Demystifying Disability

What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 07 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2022

Talking about this book? Use #DemystifyingDisability #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more inclusive place
 
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: NPR, Booklist • “A candid, accessible cheat sheet for anyone who wants to thoughtfully join the conversation . . . Emily makes the intimidating approachable and the complicated clear.”—Rebekah Taussig, author of Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary, Resilient, Disabled Body

People with disabilities are the world’s largest minority, an estimated 15 percent of the global population. But many of us—disabled and nondisabled alike—don’t know how to act, what to say, or how to be an ally to the disability community. Demystifying Disability is a friendly handbook on the important disability issues you need to know about, including:
 
• How to appropriately think, talk, and ask about disability
• Recognizing and avoiding ableism (discrimination toward disabled people)
• Practicing good disability etiquette
• Ensuring accessibility becomes your standard practice, from everyday communication to planning special events
• Appreciating disability history and identity
• Identifying and speaking up about disability stereotypes in media
 
Authored by celebrated disability rights advocate, speaker, and writer Emily Ladau, this practical, intersectional guide offers all readers a welcoming place to understand disability as part of the human experience.

Praise for Demystifying Disability

“Whether you have a disability, or you are non-disabled, Demystifying Disability is a MUST READ. Emily Ladau is a wise spirit who thinks deeply and writes exquisitely.”—Judy Heumann, international disability rights advocate and author of Being Heumann
 
“Emily Ladau has done her homework, and Demystifying Disability is her candid, accessible cheat sheet for anyone who wants to thoughtfully join the conversation. A teacher who makes you forget you’re learning, Emily makes the intimidating approachable and the complicated clear. This book is a generous and needed gift.”—Rebekah Taussig, author of Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body
An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more inclusive...

Advance Praise

“Emily Ladau provides a welcoming, easy-to-read guide to disability. Captivating anecdotes sprinkled throughout these pages ground the author's messages in the lived experiences of disabled people from all stages of life. I highly recommend this book to readers seeking to deepen their understanding of disability and ableism.”

–Haben Girma, human rights lawyer, speaker, and author of Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law

“Demystifying Disability is a powerful reminder that disability is a vast spectrum with a wide range of voices and experiences. Emily Ladau expertly addresses so many of the common issues and pitfalls (and how to learn from them) able-bodied people face when attempting to be supportive of the disability community. She outlines the ways in which all people can be better accomplices to the disability community and provides excellent ongoing education resources to help in the life-long journey that is allyship. I am grateful for this book and Emily's voice, online and off.”

–Grace Bonney, author of In the Company of Women

“Emily Ladau has written an immensely clarifying book that disabled and non-disabled people alike will find incredibly useful. Demystifying Disability is both comprehensive in its scope and easy to understand. I can't recommend this book enough.”

–Eric Garcia, author of We're Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation

“Emily Ladau is a once in a generation kind of writer and activist whose legacy can't even be quantified. When Emily enters a room, she changes it forever. The world needs her. The world needs this book. We are undeserving of her tireless, compassionate brilliance and should soak up everything she has to give.”

–Liz Plank, award-winning journalist and author of For the Love of Men: A Vision for Mindful Masculinity

“Demystifying Disability is a great primer for anyone who wants to learn more about the largest minority in the world, and how to lead with accessibility at the forefront.”

–Victor Calise, commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities

“Demystifying Disability is a truly invaluable gem of thoughtful, well researched information and personal insights from a disability-centered perspective. From general disability knowledge, to disability rights, to ableism, to what to say and what not to say, this book will provide everyone with more understanding and empathy (not pity!) about what it really means to be disabled and what non-disabled people can do to be better allies, friends, parents, and partners with the greater disability community. This is the disability primer we've all been waiting for!”

–Amy Webb, author of the award-winning Charley and Emma picture book series

“What a delightful and important book! This wonderfully accessible and intimate volume delivers a comprehensive review of the complicated topic of the disability experience. Emily Ladau’s charming personal style makes even the tough issues easy to read and deeply understand. Everybody should read this book.”

–Emily Perl Kingsley, writer for Sesame Street


“Emily Ladau provides a welcoming, easy-to-read guide to disability. Captivating anecdotes sprinkled throughout these pages ground the author's messages in the lived experiences of disabled people...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781984858979
PRICE $16.00 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send To Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 41 members


Featured Reviews

5 stars Readers of this text will find exactly what Landau promises: education but not in the notoriously boring style of a textbook. Through her own experiences and extensive research and interviews of others, Landau provides a well-rounded exploration that, as the title suggests, demystifies disability primarily for those who are not disabled. Landau covers an array of subtopics here, but my favorites are the conversation about ableist language and examples of what to do and not do when interacting with disabled folks. After reading the section on language, I immediately found myself making a concerted effort to eliminate a couple of words from my vocabulary. While I know these words have unsavory roots, they are so profuse in my language and in language I hear every day that I hadn't even considered the larger implications. In addition to working to alter my own language, thinking about this section has led me into some already provocative (in a good way) conversations about how we can be more mindful of the language we use in general. It's disturbing but helpful to hear about the experiences that various disabled folks - Emily included - have had with generally well intentioned individuals. There's a strong variety of examples, settings, and circumstances, and while some of the instances are particularly painful or cringey, that's the point: not to look away but to learn and behave accordingly. As a person who not only works in higher education but who also specifically works in equity and inclusion, it is especially important to me to keep learning and improving, and this book is a welcome addition to that effort. I do think some folks who are a bit more aware of these issues will find some sections more rudimentary than needed, but the vast majority of readers will discover a wealth of helpful resources and info, and even the most engaged folks will come away with useful points and tips. I recommend this one for literally everybody.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: