“Disability” is not a bad word!
It is estimated that more than 25% of adult Americans have a disability, including physical and mental disabilities. Disability Pride Month started in 1990 as a celebration each July to commemorate President George H.W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.
Disabilities can be physical, mental, visible or invisible. Many who would fit the label of disabled do not identify as disabled because of the negative connotations previously associated with the word “disability.” Many disability rights activists stress that disability is not a bad word, and aim to increase support of disabled people by providing platforms for their stories and experiences.
Local Disability Resources in Southeast Michigan
- Braille & Talking Book program, a part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS). Canton’s provider is housed in the Taylor Community Library.
- Detroit Disability Power is a community of people with disabilities and their allies who build community as well as political power to support inclusion of people with disabilities in the Metro Detroit area.
- Disability Network Michigan is a support, education, and guidance organization for those with disabilities or designing spaces for those with disabilities. Disability Network Wayne County Detroit is our closest member.
- KultureCity is a nonprofit that aims to help people with invisible disabilities and sensory accessibility issues find acceptance and spaces that work for them.
- Michigan Disability Programs & Services is your portal for benefits, housing, education, recreation, transportation and more.
Services and Tools at CPL
- Low-vision magnifiers, large print items, and more for those with vision disabilities.
- An introduction to the Braille & Talking Book program through the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS); Canton’s provider is housed in the Taylor Community Library.
- A wheelchair is available near the front desk; ask a staff member if you’d like to use it.
- Wheelchair-accessible computer stations are available at the bank of computers closest to the Check Out and Information Desks.
- Reasonable accommodations are available, and the Canton Public Library affirms its support of access for persons with disabilities in our policy.
Library Books and Resources
- Accessible Vacations: An Insider’s Guide to 10 National Parks by Simon Hayhoe. This guide describes techniques and technologies that make visiting the national parks easier, and what is available through driving, riding, walking, wheeling or feeling.
- Being Seen: One Deafblind Woman’s Fight to End Ableism by Elsa Sjunneson. This memoir discusses misrepresentation of disability in books, movies and TV.
- Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally by Emily Ladau. This thoughtful guide by disability rights activist and co-host of the podcast “The Accessible Stall” Emily Ladau, is aimed at non-disabled people who want to be better allies.
- Disability Pride: Dispatches From a Post-ADA World by Ben Mattlin. This work is an eye-opening portrait of the diverse disability community as it is today and how attitudes, activism, and representation have evolved since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Disability Visibility: First-person Stories From the Twenty-first Century edited by Alice Wong. This a collection of essays, blog posts, manifestos, eulogies, and testimonies to Congress by disabled writers.
- Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong. Alice Wong is an Asian American disabled activist and community organizer who fights for visibility for disabled people; she is the founder of the Disability Visibility Project. This memoir is filled with “wit, joy, and rage.”
- Yoga Where You Are: Customize Your Practice for Your Body and Your Life by Dianne Bondy and Kat Heagberg. This extremely accessible, customizable yoga guide helps you find modifications and a yoga practice that fits your body and your mind.
- The Disability Experience: Working Toward Belonging by Hannalora Leavitt. This book contains a history of disability rights and culture and invites readers to rethink the way disabilities are viewed.
- Disability Visibility: 17 First-Person Stories for Today: Adapted for Young Adults edited by Alice Wong. A collection of essays by disabled writers, adapted for a younger audience.
- Fighting for Yes! The Story of Disability Rights Activist Judith Heumann by Maryann Cocca-Leffler. A picture book celebrating the life and work of disability rights activist Judith Heumann.
- Understanding Blindness by Jessica Rusick. This title helps readers learn about blindness and how to be a respectful ally.
- Understanding Physical Disabilities by Jessica Rusick. This title helps readers learn common physical disabilities and how to be a respectful ally.
- Wired Differently: 30 Neurodivergent People Who You Should Know by Joe Wells. This title covers a spectrum of neurodiversity and includes profiles of entertainers, athletes, and activists who are neurodiverse.