Resources for Adults Living with a Disability or Illness

Coping with Physical Loss and Disability: A Workbook (New Horizons in Therapy)
by Rick Ritter, MSWThe author, Rick Ritter is a disabled veteran and social worker.  He has much experience working with clients who have experienced physical loss and disability.  He created this workbook to offer individuals a way to work through loss and towards emotional and spiritual recovery.
The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness by Miriam Kaufman, M.D., Cory Silverberg, and Fran Odette

A comprehensive guide on sexuality for people with physical challenges, including a lot of input and direct quotes from individuals.  A great book that offers creative possibilities for having an active and pleasurable sex life.  The authors use language that includes everyone, regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation.

‘What Happened to You?’: Writing by Disabled Women by Lois Keith

A book of essays, fiction, and poetry gathered from many woman who are disabled or ill. I am impressed with these angry, funny, determined and hopeful women who tell it like it is and speak from their heart.

I Am the Central Park Jogger : A Story of Hope and Possibility by Trisha Meili

The story of Trisha, a woman who was brutally attacked and left for dead.  We read about her two lives – the one she built before her attack as a self proclaimed ambitious workaholic, and the one after where she reclaims her life while living with physical and cognitive challenges.  It’s a story of healing – her body, mind, heart and spirit.

Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther than the Eye Can See: My Story by Erik Weihenmayer

A memoir from Erik, who was born with a degenerative eye disorder that leaves him blind by the age of thirteen.  He shares his childhood years with heart and truth.  As a young adult he discovers his passion for climbing and his life is changed forever.  He tells the story of how he turned his dream of climbing the world’s highest peaks into a reality.

Life Prints: A Memoir of Healing and Discovery (The Cross-Cultural Memoir Series) by Mary Grimley-Mason

A memoir from Mary, who contracted polio in 1932 when she was four years old.  She shares her own story of living as a person with a disability who tries to pass for “able-bodied”, as a woman scholar in the male-dominated world of academia, writer, feminist, wife, and mother of three children.  It’s a story of integration – professionally, personally and the double consciousness of able-bodied and disabled.

Wake up to Your (W)hole Life by Alaya Chadwick
Of the many personal development books I’ve read, the wisdom revealed in this book is what changed my life by shifting my relationship with my disability. The author, Alaya, invites us to become curious about ourselves in a gentle, non-judgmental way and offers a step-by-step process that provides all individuals with challenging life experiences a way to be more fully alive.

Sexuality & Spina Bifida pamphlet
Multiple adults living with Spina Bifida were interviewed and contributed to this pamphlet, myself included.  Their voices provide a depth of authenticity and specific practical suggestions from actual lived experience of how to enjoy sexual intimacy while living with a disability.  The pamphlet focuses on the physical and social aspects of sexuality and is a valuable resource for people other disabilities, in particular spinal cord injury.

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