Becoming chronically ill with ME/CFS and POTS in 2018-19 radically changed my life and writing. Above all, it has brought isolation. What I’ve noticed from others with various disabilities is that isolation is common, whether from our disability or from prejudice and lack of accessibility. While most of our disabilities are not curable, loneliness is. One cure is to give kids more authentic disability books. Another is to create greater accessibility and inclusion for the disabled artists making those books.
For more, here’s my post for the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators:
- A few disabled authors/ illustrators who are unable to do school visits are brainstorming how to bridge that gap. If you’d like to join our conversation, contact me via my website.
- Disabled KidLit Writers (Private Facebook Group), moderated by Lillie Owens Lainoff
- Writers with Disabilities (Public Facebook Group)
- Disabled, Deaf, neurodivergent and chronically ill Australian writers (Private Facebook Group)
- “Initiatives for Disabled Artists You Should Know” – Art Connect (UK and international: organizations, publications, online spaces, resources, how to create accessible exhibits)
Avoiding Ableist Tropes(Authors/ Illustrators)
- “9 Unhelpful disability tropes in kids’ books” – The Catchpoles (What Happened to You?), 2021
- “9 Ableist Tropes in Fiction I Could Do Without” – Margaret Kingsbury, 2022
- “6 ableist tropes that are all-too-common in children’s books” – Rebekah Gienapp
- “Thoughts on Disability Representation in Books” – Kit @ Metaphors and Moonlight, 2022
An especially nuanced conversation on ableist tropes, leaving room for complexity, and not forcing authors to self-identify.
- Stella Young: “I Am Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much” Ted Talk, 2014
Young challenges society’s tendency to objectify and exceptionalize disabled people. She coined the term “inspiration porn.”