Books July-August 2007

by Quest Staff on July 1, 2007 - 11:29am

QUEST Vol. 14, No. 4

I Like to Run Too — Two Decades of Sitting, by Stacy Zoern, 198 pages, 2006, $16.95. Science & Humanities Press,

An attorney and business owner, Stacy Zoern, 27, tells the story of her experience growing up with spinal muscular atrophy. The memoir, which follows the author from babyhood to young adulthood, offers readers with disabilities helpful advice and encouragement with a humorous twist.

This inspiring autobiography shows how much people with disabilities can accomplish despite the many physical and social obstacles around every corner. Teachers everywhere should add I Like to Run Too to their required reading lists.

This book is also an eye-opener for students with disabilities, helping them to see the endless future possibilities.

Disability Awareness: Do it Right!, from the Ragged Edge Online community, edited by Mary Johnson, 118 pages, 2006, $19.95. Advocado Press,

The exclamation point in the title of this book is a good indicator of its generally imperative tone. The Ragged Edge Online community — known for its blunt, not infrequently irreverent sentiments — takes a hard look at activities associated with schools’ disability awareness days, and at the shortcomings of “disability simulations.”

In this how-to manual for creating a successful awareness day event, the authors review the nature of prejudice against people with disabilities, explore recently coined buzz words, including “ableism” (translated as prejudice against people with disabilities), and recommend ways to reduce prejudice.

Among the greatest values of this book is the wealth of resources it offers to awareness day planners. Those include books, movies, short essays, checklists, statistics, and a slew of Web sites, disability history sites, how to find an independent living center and university programs in disability studies.

Caregivers Are People Too: A Primer for Those Who Take Care of Disabled Persons, by Gloria M. Sprung, M.S.W., 148 pages, 2005, $11.99. Authorhouse,

The author, herself a caregiver, found that living with another whose life is filled with physical or mental obstacles can consume the caregiver and create a feeling of being trapped. She offers three options: become part of the problem, remain apart from the problem or become a partner in coping with the problem.

To become a partner, Sprung says, caregivers must perform a soul-searching self-analysis to determine the hidden motives that drive and perpetuate their caregiving role, because knowing themselves is the key to further growth. That will help caregivers recognize that caring for another person need not mean wholesale self-sacrifice.

The final ingredient of her recipe: Make more time for yourself. Being released from some caregiving chores provides the opportunity to rest and feel good about yourself.

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