but it also contained a law that I had never heard of before. There were other instances throughout the book.
Another strong point of the book was the four parts each with a different theme as well as having quotes to start each one. There were also quite few quotes throughout that I made a note of. Some of the stories also included content warnings at the start and I applaud that decision. 
Perhaps one of the strongest parts of the was ending with the story “The Beauty of Spaces Created For and By Disabled People”. It was a well written piece (well all of these stories were), but it was a good piece to end on. And then at the end the juxtaposition of being in a safe place created by disabled people for disabled people and then having to leave and renter a society that was built for abled people by abled people really hit different after hearing all the detail in the first part.
I would recommend this book and would read it again/own it. I am also interested in checking out the non-adapted version of this book.
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In my search to find more short pieces for my classroom that depict varied perspectives, I was excited to see a YA version of this anthology. Within this short text, there are 17 different personal narratives from a wide variety of diverse authors. Each piece is prefaced with a content warning for teens to know what to expect. And each essay is short, bite-sized, which would work well for a group of reluctant readers.

While this is marketed for a YA audience, I think this book may take TOO much away from the "adult" anthology. Shortening pieces and cutting essays are definitely good strategies for appealing to younger readers, but I'm wondering if the editors also attempted to make the language more accessible. There were only a few stories in here that had engaging prose or would be teachable beyond just the content. I'd say an educator could use all of the pieces in here to teach theme, but there were only a handful that made me excited about the writing.

Nevertheless, I am happy to see more representation in this area. It's definitely one that gets missed in the high school classroom, so I may pick up the full version and see what I can add to the few I loved in this anthology!
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When I saw this title available on NetGalley I was really excited. I’d been meaning to read the adult version also edited by Alice Wong. But I found the essays in that book overwhelming and never finished it. I was hopeful that this Young Adult version would be easier for me to understand and enjoy even though I’m 31 years old. While I related to some pieces, many of them I did not. Even though the pieces were organized into four sections I had difficulty connecting them and seeing an overall cohesive theme. I wish that some of the pieces were expanded upon; sometimes it felt like they ended abruptly or the message was not fully explored or explained. Having said this, I think there is an important place and need for these stories to be told. Just because something doesn’t resonate with me personally doesn’t mean it won’t be life-changing for someone else.
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This version is essentially a shorter version of the original 2020 Disability Visibility, adapted for teens; it's made up of 17 first-person essays by disabled folks (versus the original, which has 37 stories).  I really appreciated the diversity of experiences & identities represented in this essay collection: many of the essayists are BIPOC and there is a wide range of disabilities included. 

As a teen services librarian, I'm always looking for YA non-fiction that is engaging & non-intimidating for teen readers, and this book is absolutely perfect for that. At 160 pages, it's a just-right length for middle & high schoolers!  

I've already ordered a copy for my library's collection and am looking forward to recommending it to teens. I'll also be recommending it to adults who are interested in Disability Visibility but are intimidated by nonfiction. I really hope Alice Wong will work on more books about disability geared towards teens.
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Thank you to Delacorte Press, Alice Wong, and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!

"These stories… are not focused on being ‘special’ or ‘inspirational.’ Rather, they show disabled people simply BEING in our own words, by our own accounts.” - Introduction from Alice Wong.

Disability Visibility (Adapted for Young Adults) is an abbreviated version of Disability Visibility (First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century), released in 2020. Containing 17 of the stories included in the full version, this book presents readers with new perspectives, thoughts and ideas that are approachable for both adult and young adult readers.

The true beauty of this book is that despite the gravity of the content, it left me with hope:
Hope that young (and less young!) readers with disabilities will see themselves in these stories. That their takeaways are that they are whole people deserving of access and love and joy and support and success. Hope that our society - which is so heavily centered around ableism - will become a place that’s accessible to everyone. Hope that everyone who reads this walks away with a refreshed intention and/or understanding, on how we can work together to make the world an equitable, safe, and accessible place for people with disabilities.

There’s also hope in the fact that this is a YA book, which means that we can give younger readers the tools, knowledge, and language to engage in difficult - and necessary - conversations early on.

If you can’t tell, I strongly urge you to read this book. It’ll leave a lasting - and hopeful - impact.
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An insight into the disabled community through 17 short essays

In Disability Visibility, disability activist, Alice Wong, complied a set of 17 first-person stories from those within the disabled community. 

Unlike many of the authors in this book, I was not born disabled, but this last year, I was chronically fainting, falling down, walking into walls, brushing against furniture.  I went from training for a 5K to being unable to walk, unable to drive, and landed rather quickly in a wheelchair.  Over the course of my journey, I saw more than 30 doctors, most of them completely clueless.  When I tried to schedule an appointment, it was not uncommon to be told to wait for 4 months, only to see the doctor and discover that he also did not have any answers.  Only until this last month did I finally, finally find a doctor who could answer every single question, every single symptom.  He put me on a neurotransmitter and magically my walking/stumbling issues have improved 90% in less than two weeks!  This experience has not been easy, but I do believe that this experience has a purpose.  

The last essay in Disability Visibility was about the need for crip spaces.  Personally, I could not agree more!  The gaslighting by the medical community is simply unreal so in addition to the physical challenges, we are being told that we are crazy and lazy by the healthcare community.  In my mid-20’s, I was experiencing memory loss.  When I say memory loss, I could not remember the name of the co-worker who I sat next to me every single day for more than a year and spoke to every day.  I could not remember my address and had to dig out my driver’s license from my purse to get the information.  When I was asked who the President was, I had to pause and really search through my memory.  The doctors weren’t getting answers so they sent me for a neuropsych exam.  The doctor diagnosed me with moderate depression.  When I said, “But I don’t feel depressed!”, she said that I was just repressing my depression.  What?  So it turns out, I actually was gluten intolerant and am Celiac.  When I started to abide by a completely wheat-free diet, all of my memory problems resolved.  Never did I go to a single counseling session or was treated for depression.  Yet I was clinically diagnosed as “repressing moderate depression.”  When I was the at Mayo Clinic, the doctor told me that I had a psychological problem, just needed to accept my diagnosis, and suggested cancelling all of my testing.  Two weeks later, I had heart surgery.  The medical community has misdiagnosed me not once but twice with some mental condition.  What does this have anything to do with crip spaces?  The only way I was diagnosed with gluten problems was that my family member told me that he was experiencing the same issues and discovered he was Celiac and also gluten intolerant.  The disabled community needs to be able to talk especially when the medical community is not doing a very good job listening.

This book serves two important purposes: 1) it starts the conversation about disability in society.  2) It helps the disabled community not to feel so alone.  These are two purposes that I fully support.  However, I do believe that the stories were so short that it was difficult to connect with the authors.  A saying that I have heard often is, “It is better to show than to tell.”  Given the very short nature of the essays, there was a bit more telling than showing.  My favorite essay though was “Love Means Never Having to Say…Anything.”  It definitely caused me to tear up.  Personally, I also really, really wish there was an essay from someone with a food allergy or Celiac disease.  For those of you who are new to Celiac disease, it is a genetic autoimmune condition where the body will attack itself when the person afflicted consumes gluten (wheat, barley, or rye).  The small intestines have little tentacles, and when I eat wheat, those tentacles will fall off my small intestines.  Unfortunately, those little tentacles help me to absorb my nutrition.  I will starve to death no matter how much I eat.  I can take vitamin and mineral supplements and consume all the healthy food in the world and still be deficient because my small intestines are damaged.  So there are no “cheat days.”  I’m not cutting down on my gluten.  It is a serious medical condition.  However, when I go to a restaurant, there is this attitude that I am trying to be cute like Sally in “When Harry Met Sally” when she says, “I’d like the chef salad please with the oil and vinegar on the side.  And the apple pie a la mode. But I’d like the pie heated, and I don’t want the ice cream on top.  I want it on the side.  And I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it.  If not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream but only if it’s real.  If it’s out of a can, then nothing.”  Celiacs don’t enjoy being difficult or inconvenient.  We aren’t trying to follow a fad or have some weird food lifestyle.  We are fighting for our lives.  If you work in the food industry, please try to understand and spread the word!

The other thing this book was a bit light on was hope.  This last year, I was planning to train for a 5K.  Instead, I started to read books.  Less than a year later, I’m ranked the #6 US Book Reviewer and #12 in the world (at least according to GoodReads).  Although if you asked me at the outset if I would sign up for this experience, I would have said, “No way” but now I wouldn’t change it.  My life has a purpose.  Every life has a purpose.  Don’t give up.  Your purpose might be just around the corner. 

Overall, a beautiful book that is starting to change the tide of societal opinions about the disabled.

*Thanks, NetGalley, for a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.
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Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this anthology. 3/5 stars. 

Honestly, I love anthologies. I love when they're adapted into YA versions. This one just didn't pull me in, and I think it was almost TOO easy to read and digest. This isn't a bad thing, but I definitely didn't expect it to only be about 150 pages and finished within 2 hours of starting it. 

The stories themselves are beautiful, but I'm curious to see how it compares to the adult version. I like the range of disabilities discussed, and the person first language and POV is an amazing disability rep and process to begin fighting against ableism within communities. 

I also like the diverse perspectives and the intersections of race, gender, and disability within the stories. 

Ultimately though, this best serves as an introduction to disability studies, and I would have liked more in-depth information and resources.
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I enjoyed this collection and reading it made me want to pick up the larger collection of essays. This collection is nicely organized with clear themes, and each piece is on the shorter side, so it's easy to read it a bit at a time. I would highly suggest it for any young adult, or anyone really, interested in looking into the experiences of disabled people.

I am a busy college student so I figured the shorter collection aimed at young adults would be perfect for me since I do a lot of reading in between other tasks. There is nothing wrong with this collection but at times it felt so short that I wished I was just reading the longer, original collection instead of the abridged one. The seventeen stories are all told by disabled people about themselves which is a rare thing to find, and the collection is a wonderful resource, especially for any young adults just wanting to learn about disability and activism of the past and present surrounding disability. It is a wonderful collection and having read it now, I'll be picking up the original 36 story collection to see what voices and stories I missed out on with this edition.
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It's not often that I veer off from fiction when I'm reading, but my latest read was an advanced reader copy of the young adult adaptation of Alice Wong's 2020 book Disability Visibility : First-person Stories From the Twenty-first Century. I primarily read through the ARC to decide if my library should purchase a copy (spoiler alert: I ordered it), but ended up fully drawn into the essays and interviews that make up the text. 

The book will make for a quick read for most teens, especially due to the short entries from each contributor. Despite their brevity, the stories are able to strike a chord and put the reader into their shoes for a moment. This kind of empathy can be absent in non-fiction books that are strictly fact-based, so this is a must read for anyone who wants to learn more about people living in these spaces versus just needing to cite a source in a project. The book will be released on October 26th and is definitely going to be a reader's advisory recommendation for anyone looking for titles that discuss disabilities.
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Disability Visibility is a collection of essays from disabled people explaining how they experience things on a regular basis.  The full book has been out since last year, but this new version has been adapted for young adults.  I love the representation shown in this book.  Once again disabled young adults can find community and hope while reading this.  Non-disabled people can see where their privilege makes access to things so much easier.  Disability Visibility shows that even though great strides have been made for inclusion, we still have a long way to go for all people, no matter their abilities, to be able to access what they need in every day life. 4.5 stars
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This was such a great, and important, read.  Reading these contributors truths brings you into their lives and gives you a better understanding oh what life is like for differently a led individuals. Sharing stories about and by individuals who are living various experiences is something our world needs more of.
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