A New Chapter (Or Chapters)

If you haven’t forgotten about me yet, you may have noticed I haven’t blogged in a while. Don’t worry, I’m still alive and kicking. I’ve just been busy.

On September 7, 2021, I started a new job as the research specialist at the American Foundation for the Blind. I’ve also continued working part-time with the NFB of Virginia, supporting our wonderful Project RISE youth mentoring program. It’s taken me some time to figure out how to juggle my new roles.

However, though I haven’t been blogging, you’ll soon have the opportunity to enjoy a really long blog post of mine, i.e. a book!

On November 15, I will be releasing my memoir, titled Just Human: The Quest for Disability Wisdom, Respect, and Inclusion. It’ll be available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) and as an accessible document via direct purchase.

I started building this book by considering events from my life, many that I’ve already shared here, such as that time I licked my grandparents’ dog, and that time I slacked on my algebra final. I tell the stories, and then I reflect on the lessons and implications for the Disability Wisdom philosophy, and for society more generally. Within each of the 18 chapters, you’ll read a story, and you’ll also learn about relevant disability history, research, and receive a call to action.

In the summer and fall of 2020, as I sat in my home office sheltering from COVID, hearing about police brutality, racism and political unrest, I wrote the final chapters of this book with my mind on the younger generations. There, the story shifts from my own storytelling to a presentation of practical things we can all do to make life better for them, and for ourselves.

Truthfully, I don’t expect to get rich from this book. I might not even recoup my initial investment. But I want it to get into the hands of disabled young people, parents, educators, employers, policymakers, and everyone else who has the power to make the world more inclusive. If even one young person reads my book and comes away understanding they are “good, whole, and have infinite human worth,” it’ll be a win. If even one parent reads my book and gains hope and strength around their child’s new disability diagnosis, or if even one educator reads my book and transitions from punitive methods to collaborative solutions when working with a “behaviorally challenging” student, it’ll be a win.

I’m asking for your help making these wins happen. Here’s how you can help:

  • If you’re on Facebook, join my book’s Facebook group to get updates on the book launch.
  • On November 15, purchase my book using the Amazon link (coming soon) or email me at arielle@disabilitywisdom.com for a direct copy.
  • If you like the book, consider posting a review on Amazon.
  • Share the book information with people you know, especially professionals in the disability field, parents of disabled kids, and disabled young adults.
  • Suggest it as material for your book club or reading group, if you belong to one.

I appreciate your support and look forward to sending more updates soon!

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