by Ben Mattlin
A revealing portrait of the diverse disability community as it is today, and how disability attitudes, activism, and representation have evolved since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
In Disability Pride, disabled journalist Ben Mattlin weaves together interviews and reportage to introduce a cavalcade of individuals, ideas, and events in engaging, fast-paced prose. He traces the generation that came of age after the ADA reshaped America, and how it is influencing the future. He documents how autistic self-advocacy and the neurodiversity movement upended views of those whose brains work differently. He lifts the veil on a thriving disability culture--from social media to high fashion, Hollywood to Broadway--showing how the politics of beauty for those with marginalized body types and facial features is sparking widespread change.
He also explores the movement's shortcomings, particularly the erasure of nonwhite and LGBTQIA+ people that helped give rise to Disability Justice. He delves into systemic ableism in health care, the right-to-die movement, institutionalization, and the scourge of subminimum-wage labor that some call legalized slavery. And he finds glimmers of hope in how disabled people never give up their fight for parity and fair play.
Beautifully written, without anger or pity, Disability Pride is a revealing account of an often misunderstood movement and identity, an inclusive reexamination of society's treatment of those it deems different.
"A celebratory account... Upbeat and carefully researched, this valuable guide reveals current trends within the disability community." -- Publishers Weekly
"Illuminating portraits of disability activism with much to teach nondisabled readers." -- Kirkus Reviews
"When discussing pride regarding our disabilities, Ben Mattlin gives the community a source of reflection, inclusion, inspiration, and, more importantly, a sense of belonging. The disability community is often marginalized and demonized for our mere existence -- this book is an important step toward full inclusion and acceptance of what and who we are." -- Keith P. Jones, president of SoulTouchin' Experiences
About the Author:
Ben Mattlin is a journalist, essayist, and author. Born with spinal muscular atrophy, a congenital muscle weakness, he has been a lifelong wheelchair user. His books include Miracle Boy Grows Up and In Sickness and In Health. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and Vox, and on NPR. He lives in Los Angeles, California.