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Taking Pride In That Which Sets Us Apart

Author: Shayn R. Anderson
(Paperback, 90 pages)

Subtitled “A Vision Of Hope And Personal Responsibility For People With Disabilities”, Taking Pride In That Which Sets Us Apart is a smart little book that is both a rallying cry for people with disabilities and a wake-up call for readers without disabilities.

The book lays out an interesting background of the historical factors and cultural stereotypes which have muddied the waters of our views about people with disabilities – sullied views, marked by negative perspectives and diminished expectations – negative views, that rail against the self-esteem of people with disabilities and their merit in the eyes of others. It suggests that a new dialogue about disability needs to emerge – one that challenges the ingrained stereotypes and misconceptions with a truer vision of people with disabilities:  of men and women with disabilities “who are going about their lives, working, supporting themselves and their families, and actively contributing to the diversity landscape and the richness of our communities.”

The book challenges the “diversity movement” which so strongly advocates the inclusion of people with differences into our workplaces and societal institutions, but so readily excludes or so begrudgingly allows people with disabilities to share the stage.

The author asserts that people with disabilities can advance their collective cause and strengthen their individual journeys by recognizing and proudly affirming their shared roots in disability culture.

The concluding, and probably most important chapter of the book, asserts that people with disabilities need to embrace their disability with pride, readily acknowledge their affinity to other people with disabilities and assume a greater sense of personal responsibility for their destinies.

Chapter Titles in Taking Pride In That Which Sets Us Apart

  • Retrospective: We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, but Not Far Enough

  • The Common Stereotype: How Individuals with Disabilities Can Either Perpetuate or Promulgate

  • Disability: The Red-headed Stepchild of Diversity

  •  The Unknown Disability Culture: The Ties That Bind Us

  • Taking It to the Next Level: Shattering Attitudes and Perceptions by Getting Our Act Together

At a time when people with disabilities are still struggling for stronger civil rights and greater societal inclusion, this lively and provocative little book is a stimulating tool for both personal reflection and group discussion.

Reading Audiences

 While Taking Pride in That Which Sets Us Apart was written primarily for people with disabilities themselves, it is also an instructive book for employers, employment & training professionals and educators. It has been particularly well-received by young people with disabilities - high school and college students. The book’s fresh message of pride and personal responsibility seems to readily resonate with youth who are charting their courses towards careers and adulthood.


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