Required reading for both those with disabilities and those without.
By Ashley Shew ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 19, 2023
A powerful manifesto against ableist thinking, this text by Shew, a professor of science, technology, and society at Virginia Tech, is an eye-opening and thought-provoking read. Shew, who lost a leg to cancer at age 30 and suffered damaged hearing and “chemo brain” from the follow-up treatment, challenges the notion that disabled people just want to be “normal.” Shew also debunks the idea that high-tech prosthetics are a wonderful solution, as the simplest, noncomputerized below-the-knee replacement costs $8,000 to $16,000 and require a lifetime of return visits, adjustments, and replacements. Private insurance and Medicaid will cover some of the cost but never all, so the poor do without. Shew argues that a wheelchair is a much better way to get around, as it “requires the world to adjust to the disabled person.” Shew goes on to make a convincing case that disabled people’s first priority is to get on with their lives and that their leading problem is not technical but social. Shew’s list of disability clichés that saturate the media, such as “pitiable freaks,” “shameful sinners,” and “inspirational overcomers,” is a powerful reminder of the ableist thinking that still exists in society. This book is an important read for anyone who wants to challenge their own ableist thinking and help create a more inclusive world.
Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023
Page Count: 192
Review Posted Online: today
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023