Suggested Reading for Disability & Racial Justice
The suggested readings below offer a multitude of viewpoints, voices, and truths regarding experiences at the intersection of disability and racial justice and/or theory. There is no one all-encompassing experience, and it is important to never reduce a group to one story. That being said, the narratives and academic texts below provide a glimpse into this unique intersectionality.
This book highlights many different stories of everyday people with disabilities. The stories are drawn from a diverse group of people who each experience disability in a completely unique way. These personal accounts include their experience and acknowledgement of their disabilities as well as their connection with the disability world at large. As a whole, this book renders a fuller picture of what disability entails and its ties with a persons psyche and society.
Content Warning: Sexual assault, suicidal ideation
Stella Young, disability justice advocate, discusses the unreasonable assumptions and expectations that society sometimes holds towards persons with disability, including seeing disability as a negative or using the word "inspirational" when disabled people are simply living their life. Young hopes to reframe the conversation, viewing disability as a cultural norm, and advocates for celebrating the geniune achievements of the disability community.
Haben Girma is the first DeafBlind graduate of Harvard Law School. In this talk, she discusses her experience of growing up with disability, both in Eritrea, Africa and in Oakland, California. She shares about her childhood stories as well as the barriers and exclusion she faced. Her vivid stories show how ableism, the idea that a disabled person is inferior to others, can be prevalent in a disabled person’s everyday life. Girma discusses the danger of a single narrative, arguing there is no one disability story.
This text tackles the first-person vs third-person debate on disability identity. Should you refer to a disabled person, or a person with a disability? Spoiler alert: There is no one correct way to identify with a disability.
The authors provide a look into the intersection of disability and race with the lens of education. The underrepresentation of various racial groups within disability in research and mainstream media is highlighted. This piece also touches on potential barriers individuals of varying backgrounds may face, for example a lack of ASL interpreting resources for hard of hearing Native Americans.
Through spotlights on disabled Asian Americans, the author highlights the stigma and irrational beliefs around disability derived from the model minority stereotype. Approximately 21 million Asian Americans identify as being disabled, according to the US Census Bureau - this article contains several narratives on the Asian American disability experience.
This academic text shines a spotlight on several challenges that occur at the intersection of Latinx and disability identities. Cultural contexts such as the Latinx interdependent cultural norm and language barriers are a few of several unique stigma and challenges that the Latinx disabled community may face. The report concludes by suggesting several innovations that might mitigate these barriers.
(requires SUNet ID login for access)
This article dives into the spectrum of Native experiences with disability, including the disproportionate representation of Indigenous disabled students in exclusionary discipline, inclusing suspension and expulsion in the K-12 context.
Despite the progress society has made regarding disability justice, equity, and inclusion thanks to the disability rights movement, there is still much work to be done. Discrimination against people with disabilities is gradually decreasing, however disabled people are still excluded from conversations about inclusion. This author discusses concepts such as "Nothing About us Without Us" and what needs to change going forward in order to be more inclusive to marginalized populations such as disability.
(requires SUNet ID login for access)
This novel puts pieces of disability history into dialogue under the framework of four critical factors that shape disability history, among them are family, culture, medicine, and belongingness.
Ten stories of Black Americans with disability are shared, each reflecting what the intersection of Blackness and disability meant to them. The narratives span from the founding era of the United States through the 1990s.