UK Disability History Month 2020

“We need to make every single thing accessible
to every single disabled person.”

Stevie Wonder

UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) has been an annual event since 2010, creating a platform to focus on the history of disabled peoples’ struggle for equality and human rights. For this, the eleventh UK Disability History Month (UKDHM), the focus is on Access and asking ‘How far have we come? How far have we to go?’

Disability was historically seen as a tragedy that happens because of genes, disease, accident, or war, with the assumption that the disabled need to be rehabilitated to overcome the impairment of our body or mind.

Having an impairment can sometimes be painful, life shortening and disempowering, but having to deal with prejudicial barriers, based on negative attitudes from the past, is discrimination that denies the human rights of the disabled. Led by disabled colleagues, we have created list of books which we hope will change this narrative and help reframe perceptions of disability.

These are just some of the incredible books you can find through the BorrowBox app as eBooks and eAudiobooks, and as physical books on our library shelves.
For our eBooks and eAudiobooks, simply log in and browse the special featured bookshelf on BorrowBox to see the amazing eTitles available. For physical copies, browse our online catalogue and, for a small charge, reserve the book or books you would like to pick up at your local library. Or tell staff at the library if you would like these kind of books as part of your Ready Read collection.


Diversify
by June Sarpong

Putting the spotlight on groups who are often marginalised in our society, including women, ethnic minorities, those living with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community, Diversify uncovers the hidden cost of exclusion and shows how a new approach to how we learn, live and do business can solve some of the most stubborn challenges we face.

Available as eBook, eAudio and physical book

Disability Visibility
by Alice Wong

A ground-breaking collection of writing on the joys and challenges of the modern disability experience: Disability Visibility brings together the voices of activists, authors, lawyers, politicians, artists, and everyday people whose daily lives are, in the words of playwright Neil Marcus, “an art . . . an ingenious way to live.”
Taken together, this anthology gives a glimpse of the vast richness and complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own assumptions and understandings.

Available as eAudio and physical book

Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space
by Amanda Leduc

This book challenges the ableism of fairy tales and offers new ways to celebrate the magic of all bodies. By examining the ways that fairy tales have shaped our expectations of disability, Disfigured will point the way toward a new world where disability is no longer a punishment or impediment but operates, instead, as a way of centering a protagonist and helping them to cement their own place in a story, and from there, the world.

Available as eBook

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body
by Rebekah Taussig

A memoir-in-essays from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty Rebekah Taussig, processing a lifetime of memories to paint a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most. Rebekah reflects on everything from the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and how the pervasiveness of ableism in our everyday media directly translates to everyday life. Sitting Pretty challenges us as a society to be patient and vigilant, practical, and imaginative, kind and relentless, as we set to work to write an entirely different story.

Available as eBook, eAudiobook and physical book

Unconquerable: the Invictus spirit
by Boris Starling

Invictus Games change lives and save lives. Created and spearheaded by Prince Harry, for whom this is a very personal cause, the Games are for current and former servicemen and women who have been wounded, injured or sick. Most races are about who gets to the finish line first. At the Invictus Games, even making the start line is an achievement beyond measure. Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit represents the spirit of the Games, upholding a message of self-determination, positivity and sacrifice.

Available as eBook and physical book

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

3 December 2019

The UN celebrate this day every year on 3 December and the theme for this year is ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership‘. Their aim is to ensure that all are treated equally and to make the world a more inclusive place.

Libraries have many different ways of being inclusive to all, some of those being dyslexia friendly books, large print, audiobooks and braille books.

Booktrust have created a list of books to read with your children and these are some of the few that we have on our library catalogue:

Song for a whale / Lynne Kelly.

Iris was born deaf, but she’s never let that define her; after all, it’s the only life she’s ever known. And until recently she wasn’t even very lonely, because her grandparents are both deaf, too. But Grandpa has just died and Grandma’s not the same without him. The only place Iris really feels at home anymore is in her electronics workshop where she loves taking apart antique radios. Then, during a science lesson about sound waves, Iris finds out about a whale who is unable to communicate with other whales. The lonely whale awakens something in Iris. She’s determined to show him that someone in the world knows he’s there.

Lightning chase me home / Amber Lee Dodd.

Amelia McLeod lives on a tiny Scottish island, her mum has walked out on her and she’s about to start at a whole new, scary school. Her dyslexia means she’s a target for the school bullies. When she makes a wish on her birthday to be reunited with her mum, she finds herself quite literally disappearing at times of stress and reappearing elsewhere on the island, where she finds clues and snapshots of her parents’ past.

Amazing / Steve Antony.

A little boy and his pet dragon are the very best of friends. They laugh, they sing, they dance, they snooze. They are both amazing – just like everyone else! A celebration of friendship and being yourself with a positive message about celebrating diversity.

Me and my sister / Rose Robbins.

This appealing brother and sister duo spend a lot of their day together, eating meals, going to school and playing. But life with an autistic sibling is not always easy. Through the eyes of the brother, we find out how they are both very different, but also very similar in other ways, and come what may they have lots of fun together and love each other just the same. This is a touching book that will strike a chord with every family with siblings, especially where one is differently abled.

Can you see me? : expected to fit in, proud to stand out / Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott.

People think that because Tally’s autistic, she doesn’t realise what they’re thinking, but Tally sees and hears – and notices – all of it. Endearing, insightful and warmly uplifting, this is a story of autism, empathy and kindness that will touch readers of all ages.

Disabilities

Disability of any sort can be difficult to cope with, whether it is your own, a friend or someone in your family. Sharing stories about other people’s experiences of disability can make things seem less frightening and easier to handle.


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Me, the Queen and Christopher – Giles Andreae and Tony Ross

A funny book with the sort of ‘naughty’ humour that children love.  A young girl visits the Queen.  The Queen takes an interest in the girl’s  brother, Christopher, not because he is in a wheel chair, but because he has the sort of face that suggests he must like cupcakes.
Age: 6+


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The Five of Us – Quentin Blake

Five children with unusual abilities take a trip to the countryside.  When disaster strikes they all use their individual powers to help save the day.
Age: 4+


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Sam and Ruby’s Olympic Adventure – Tony Bradman

Sam and Ruby use Sam’s spare wheelchair to make a time machine so they can explore the olympic games throughout history.  Produced in a ‘dyslexia friendly’ format.
Age: 8+


Just Because – Rebecca Elliott

A lovely book about a little boy who is just starting to understand that his big sister has additional needs.
Age: 3+


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Sometimes – Rebecca Elliott

Toby loves his big sister Clemmie, even when her disability means she has to go into hospital again.  A warm and encouraging story.
Age: 3+


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Big Red Balloon – Anne Fine

Pip’s class are having a balloon race – how far will their red heium balloons travel?  Pip’s goes all the way to Buckingham Palace and he is invited to have tea with the queen.  Pip is a wheel chair user.
Age: 5+


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Seal Surfer – Michael Foreman

The story of a boy intertwined with the story of a seal. The boy is in a wheelchair, but swims and surfs with the seal as they both grow up.
Age: 6+


Baby Bird – Andrew Gibbs

A baby bird can not fly due to his misshapen wing. He discovers that his dreams of flying can come true as he learns the power of friendship, never giving up and being creative.
Age 4+


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Happy Butterfly – Pippa Goodhart and Lauren Tobia

Happy can hear a band, but she can’t see it from her wheelchair.  Then Grandma Gloria has a clever idea.  Happy also uses a walking frame.
Age: 5+


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Catherine’s Story – Genevieve Moore and Karin Littlewood

A picture book to share that shows how all the things that make Catherine different, also make her special.
Age: 4+


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Max the Champion – Sean Stockdale, Alexandra Strick and Ros Asquith

Max is mad about sport and thinks about it all the time.  This inclusive picture book shows people with disability as part of the everyday environment.  The clues are often subtle, but that’s probably why it works so well.
Age: 5+


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Don’t Call Me Special – Pat Thomas and Lesley Harker

This information book explains what disability is in a simple and reassuring way.
Age: 4+


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Susan Laughs – Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

A delightful picture book in which Susan is up to all sorts of things at home and in the park. It isn’t till the last page that we see that she uses a wheelchair.
Age: 4+


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Sleepovers – Jacqueline Wilson

Daisy desperately wants to fit in with a group of girls at school and go to their sleepovers, but she is dreading it being her turn.  Her sister has learning difficulties and Daisy doesn’t know how her new friends will react.
Age: 7+


 

Disability

Disability of any sort can be difficult to cope with, whether it is your own, a friend or someone in your family. Sharing stories about other people’s experiences of disability can make things seem less overwhelming and easier to handle.


Image result for Me, the Queen and Christopher

Me, the Queen and Christopher
by Giles Andreae and Tony Ross

A funny book with the sort of ‘naughty’ humour that children love.  A young girl visits the Queen.  The Queen takes an interest in the girl’s  brother, Christopher, not because he is in a wheel chair, but because he has the sort of face that suggests he must like cupcakes.
Age: 6+


Image result for Select Cover Amazing / Steve Antony.

Amazing
by Steve Antony

A little boy and his pet dragon are the very best of friends. They laugh, they sing, they dance, they snooze. They are both amazing – just like everyone else! A celebration of friendship and being yourself with a positive message about celebrating diversity.
Age: 3+


book cover

Oshie
by John Blake

Oshie has Cerebral Palsy but doesn’t let this get in the way of helping his school win the Schools Football Cup.
Age: 7+


The Five of Us
by Quentin Blake

Five children with unusual abilities take a trip to the countryside.  When disaster strikes they all use their individual powers to help save the day.
Age: 4+


Image result for Sam and Ruby's Olympic adventure

Sam and Ruby’s Olympic Adventure
by Tony Bradman

Sam and Ruby use Sam’s spare wheelchair to make a time machine so they can explore the olympic games throughout history.  Produced in a ‘dyslexia friendly’ format.
Age: 8+


Runaway robot
by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Set in the near future, Alfie is coming to terms with losing his hand in an accident. A fantastic story which covers loss, disability and much more.
Age: 9+


book cover

Pea’s Book of Holidays
by Susie Day

It’s the summer holidays, but things don’t go to plan for Pea and her sisters, but it’s not all bad news.  They make new friends (one of whom has hemiplegia), go on adventures, solve mysteries and Mum gets her new book written.
Age: 8+


Just Because
by Rebecca Elliott

A lovely book about a little boy who is just starting to understand that his big sister has additional needs.
Age: 3+


Sometimes
by Rebecca Elliott

Toby loves his big sister Clemmie, even when her disability means she has to go into hospital again.  A warm and encouraging story.
Age: 3+


Big Red Balloon
by Anne Fine

Pip’s class are having a balloon race – how far will their red heium balloons travel?  Pip’s goes all the way to Buckingham Palace and he is invited to have tea with the queen.  Pip is a wheel chair user.
Age: 5+


Image result for Seal surfer

Seal Surfer
by Michael Foreman

The story of a boy intertwined with the story of a seal. The boy is in a wheelchair, but swims and surfs with the seal as they both grow up.
Age: 6+


Image result for Check mates / Stewart Foster."

Check Mates
by Stewart Foster
Age range: 9+

Felix is struggling at school. His ADHD makes it hard for him to concentrate and his grades are slipping. Everyone keeps telling him to try harder, but no one seems to understand just how hard he finds it. When Mum suggests Felix spends time with his grandfather, Felix can’t think of anything worse. Granddad hasn’t been the same since Grandma died. Plus, he’s always trying to teach Felix boring chess. But sometimes the best lessons come in the most unexpected of places, and Granddad soon shows Felix that there’s everything to play for.


Image result for Baby bird gibbs

Baby Bird
Andrew Gibbs

A baby bird can not fly due to his misshapen wing. He discovers that his dreams of flying can come true as he learns the power of friendship, never giving up and being creative.
Age 4+


Image result for I like my dad / by Sue Graves and Andy Rowland.

I like my dad
by Sue Graves

Part of the Reading Champion series, this shows a dad in a wheelchair.
Age: 4+


We all have different abilities 
by Melissa Higgins

Celebrating a range of abilities and talents.
Age: 4+


Mia’s magic uncle
by Lindsay MacLeod

Mia’s Uncle Robbie is amazing – he knows lots of magic tricks, like how to produce an egg from Mia’s ear, or how to turn a red hanky into a green one. One kind of magic he hasn’t yet learnt, however, is how to make his legs work. But this doesn’t stop him from being the best uncle Mia could wish for!
Age: 5+


Catherine’s Story
by Genevieve Moore and Karin Littlewood

A picture book to share that shows how all the things that make Catherine different, also make her special.
Age: 4+


book cover

The Ghost of Grania O’Malley
by Michael Morpurgo

Jessie O’Malley, a young Irish girl with Cerebral Palsy, fights to save a local landmark and befriends her cousin. An exciting story with ghosts and pirates.
Age: 7+


Image result for Having a disability / Louise Spilsbury ; illustrated by Ximena Jeria.

Having a disability
by Louise Spilsbury

How do you help a young child deal with disability or explain what that means? This hands on picture book is designed to help children with their questions and feelings about tricky topics that can be hard to talk about. The exquisite and approachable illustrations to give a comforting story book feel. A perfect aid to help children open up and explore how they feel and steps they can take to help them cope.
Age: 7+


Max the Champion
by Sean Stockdale, Alexandra Strick and Ros Asquith

Max is mad about sport and thinks about it all the time.  This inclusive picture book shows people with disability as part of the everyday environment.  The clues are often subtle, but that’s probably why it works so well.
Age: 5+


Don’t Call Me Special
by Pat Thomas and Lesley Harker

This information book explains what disability is in a simple and reassuring way.
Age: 4+


Susan Laughs
by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross

A delightful picture book in which Susan is up to all sorts of things at home and in the park. It isn’t till the last page that we see that she uses a wheelchair.
Age: 4+


Sleepovers
by Jacqueline Wilson

Daisy desperately wants to fit in with a group of girls at school and go to their sleepovers, but she is dreading it being her turn.  Her sister has learning difficulties and Daisy doesn’t know how her new friends will react.
Age: 7+


Useful Organisations

Hampshire County Council:
Information about Special Education Needs and support available.

Gov.uk:
Help if you have a disabled child.

Family Action:
Support for families.

Mencap:
Support for parents and carers of children and young people.

Scope:
Support for both adults and children with disabilities.

Sibs:
A charity for the brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults.