"This book reminds us of what we have in common: the power to create a good life for ourselves and for others, no matter what the world has in store for us." --Michael J. Fox
This book reveals that people with disabilities are the invisible force that has shaped history. They have been instrumental in the growth of freedom and birth of democracy. They have produced heavenly music and exquisite works of art. They have unveiled the scientific secrets of the universe. They are among our most popular comedians, poets, and storytellers. And at 1.2 billion, they are also the largest minority group in the world.
Al Etmanski offers ten lessons we can all learn from people with disabilities, illustrated with short, funny, inspiring, and thought-provoking stories of one hundred individuals from twenty countries. Some are familiar, like Michael J. Fox, Greta Thunberg, Stephen Hawking, Helen Keller, Stevie Wonder, and Temple Grandin. Others deserve to be, like Evelyn Glennie, a virtuoso percussionist who is deaf--her mission is to teach the world to listen to improve communication and social cohesion. Or Aaron Philip, who has revolutionized the runway as the first disabled, trans woman of color to become a professional model. The time has come to recognize people with disabilities for who they really are: authoritative sources on creativity, love, sexuality, resistance, dealing with adversity, and living a good life.
About the Author
Al Etmanski is a community organizer, social entrepreneur, and author. He became a parent activist in the disability movement thanks to his daughter Liz, an artist, actress, and spoken-word poet who thinks her Down syndrome is "rad." He is a member of the prestigious Ashoka global fellowship of social entrepreneurs and co-founded Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, which helps parents provide a secure future for their sons and daughters with disabilities. He has received the Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia for his activism.
“Hopefully the universal lessons in this book will not only empower all of us to trampoline to our highest potential but also move the global disability rights movement to achieve the success it fully deserves—so we can all live in a more just and equitable world.” —Susan Sygall, disability activist and MacArthur Fellow
“Etmanski engages every reader, whether new to the world of disability or an old hand, with thoughtful insights on the value of difference. This book made me laugh, made me cry, made me proud.” —Yazmine Laroche, former Chair, Muscular Dystrophy Canada
“Etmanski mines rich wisdom from the disability world and makes it accessible to a general audience. In a world increasingly divided and polarized, this book will unite, while changing the perception of disability from illness needing only charity to a normal human condition needing only opportunity.” —Carol Glazer, President, National Organization on Disability
“In a world defined by accelerating change and interconnection, those who recognize their differences and give themselves permission to make a difference have a powerful advantage. The stories in this book illustrate how people with disabilities are seizing their power. They will help all of us see and seize ours.” —Bill Drayton, CEO, Ashoka