Books & Articles


Seeing Beyond Sight, by Tony Deifell — photographs by blind teenagers — “What are you thinking, teaching photography to blind people?”

A young girl with thick lenses on her glasses holds a teddy bear.
Melody, one of the students who participated in the photography project, said, “I just set the camera up on a shelf and pushed a button to make it go off by itself. I stood back and held my teddy bear.”

There Plant Eyes – A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness, by M. Leona Godin: From Homer to Helen Keller, from Dune to Stevie Wonder, from the invention of braille to the science of echolocation, Godin explores the fascinating history of blindness, interweaving it with her own story of gradually losing her sight.

‘Where the bats hung out’: How a basement hideaway at UC Berkeley nurtured a generation of blind innovators, by Isabella Cueto, Stat, March 28, 2022


Gallaudet University Library

I Can Hear You Whisper: An Intimate Journey through the Science of Sound and Language, by Lydia Denworth.

Silence is a four-letter word: On art and deafness by Raymond Luczak, The Tactile Mind Press, 2003

Where I Stand: On the Signing Community and My DeafBlind Experience, by John Lee Clark.

Disability Rights

Becoming Real in 24 Days: One Participant’s Story of the 1977 Section 504 Demonstrations for Disability Rights, by HolLynn D’Lil

The People’s Sidewalks, by Bess Williamson, Boom California, June 26, 2012. The movement to design wheelchair routes on the streets of Berkeley echoed the larger political spirit of the time.

What We Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement, by Fred Pelka. Nothing about us without us has been a core principle of American disability rights activists for more than half a century. It represents a response by people with disabilities to being treated with scorn and abuse or as objects of pity, and to having the most fundamental decisions relating to their lives―where they would live; if and how they would be educated; if they would be allowed to marry or have families; indeed, if they would be permitted to live at all―made by those who were, in the parlance of the movement, “temporarily able-bodied.”

Disability Studies

Disability/Postmodernity: Embodying Disability Theory, by Mairian Corker (Editor), Tom Shakespeare (Editor) – explores what post-modernist and post-structuralist scholarship can contribute to our understandings of disability and the diverse experience of disabled people.

“Freak Shows”

Bogdan, Robert. Freak Show: Presenting Human Oddities for Amusement and Profit. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1988. A social history of the world of the freak show that explores the culture that nutured and later abandoned it. Bogdan’s premise is that freaks are not born, but manufactured by the amusement world, ususally with the active participation of the freaks themselves.

Fiedler, Leslie. Freaks: Myths and Images of the Secret Self. New York: Doubleday, 1978. An in-depth examination of society’s views of the freak from classical times to the present.

Terry, Jennifer and Urla, Jacqueline, eds. Deviant Bodies. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1995.
Deviant Bodies reveals that the “normal,” “healthy” body is a fiction of science. Bodies are knowable only through culture and history; they are not in any simple way natural, nor are they ever free of relations of power.

Thomson, Rosemarie Garland, ed. Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body. New York: New York University Press, 1996. A collection of writings on the various aspects of “freakery” including the cultural construction of freaks, practices of enfreakment, exhibiting freaks, and the relocations of the freak shows.


Clare, Eli (Elizabeth). Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation. South End Press, 1999.
“In these interconnected essays, Eli Clare vibrantly describes the “rednecks” and clearcuts he grew up among, the “freak shows” of the nineteenth century, and the “transgender warriers” of today. His intelligence and wit illuminate his ruminations on cerebral palsy, child abuse, nature, pornography, sexuality, and class.”

Fries, Kenny. Body, Remember: A memoir. New York: Dutton, 1997.
Fries reflections on growing up Jewish, gay and disabled and his connections with those communities.

Fries, Kenny. In the Province of the Gods. University of Wisconsin Press, 2017.
A beautiful and intricately-woven personal narrative where Fries traveled to Japan on a research trip aimed at exploring the treatment of disability in Japanese culture.

Fries, Kenny. In the Gardens of Japan: A Poem Sequence. Garden Oak Press, 2017.
Japanese gardens present a powerful physical embodiment of this new way of seeing and Fries, after visiting the iris garden of Meiji Jingu, finds himself visiting more and more Japanese gardens and writing poems about them.

Kafer, Alison. Feminist, Queer, Crip. Indiana University Press, 2013.

Luczak, Raymond, The Kinda Fella I Am. Reclamation Press. 2018. Raymond guides us through the ups and downs of everyday life through the eyes of queer disabled men.

OToole, Corbett Joan, Fading Scars: My Queer Disability History, Reclamation Press, 2016. Funny and engaging, Corbett pulls the curtains back on the humor and pathos of living as a disabled queer in a world that doesn’t welcome either with open arms.

Shakespeare, Tom, Gillespie-Sells, Kath, & Davies, Dominic. The Sexual Politics of Disability: Untold Desires. Cassell Academic, 1997.

Tremain, Shelley,ed. Pushing the Limits — disabled dykes produce culture. Toronto: Women’s Press, 1996.
Anthology of fiction, personal narrative, poetry, song, and artwork by disabled dykes.


Alexander, Caroline. Faces of War, Smithsonian Magazine, February 2007 – Wounded tommies facetiously called it “The Tin Noses Shop.” Located within the 3rd London General Hospital, its proper name was the “Masks for Facial Disfigurement Department”; either way, it represented one of the many acts of desperate improvisation borne of the Great War, which had overwhelmed all conventional strategies for dealing with trauma to body, mind and soul.

Burch, Susan, Ph.D. The Encyclopedia of American Disability History. New York: InfoBase Publishing, 2009. Foreword by Paul K. Longmore, Ph.D. – Like race and gender, disability has recently become a critical field of study in examining our nation’s heritage.

Christiansen, John B. and Barnartt, Sharon N. Deaf President Now! : The 1988 Revolution at Gallaudet University.

Folsom, Franklin. Impatient Armies of the Poor: the Story of Collective Action of the Unemployed 1808 – 1942. Niwot:University Press of Colorado, 1991.

Gallagher, Hugh. Fdr’s Splendid Deception : The Moving Story of Roosevelt’s Massive Disability-And the Intense Efforts to Conceal It from the Public. Arlington, VA: Vandemere Press, 1994.

Koestler, Frances A. The Unseen Minority: A Social History of Blindness in the United States. New York:David McKay Company, Inc., 1976.

Longmore, Paul. The League of the Physically Handicapped and the Great Depression: A Case Study in the New Disability History. The Journal of American History, December 2000.

Longmore, Paul and Umanksy, Lauri (eds.) The New Disability History : American Perspectives (History of Disability)

Longmore, Paul. Telethons: Spectacle, Disability, and the Business of Charity. Oxford University Press. 2016. Provides the first cultural history of a fundraising form that became a fixture in American life, marshalling two decades’ worth of painstaking research.

Longmore, Paul. Why I Burned My Book and Other Essays on Disability. Philadelphia: Temple University, 2003.

Marcus, Neil. Special Effects: Advances in Neurology. Berkeley: Publication Studio, 2012.
More than a document of the early days of the disability rights movement, Neil Marcus’ collection Special Effects: Advances in Neurology is also a window into California zine culture of the 1980s. Art in revolution: social justice, the human growth movement, art in the everyday. From flourishing dystopia to speech storms, Neil documents living artfully in Berkeley, California, and in Disability Country. Publication Studio is proud to present this collection of reprinted documents with a new forward by Melanie Yergeau and an interview by Esther Ehrlich. Watch the video Special Effects. See Riva Lehrer’s portrait of Neil.

Millett-Gallant, Ann and Howie, Elizabeth. Disability and Art History from Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century. Routledge. 2022: This volume analyzes representations of disability in art from antiquity to the twenty-first century, incorporating disability studies scholarship and art historical research and methodology.

Moore, Leroy F. Jr. Black Disabled Ancestors. Poor Press. 2020

Pelka, Fred. The ABC-CLIO Companion to the Disability Rights Movement. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 1997.

Pelka, Fred. The Civil War Letters of Charles F. Johnson, Invalid Corps. University of Massachusetts Press. 2004. Organized in May 1863 to meet the Union Army’s growing manpower needs, the Invalid Corps—later renamed the Veteran Reserve Corps—was a unique military unit. With more than twenty-four regiments of troops, nearly all of them men disabled by illness or combat wounds, it was at one point twice as large as the entire pre-war United States Army.

Shapiro, Joseph. No Pity: People With Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement. 1994.

VanHole, Nick. “Shared Consciousness: A Social History of Tourette Syndrome and its Treatments.” University of Montana, 2012. (Download a PDF of the thesis)
This original history tracks how the shared public circumstances and treatment choices of people with tics and Tourette syndrome have changed over time and draws historical significance from the increasing practice of complementary and alternative therapies in recent years.

Williamson, Bess. The People’s Sidewalks: Designing Berkeley’s Wheelchair Route, 1970-1974, Boom, Spring 2012, Vol. 2, No. 1.

Wolfe, Lauranne. Ellis Island: Disability and Nationalism in American Immigration History. Europe Now. 2019

Zames Fleischer, Doris and Zames, Frieda. The Disability Rights Movement : From Charity to Confrontation


Amina Azimi — Raising the Voices of the Disabled in Afghanistan: A disabled journalist advocates for the rights of people with disabilities. Medium, March 25, 2016

The Long Road to a Brighter Future: Can news and information pave the way to a better life for people with disabilities in China?, Medium, September 16, 2015

Information is Critical for People with Disabilities: Disabled Somalis fight to get their voices heard in a country fraught with challenges, Medium, March 19, 2015


Barrett, Kay Ulanday. To Hold the Grief & the Growth1: On Crip Ecologies. Poetry Magazine. 2022.

Moore, Leroy F. Jr. Black Disabled Ancestors. Poor Press. 2020

Schalk, Sami. Black Disability Politics. Duke University Press. 2022. Sami Schalk explores how issues of disability have been and continue to be central to Black activism from the 1970s to the present.

From the Disability History Association:

Christopher M. Bell (ed.), Blackness and Disability: Critical Examinations and Cultural InterventionsEast Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2011.

Liat Ben-Moshe and Sandy Magaña, “An Introduction to Race, Gender, and Disability: Intersectionality, Disability Studies, and Families of Color,” Women, Gender, and Families of Color 2.2. (Fall 2014): 105-114.

The Education of Deaf and Blind African Americans in Virginia, 1909-2008, by G. Jasper Conner

Susan Burch and Hannah Joyner, Unspeakable: The Story of Junius WilsonChapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.

Chris Chapman, Allison C. Carey, and Liat Ben-Moshe, eds., Disability Incarcerated: Imprisonment and Disability in the United States and Canada. New York: Palgrave, 2014.

Arida Imada, “A Decolonial Disability Studies?” Disability Studies Quarterly 37.3 (August 2017).

Angel L. Miles, Akemi Nishida, Anjali J. Frober-Pratt, “An Open Letter to White Disability Studies and Ableist Institutions of Higher Education,” Disability Studies Quarterly 37.3 (August 2017).  

Therí A. Pickens, “Blue Blackness, Black Blueness: Making Sense of Blackness and Disability,” African American Review 50.2 (Summer 2017): 93-103.

Ellen Samuels, Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, RaceNew York: New York University Press, 2014.

Jorge Matos Valldejuli, “The Racialized History of Disability Activism from the “Willowbrooks of this World,” Activist History Review , Oct. 2019

Honoring Black History Month: Unsung Heroes of the Disability Rights Movement, National Center for Learning Disabilities, January 21, 2021


Book cover: "Public Hostage, Public Ransom" shows a metal door with a window - inside is someone lying on a floor.

Public Hostage Public Ransom: Ending Institutional America, by William Bronston, MD. 2021 – starts with the autobiographical story of William Bronston, the activist physician whose early professional California training steels him with a deep moral, professional and cultural bond to the huge 6000 person disabled population he encounters incarcerated in Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, NY, on whose behalf he daily battles to humanize and ultimately catalyze a Federal Class Action Lawsuit against the state to close the death-making institution.

The Delinquent Women of Sonoma – little-known history of an effort in 1917 to institutionalize women sex workers in Northern California by identifying them as intellectually disabled, and then forcibly sterilizing them.

Disability Servitude: from peonage to poverty, by Ruthie-Marie Beckwith

This book is a comprehensively researched US-focused historical analysis of the evolution – and eventual move away from – institutional peonage. Author Ruthie-Marie Beckwith describes institutional peonage as an arrangement where disabled residents of state institutions would be compelled to work for free ‘in the fields, washing dishes in the dining halls, and washing mounds and mounds of laundry’, as well as ‘bathing and feeding and cleaning up after other residents’ (xvi). This exploitation went on unchallenged for over a century, with the use of residents’ protection as exchange, until The Lancet published Bickford’s (1963) commentary about the situation in psychiatric hospitals in England.

No Right to Be Idle: The Invention of Disability, 1840s–1930s, by Sarah F. Rose. A perfect storm of public policies, shifting family structures, and economic changes effectively barred workers with disabilities from mainstream workplaces and simultaneously cast disabled people as morally questionable dependents in need of permanent rehabilitation to achieve “self-care” and “self-support.”

Pennhurst and the Struggle for Disability Rights, Edited by Dennis B. Downey, James W. Conroy, Foreword by Dick Thornburgh, and Ginny Thornburgh

Conceived in the era of eugenics as a solution to what was termed the “problem of the feeble-minded,” state-operated institutions subjected people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to a life of compulsory incarceration. One of nearly 300 such facilities in the United States, Pennhurst State School and Hospital was initially hailed as a “model institution” but was later revealed to be a nightmare, where medical experimentation and physical and psychological abuse were rampant. At its peak, more than 3,500 residents were confined at Pennhurst, supervised by a staff of fewer than 600.

Judaism and Disability (from the D-Wild list – original source unknown)

Abrams, Judith. (1998) Judaism and Disability: Portrayals in Ancient Text from the Tanach through the Bavli. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press

Bakody, Jennifer. (1999) Accessible Faith Communities. Abilities Magazine, 41:42-43.

BenAvraham, Tzipporah. (1985) Orthodox Handicapable Chicken Soup. In Browne, Susan E., Connors, Debra & Stern, Nanci (editors) With the Power of Each Breath : A Disabled Women’s Anthology. San Francisco: Cleis Press.

Biesold, Horst. (1999) Crying Hands: eugenics and deaf people in Nazi Germany. Washington, D.C: Gallaudet University Press.

Black, Bruce. (1992) Jews with Disabilities. In Reform Judaism, 21:1, 4-9.

Blank, Joseph P. (1980) The Triumph of Rina Cahana. Reader’s Digest, October, 1980, 171-178.

Central Committee of American Rabbis. (2000) Obligations of Congregations

Towards Physically and Mentally Disabled Persons. CCAR Committee on Justice and Peace.

Chabin, Michelle. (1997) Helping Disabled Israeli Teenagers Become Bnai Mitzvah. In Northern California Jewish Bulletin, June 13, 1997.

Cohn, Abby.(1999) Bar Mitzvah Marks Multiple Milestones for Oaklanders. In Northern California Jewish Bulletin, November 19, 1999

Covey, Herbert C (1998) Social Perceptions of People with Disabilities in History. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publishers

Della Landes Foundation (2000) Accessibility Checklist for Congregations.

Dunai, Eleanor C. (2002) Surviving in Silence: A Deaf Boy in the Holocaust; the Harry I. Dunai Story. Washington, D.C :Gallaudet University Press

Edelman, Max. (2000) Disabled are Still Able Jews. In Cleveland Jewish News, March 31st, 2000.

Eisland, Nancy L. (1994) The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability. Nashville, Tennesee: Abingdon Press.

Eliach, Yaffa. (1998) There Was Once a World: A 900 Year Chronicle of the

Shtetl of Eishyshok. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Evers, Ralph. (2000) Meaning of Life and Care; A Jewish Perspective. In Stolk, Joop, Boer, Theo A. & Seldenrijk (editors) Meaningful Care: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Meaning of Care for People with Mental Retardation. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Fine, Arlene. (1999) ‘Bima’ me up: How accessible are area synagogues to physically challenged? In Cleveland Jewish News, March 5th.

Forest, Marsha. (1988) The bar mitzvah. Entourage 3 (2) 37-40.

Friedman, Ina. (1990) The Other Victims: first person stories of non-Jews persecuted by the Nazis. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton-Miflin Company.

Gaventa, Reverend Bill. (1993) From Belief to Belonging: Trends in Religious Ministries and Services with People with Mental Retardation. Disability Rag, 14 (3) 27-29.

Gorin, David. (1977) Will You Fit Into Your Synagogue? In United Synagogue Review, 30:1, summer.

Henkin, Alan. (1983)“ The two of them went together”: Visions of Interdependence. Judaism, 32: 4, 452-462.

Horstein, Becca & Rosenberg, Shelley R. (2000) Family Matters: Disabled not Disqualified. Moment Magazine. 25(1) 38.

Horstein, Becca & Rosenberg, Shelley R.(2000) Planning a Special Bar/Bat Mitzvah. In Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, August 11, 2000.

Itzkowitz, Shani. (2000) All Together Now: a local Jewish group serves developmentally disabled youth. In Baltimore Jewish Times, December 15.

Jewish Heritage for the Blind. (2000) Bar & Bat Mitzvah. Available at : accessed May 28, 2003.

Kaplan, Shelley. (1995) Opening the Gates .. So That All May Worship. New
York: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Kassman, Martin. (2000) Rabbis and therapists tackle social stigma of mental illness. In Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, November 24th.

Katz, Leslie. (1991) Disabled Jews feel slighted by inaccessible synagogues. In Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, November 22nd.

Keshet Productions. (2000) Liebe Perla. (movie)

Lapon, Lenny. (1986) Mass Murderers in White Coats: Psychiatric genocide in Nazi Germany and the United States. Springfield, Massachusetts: Psychiatric Genocide Research Institute.

Mandell, Daveed. (1995) Community Must Reach Out to Jews with Disabilities. In Northern California Bulletin, September 1, 1995.

Marx, Tzvi. (2002) Disability in Jewish Law. Routledge: New York, New York.

National Organization on Disability. (1999) Accessible Congregations Campaign.

Pearl, Eleanor. (1999) Into the Covenant. Jewish Theological Seminary Magazine 8 (3).

Press, Marlane. (2001) Home for Jewish Disabled Opens in Vancouver. Canadian Jewish News. February 8th.

Rose, Avi. (1997) “Who Causes the Blind to See”: disability and quality of religious Life. Disability and Society, 12 ( 3) 395-405.

Rozen, Shahar. (1999) Liebe Perla. (film) Keshet Broadcasting.

Ryan, Donna F. & Schuchman, John S. (editors) (2002) Deaf People in Hitler’s Europe. Washington D.C.: Gallaudet University Press in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Schreiber, Frederick C. (1970) What a Deaf Jewish Leader Expects of a Rabbi in Deaf World Historical Reader and Primary Sourcebook. Bragg, Lois, (editor) (2001) New York, New York: New York University Press.

Shuart, Adelle Kronick. (1986) Signs in Judaism: A Resource Book for the Jewish Deaf Community. New York: Bloch Publishing Company.

Shupak, Eli. (2001) Birthright trip for physically disabled a first. In Canadian Jewish News, March 22.

Sidransky, Ruth. (1990) In Silence: Growing Up Hearing in a Deaf World. New York, Ballantine Books.

Speisman, Leila (2003) Support group launched for Jewish amputees. In Canadian Jewish News, May 8.

Speisman, Leila. (2002) Group seeks services for hearing impaired day school students. In Canadian Jewish News, March 27.

Speisman, Leila (2000) Shell family holds a special bar mitzvah. In Canadian Jewish News, November 9.

Toiv, David H. Rabbi. (1997) Halachic Rulings Relating to the Blind. Brooklyn, New York: Jewish Heritage for the Blind.

Wolfe, Kathi. (1993) The Bible and Disabilities : From “Healing” to the Burning Bush. Disability Rag, 14 (3) 9-10.

Media Issues

Bower, Eli M. (Ed.). The handicapped in literature: a psychosocial perspective. Love, Denver, 1980.
Excerpts from literature about people with disabilities, including Johnny Got His Gun, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, with comments and analysis by psychologist and Professor Eli Bower.

Carter-Long, Lawrence. The Evolution of Disability in Film: After the Accolades, the Work Continues. PBS, 2020.

Ellis, K., Goggin, G., Haller, B., Curtis, R. (Eds). The Routledge Companion to Disability and Media. Routledge, 2021.

Haller, Beth. Representing Disability in an Ableist World: Essays on Mass Media. Advocado Press, 2010.

Hevey, David. The Creatures Time Forgot: Photography and disability imagery. Routledge, London, 1992.
David Hevey, a disabled photographer and writer, examines the representation of disabled people – in advertising, particularly that produced by disability charities, and in the work of photographers such as Diane Arbus and Gary Winogrand. He shows how such images construct disabled people as ‘creatures’, the tragic-but-brave objects of the photographic gaze, or as the “‘appy ‘andicapped” of “positive imagery” advertising.

Johnson, Mary. Make them go away: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Reeve and The Case Against Disability Rights. Advocado Press, 2003.
Everyone cares for disabled people, right? What they don’t care for are genuine civil rights for disabled people. MARY JOHNSON tells the tortuous, enraging story of how Congress enacted a law that instead of protecting against discrimination has turned ‘the disabled’ into a political punching bag.

Klobas, Lauri E. Disability Drama in Television and Film. McFarland & Company, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1988.
A review of hundreds of episodes of TV dramas and films that deal with disability either as a main theme or using a character with a disability. The dramas are grouped by the major types of disability. The review criteria includes use of stereotypical images and how disability is positioned (I.e., as a individual problem to be overcome, or a civil rights issue).

Norden, Martin F. The Cinema of Isolation: A history of physical disability in the movies. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1994.
Norden examines hundreds of Hollywood movies, finds their place within mainstream society, and uncovers the movie industry’s practices for maintaining the status quo — keeping people with disabilities dependent and “in their place.”

Pointon, Anne & Davies, Chris (Eds.) Framed : Interrogating Disability in the Media. 1998.

Review of Disability Studies – Special Issue: Disability and Film and Media

Schuchman, John S. Hollywood Speaks: Deafness and the Film Entertainment Industry. University of Illinois Press, Chicago, 1988.
Schuchman looks at how deaf people have been portrayed in Hollywood films. He critiques stereotypes and offers a corrective view in a brief history of the real deaf community. The book includes an extensive filmography, including a comprehensive listing of sign-language motion pictures for the deaf.

Nazi Germany/Eugenics

Alexander, Leo. Public Mental Health Practices in Germany – Sterilization and Execution of Patients Suffering from Nervous or Mental Diesase. University of the West of England, 2002.

Aly, Götz. Die Belasteten: ‘Euthanasie’ 1939–1945. Eine Gesellschaftsgeschichte. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 2013. 348 pp. EUR 22.99 (cloth), ISBN 978-3-10-000429-1. From a review by Warren Rosenblum: “Goetz Aly begins his history of Nazi euthanasia with a blistering attack on this policy of anonymity. Why should we honor the dubious concerns of (some) families above the moral obligation to remember the victims? By using their full names whenever possible, Aly hopes to “restore dignity” to individuals who were stripped of their personhood, condemned in secret proceedings, and subsequently mostly forgotten–even by their own families.”

Aly, G., Chroust, P. and Pross, C. Cleansing the fatherland: Nazi medicine and racial hygiene /Beiträge zur Nationalsozialistichen Gesundhets- und Sozialpolitik.
(translated by Belinda Cooper ; foreword by Michael H. Kater). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, c1994.
xvi, 295 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Consists primarily of edited translations of articles which originally appeared in German in the journal Beiträge zur Nationalsozialistischen Gesundheits- und Sozialpolitik.
Includes bibliographical references.

Burleigh, Michael. Death and deliverance: “euthanasia” in Germany c. 1900-1945. Cambridge [England] ; New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
xvii, 382 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 343-372) and index.

Burleign, Michael and Wipperman, Wolfgang. The racial state : Germany, 1933-1945. Cambridge [England] ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
xiv, 386 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.

Caplan, Arthur L. When medicine went mad : bioethics and the Holocaust. Totowa, N.J.: Humana Press, c1992.
xii, 359 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Papers from a conference on May 17-19, 1989 at the University of Minnesota. Includes bibliographical references (p. 321-330) and index.

Friedlander, Henry. The origins of Nazi genocide: from euthanasia to the final solution / Nazi genocide. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c1995.
xxiii, 421 p. ; 25 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 385-401) and index.

Friedman, Ina R. The other victims: first-person stories of non-Jews persecuted by the Nazis. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990. ix, 214 p. ; 22 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 206-207).
Personal narratives of Christians, Gypsies, deaf people, homosexuals, and blacks who suffered at the hands of the Nazis before and during World War II.

Fries, Kenny. The Nazis’ First Victims Were the Disabled. The New York Times. 13 September 2017.

Gallagher, Hugh Gregory. By trust betrayed: patients, physicians, and the license to kill in the Third Reich. New York: H. Holt, c1990.
ix, 342 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
Bibliography: p. 322-330. Includes index.

Glass, James M. Life unworthy of life: racial phobia and mass murder in Hitler’s Germany. New York: Basic Books, c1997.
Includes bibliographical references and index.

Khazan, Olga. Remembering the Nazis’ Disabled Victims. The Atlantic. 3 September 2014. A memorial unveiled in Berlin this week commemorates those deemed “unworthy of living.”

Kogon, E., Langbein, H., and Rückerl, A. (eds). Nazi mass murder: a documentary history of the use of poison gas. New Haven: Yale University Press, [1994], c1993.
(editor’s notes and foreword to the English-language edition by Pierre Serge Choumoff ; translated by Mary Scott and Caroline Lloyd-Morris.)
xiii, 289 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 251-273) and index.

Koren, Yehuda and Negev, Eilat. The Dwarves of Auschwitz. The Guardian. 23 March 2013.

Kuhl, Stefan. The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism. Oxford University Press, 1994. When the Nazis took power in 1933, they installed a program of eugenics–the attempted “improvement” of the population through forced sterilization and marriage controls–that consciously drew on the U.S. example. By then, many American states had long had compulsory sterilization laws for “defectives,” upheld by the Supreme Court in 1927. 

Lapon, Lenny. Mass murderers in white coats: psychiatric genocide in Nazi Germany and the United States. Springfield, MA: Psychiatric Genocide Research Institute, c1986.
x, 291 p. ; 22 cm.
Bibliography: p. 249-267. Includes index.

Lifton, Robert Jay. The Nazi doctors: medical killing and the psychology of genocide. New York: Basic Books, c1986.
xiii, 561 p. ; 24 cm.
Bibliography: p. [507]-539. Includes index.

Miller, Marvin D. Terminating the “socially inadequate” : the American eugenicists and the German race hygienists, California to Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island to Germany. Commack, N.Y.: Malamud-Rose, 1996.
x, 289 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Bibliography: p. 245-280. Includes index.

Noakes, J. and Pridham, G. (eds). Nazism, 1919-1945: a history in documents and eyewitness accounts. New York : Schocken Books: Distributed by Pantheon Books, c1990.
2 v. ; 21 cm.
Reprint. Originally published in 3 v.: Exeter: University of Exeter, 1983-1988. Originally published in series: Exeter studies in history. Includes bibliographical references (v. 1, p. [1235]-1237; v. 2, p. [607]-608). v. 1. The Nazi party, state, and society, 1919-1939 — v. 2. Foreign policy, war, and racial extermination.

Pernick, Martin S. The Black Stork: Eugenics and the death of “defective” babies in American Medicine and Motion Pictures Since 1915. New York: Oxford University Press, c1996.
xv, 295 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
Bibliography: p. 251-280. Includes index.

Proctor, Robert. Racial hygiene: medicine under the Nazis. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988.
viii, 414 p. ; 25 cm. Bibliography: p. 330-337. Includes index.

Weindling, Paul. Health, race, and German politics between national unification and Nazism, 1870-1945. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
x, 641 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Bibliography: p. [583]-609. Includes index.
Series: Cambridge history of medicine


Black, Kathryn. In the shadow of polio : a personal and social history. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub., c1996.
ix, 307 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 293-294) and index.
The author recounts her mother’s contacting polio in 1954 and dying from it’s effects two years later. She alternates chapters that explore the progression of her mother’s polio and it’s devastating emotional impact with chapters that explore the social and historical context of America in the 1940s and 1950s.

Gould, Tony. A summer plague : polio and its survivors. New Haven : Yale University Press, 1995.
xvi, 366 p., [16] p. of plates : ill.; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 346-353) and index.
An exhaustive account of the rise and fall of epidemic poliomyelitis, beginning with the first major outbreak of “Infantile Paralysis” in New York in 1916. The author brings together biographical, political, social and medical aspects of the story of polio. An interesting aspect of this book is how it examines the experiences of “polio survivors” on both sides of the Atlantic.

Rogers, Naomi. Dirt and disease : polio before FDR. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c1992.
x, 258 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [241]-248) and index. Series: Health and medicine in American society.
A social, cultural, and medical history of the “earlier” polio epidemics that swept the United States from 1900-1920. A well researched book that illustrates how, although polio struck families from all classes, experts blamed polio on poverty, poor hygiene and crowded urban environments. These beliefs allowed public health experts to hold slum-dwelling immigrants primarily responsible for polio’s spread. Later chapters focus on how polio was recast and some of its stigma removed.

Sass, E.J., Gottfried, G., and Sorem, A. Polio’s legacy: an oral history. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, c1996.
(foreword by Richard Owen) xviii, 278 p.; 23 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [275]-278). Primarily a collection of thirty-five first hand accounts of “polios” arranged thematically. Chapter One entitled “Polio: Its Definition, History, Current Status, and Late Effects” is a useful introduction to those unfamiliar with polio.

Seavy, N.G., Smith, J.S., Wagner, P. A Paralyzing Fear. The Triumph Over Polio in America. New York : TV Books, 1998.
A well illustrated history with more than 240 rarely seen photographs, many from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

Smith, Jane S. Patenting the sun : polio and the Salk vaccine. New York : W. Morrow, c1990.
413 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 396-403) and index.


Al-Jadir, Raya. 15 inclusive books by disabled women writers. Disability Horizons, 2022.

Asha Hans and Annie Patri. 2003. Women Disability and Identity. Sage Publications. London, New Delhi

Asha Hans and Betty A. Reardon 2010. The Gender Imperative. Human Security vs. State Security. Routeledge New York, London, New DelhiAsha Hans. 1999. Tribal Women: A Gendered Utopia? South Asian Publishers.

Berman Bieler, Rosangela. The Right to Maternity. Brazil, 1998.

Browne, Susan E., Connors, Debra, and Stern, Nanci, eds. With the Power of Each Breath: A Disabled Women’s Anthology. Pittsburgh: Cleis Press, 1985.

Cupolo, A., Corbett, K., Lewis, V. No More Stares.Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), 1982.

Driedger, D., Feika, I., & Giron Batres, E., eds. Across Borders: Women with Disabilities Working Together. Charlottetown, Canada: Gynergy Books, 1996.
Portrays the multi-faceted work by women with disabilities from the developed and developing world. Through literacy and economic development projects, and community organizing, women with disabilities collaborate to improve their standard of living and create new opportunities for themselves and their communities.

Driedger, Diana and Gray, Susan, eds. Imprinting Our Image: An International Anthology by Women with Disabilities. Charlottetown, Canada: Gynergy Books, 1992.

Duff, Kat. The Alchemy of Illness. New York: Bell Tower, 1993.

Duffy, Yvonne. All Things are Possible. Ann Arbor: A.J. Garvin & Associates, 1981.

Ehrenreich, Barbara and English, Deirdre. Complaints and Disorders: The Sexual Politics of Sickness. New York: The Feminist Press at SUNY, 1973.

Fine, Michelle and Asch, Adrienne, eds. Women with Disabilities: Essays in Psychology, Culture, and Politics. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988.

Finger, Anne. Past Due: A Story of Disability, Pregnancy and Birth. Seattle: The Seal Press, 1990.

Grealy, Lucy. Autobiography of a Face. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1994.

Hekking, Angelina Margaretha Antoinetta. Seeds of Light: Images of Healing. San Francisco: Angel Publishing, 1990.

Holcomb, L. & Willmuth, M., eds. Women with Disabilities: Found Voices. Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press, 1993.
A collection of articles by psychologists and other writers, including some fiction and poetry. The writing ranges from academic to intensely personal.

Keith, Lois, ed. “What Happened to You?” Writing by Disabled Women. New York: The New Press, 1996.

Lewis, Cindy and Sygall, Susan, eds. Loud Proud and Passionate: Including Women with Disabilities in International Development Programs. Eugene, OR: Mobility International, 1997.

Mairs, Nancy. Remembering the Bone House: An Erotics of Place and Space. Boston: Beacon Press, 1989.

Mairs, Nancy. Plaintext. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1986.

Mairs, Nancy. Voice Lessons: On Becoming a (Woman) Writer. Boston: Beacon Press, 1994.

Mairs, Nancy. Waist-High in the World: A Life Among the Nondisabled. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.

Mairs, Nancy. Ordinary Time: Cycles in Marriage, Faith, and Renewal. Boston: Beacon Press, 1993.

Millar, Vassar, ed. Despite This Flesh: The Disabled in Stories and Poems. Austin, TX: University of Texas-Austin Press, 1985.

Morris, Jenny. Pride Against Prejudice: Transforming Attitudes to Disability. Philadelphia, PA: New Society, 1991.

Morris, Jenny, ed. Able Lives: Women’s Experience of Paralysis. London: The Women’s Press, 1989.

Panzarino, Connie. The Me in the Mirror. Seattle: Seal Press, 1994.

Ransom, Judy Griffith. To Be the Hands of God: One Woman’s Journey, One Congregation’s Challenge. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1992.

Rogers, Judith and Matsumura, Molleen. Mother to Be: A Guide to Pregnancy and Birth for Women with Disabilities. Demos Vermande, 1991. ISBN: 0-939957-30-2 (HC) 0-939957-29-9 (SC) Alternative formats available.

Romanack, Sheri-Lynn. ‘Feet–What do I Need Them For if I Have Wings to Fly?’: Disability as Power in the Works of Mary Duffy, Frida Kahlo, and Vassar Millar.

Rousso, Harilyn. Disabled, Female, and Proud: Stories of Ten Women with Disabilities. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1993.

Sarton, May. After the Stroke. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1988.

Saxton, Marsha and Howe, Florence, eds. With Wings: An Anthology of Literature By and About Women With Disabilities. New York: The Feminist Press, 1987.
Anthology of disabled women’s writing.

Stewart, Jean. The Body’s Memory. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989.

Stone, Karen G. Awakening to Disability: Nothing About Us Without Us. Volcano, CA: Volcano Press, 1997.

Tremain, Shelley,ed. Pushing the Limits — disabled dykes produce culture. Toronto: Women’s Press, 1996.
Anthology of fiction, personal narrative, poetry, song, and artwork by disabled dykes.

Von Beltz, Heidi. My Soul Purpose: Living, Learning, and Healing. New York: Random House, 1996.

Wade, Cheryl Marie, ed. Range of Motion: Disability Poetry, Prose, Art. Albany, CA: KIDS Project/Squeaky Wheels Press, 1993.

Weimer, Joan. Balk Talk: Teaching Lost Selves to Speak. New York: Random House, 1994.

Wendell, Susan. The Rejected Body – Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability. New York: Routledge, 1996.

York, Phyllis and David. Getting Strong in All the Hurting Places. New York: Rawson Associates, 1989.

Thanks to Helen Betenbaugh, Audrey Bernice Heller, Corbett O’Toole, and all the others who contributed to this list!


Fries, Kenny, ed. Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out. New York: A Plume Book, 1997.

Rediker, Marcus. The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist. Boston: Beacon Press, 2017
The little-known story of an eighteenth-century Quaker dwarf who fiercely attacked slavery and imagined a new, more humane way of life.

Russell, Marta and Malhotra, Ravi. “The Political Economy of Disablement: Advances and Contradictions,” from the Socialist Register 2002


Historical Bibliography on Educational & Social Responses to Disabilities & Childhood in some Middle Eastern & South Asian Countries, from Antiquity to the 1950s.

Disability Pride Reading List, 2023, from Powell Books in Portland, OR