Author: Anna Cristina Carter, Guest Contributor, Top Tech Tidbits
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Technology has done wonders for accessibility. Thanks to the internet, people with disabilities can easily find platforms that suit their needs and interests. Our Blind and Visually Impaired Podcast Directory, for instance, can link individuals to podcasts created for and by people within the low vision community. For people with visual problems, these audio-focused mediums provide a great source of entertainment and education.
But the low-vision community isn't the only group that can benefit from audio-focused mediums, and the podcast isn't the only audio-focused medium out there. People who want their entertainment structured can listen to audiobooks, which are professionally recorded readings of existing texts, such as novels and non-fiction books. Audiobooks are convenient if the physical process of reading gives you difficulty. And since you don't need sustained concentration to consume an audiobook, you can easily listen to audiobooks while doing other tasks.
Below, we've listed a few different audiobooks written for, by, or about people with disabilities.
The Nerd Daily details how Rebekah Taussig's memoir, Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body is a call to normalize the stories of disabled individuals. Taussig grew up in the '90s, where representations of disability never veered toward the mundane — depictions were either overly negative, such as in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, or patronizingly positive, like Forrest Gump. Taussig uses a series of essays about her personal experiences to enlighten the reader on the oft-overlooked struggles, big and small, that many individuals with disabilities experience throughout their day to day, such as looking for accessible housing, or her conflicted view on acts of kindness. It's a story you can listen to if you want your experiences validated and recognized.
Canadian Writer Amanda Leduc grew up with cerebral palsy and spastic hemiplegia. Leduc's audiobiography Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space narrated by Amanda Barker on Scribd examines the way fairy tales affect the way people think about disability. In the book, Leduc posits that the stories we read growing up shape the way we think about the world. Using examples from Disney and Brother's Grimm, she outlines how stories that shun ugliness and reward beauty influence society's view on disabled individuals. If you want an enlightening read on the importance of representation, this is your book.
Disability advocate Haben Girma was born with deaf-blindness. She grew up in Oakland, California, as a child of Eritrean refugees. In her autobiography, in which she narrates herself, Girma outlines her experiences as an immigrant with a disability navigating an America that favored people with better sight and hearing. According to Girma, each person faces this important choice: do we go the easy route and accept unfairness, or do we fight for justice?
The book describes many of Girma's experiences advocating for disability. She petitions for accessible cafeteria menus for low-vision students at college; she pursues a law degree at Harvard to make cases against companies without accessibility options. It's an engaging listen for anyone that wants to learn about the heroes actively fighting for full inclusion.
Good disability representation still has a lot of room for improvement. Slowly but surely, we're getting there — the internet offers a wide range of stories people with disabilities can consume if they want to see their experiences recognized. And mediums like audiobooks, which simplify the physical process of reading, can help make these stories accessible.
Written by: Anna Cristina Carter for the exclusive use of https://toptechtidbits.com.