Volume 23, Number 3, 2001


AccessAbility @ Your Library Bibliography Grows for Partnership with Easter Seals

ASCLA and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) have formed a partnership with Easter Seals called AccessAbility @ your library. The goal of the partnership is to develop recommended reading lists to educate children and adults about people with disabilities and to promote community resources available for families living with disabilities.

Under the terms of the partnership, ASCLA was asked to develop a list of books for adults. Jenifer Flaxbart, communication bibliographer and off-campus library services coordinator for The University of Texas at Austin and chair of Libraries Serving Special Populations Section (LSSPS), chaired the effort. Contributions to the list were made by Marti Goddard, access services manager at the San Francisco Public Library; Sarah E. Hamrick, director of information services and the reference staff at the Gallaudet University Library; and Ruth Nussbaum and her colleagues in the Collection Development section at the National Library Service, Library of Congress.

The following selection criteria were used in developing the list:

  • Reinforce the value of diversity/inclusion
  • Appeal to adults of all abilities
  • Provide fictional, autobiographical, or biographical stories about people with disabilities
  • Focus on stories that project people with disabilities in a creative, positive way (vs. highly medical or clinical stories that deal with coping)
  • Represent the classics as well as more recent stories on the subject
  • Focus on role models rather than heroes.

The Bibliography

blind justice
Alexander, Bruce. " Blind Justice". New York: Berkley, 1995, $6.50 (paperback), ISBN: 0425150070.
The first in a series of detective mysteries based on the life of the blind eighteenth-century justice Sir John Fielding, who, with novelist Henry Fielding, founded the Bow Street Runners. The case involves the double murder (by poison and gunshot) of Lord Goodhope

Other titles in the Sir John Fielding series include: " Murder in Grub Street", "Watery Grave", " Person or Persons Unknown", " Jack, Knave and Fool", " Death of a Colonial", and " The Color of Death".
the diving bell and the butterfly: a memoir of life in death
Bauby, Jean-Dominique. " The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death". Translated (from French) by Jeremy Leggatt. New York: Vintage Books, 1998, $11.00 (paperback), ISBN: 0375701214.
n 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, a father of two and editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, had a massive stroke that left him completely and permanently paralyzed except for his left eyelid. His mind was still very active, though, and he dictated this eloquent memoir communicating only by blinking his left eye.
alandra's lilacs
Bowers, Tressa. " Alandra's Lilacs". Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, 1999, $13.95, ISBN: 1563680823.
An engaging book that addresses the communication choices and issues related to raising a child who is deaf.
a house divided: a novel
Cookson, Catherine. " A House Divided: A Novel". New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999, $24.00, ISBN: 0684871211.
After becoming blind in World War II, twenty-nine-year-old Matthew Wallingham has difficulty adjusting. Compassionate young nurse Elizabeth Ducksworth helps him face his fears and eventually steals his heart.
when i fall in love
Dart, Iris Rainer. " When I Fall in Love". New York: Avon, 1999, $6.99 (paperback), ISBN: 0380731983.
This literate romance tells the story of a Hollywood comedy writer whose teenage son becomes disabled by a spinal cord injury. Lily and her son both find their lives turned upside down a second time when her new boss, a man with cerebral palsy and an irreverent sense of humor, enters the picture.
amazing grace: autobiography of a survivor
Halloran, Grace. " Amazing Grace: Autobiography of a Survivor". Georgetown, Mass.: North Star Publications, 1993, $14.95, ISBN: 1880823055.
Story of Grace Halloran, Ph.D., creator of the first clinically tested treatment for serious eye disorders, her struggle with retinitis pigmentosa, and her extraordinary spirit.
me and my shadow: learning to live with multiple sclerosis
MacKie, Carole, Sue Brattle, and Ronnie Wood. " Me and My Shadow: Learning to Live with Multiple Sclerosis". London: Aurum, 1999, $24.95, ISBN: 1854106279.
Memoir of a British Airways stewardess, who was diagnosed with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis in her early twenties. She describes dealing with symptoms and striving to continue working. Includes a chapter by her employer.
out of the blue
Mandel, Sally. " Out of the Blue". New York: Ballantine Books, 2000, $23.00, ISBN: 0345428900.
Humorous story of a teacher with multiple sclerosis who finds love.
cry of the gull
Laborit, Emmanuelle. " Cry of the Gull". Translated (from French) by Constantina T. Mitchell and Paul R. Cote. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, 1999, $9.95 (paperback), ISBN: 1563680866.

A candid autobiography that shares the author's transition from a deaf child with virtually no access to meaningful language to a young woman honored with France's prestigious Moliére award for best new acting talent.
touch the top of the world: a blind man's journey to climb farther than the eye can see
Weihenmayer, Erik. " Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye Can See". New York: Dutton, 2001, $23.95, ISBN: 0525945784.
An adventure-packed memoir, in which the author recalls rebelling against becoming blind by age 15 and relates acquiring a passion for mountain climbing and developing the character traits that enabled him to succeed. Includes his climbing exploits and his wedding on top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Contributions were made by Marti Goddard, Access Services Manager at the San Francisco Public Library, Sarah E. Hamrick, Director of Information Services and the reference staff at the Gallaudet University Library, Ruth Nussbaum and her colleagues in the Collection Development section at the National Library Service (Library of Congress), and Jenifer O. Flaxbart, Communication Bibliographer and Off-Campus Library Services Coordinator for The University of Texas at Austin and Chair, Libraries Serving Special Populations Section (LSSPS), ASCLA, ALA.

Compiled by the Libraries Serving Special Populations Section Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies -- American Library Association April 2001.