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People With Disabilities

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  1. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    9.7 hrs • 5/17/2016 • Unabridged

    In this haunting modern Dickensian story that is a literary tour de force, Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times columnist Dan Barry chronicles a shameful case of exploitation and abuse in America’s heartland, involving a group of developmentally disabled men and the advocates who helped them find justice and reclaim their lives. In the tiny Iowa farm town of Atalissa, a group of intellectually disabled men, all from Texas, lived in a tired old schoolhouse. Every morning, well before dawn, they were bussed to a processing plant to eviscerate turkeys in return for food, lodging, and $65 a month. From 1974 until 2009, the men lived in near servitude, enduring increasing neglect, exploitation, and physical and emotional abuse—until state social workers, local journalists, and one tenacious government lawyer helped these men achieve their freedom. New York Times columnist Dan Barry reveals how these men in an Iowa schoolhouse remained nearly forgotten for more than three decades. Drawing on exhaustive interviews, he dives deeply into their lives, recording their memories and suffering, their tender moments of joy and persistent hopefulness—their endurance of harrowing circumstances. Barry explores why this small heartland town remained all but blind to the men’s plight, details how those responsible for such profound neglect justified their actions, and chronicles the lasting impact of a dramatic court case that has spurred advocates—as well as President Obama—to push for just pay and improved working conditions for people with disabilities. A luminous work of social justice, told with compassion and compelling detail, The Boys in the Bunkhouse is inspired storytelling and a clarion call for vigilance—an American tale that holds lasting reverberations for all of us.

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    The Boys in the Bunkhouse by Dan Barry

    The Boys in the Bunkhouse

    9.7 hrs • 5/17/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 6.1 hrs • 10/27/2015 • Unabridged

    Thousands have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Five have survived quadruple amputee injuries. This is one soldier’s story. Thousands of soldiers die every year defending their country. United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was sure that he would become another statistic when, during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, he was caught in an IED blast four days before his twenty-fifth birthday. Against the odds, he lived, but at a severe cost—Travis became one of only five soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to survive a quadruple amputation. Suddenly forced to reconcile with the fact that he no longer had arms or legs, Travis was faced with a future drastically different from the one he had imagined for himself. He would never again be able to lead his squad, stroke his fingers against his wife’s cheek, or pick up his infant daughter. Travis struggled through the painful and anxious days of rehabilitation so that he could regain the strength to live his life to the fullest. With enormous willpower and endurance, the unconditional love of his family, and a generous amount of faith, Travis shocked everyone with his remarkable recovery. Even without limbs, he still swims, dances with his wife, rides mountain bikes, and drives his daughter to school. Travis inspires thousands every day with his remarkable journey. He doesn’t want to be thought of as wounded. “I’m just a man with scars,” he says, “living life to the fullest and best I know how.”

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    Tough as They Come

    Foreword by Gary Sinise
    Read by Travis Mills
    6.1 hrs • 10/27/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    18.8 hrs • 8/25/2015 • Unabridged

    What is autism: a lifelong disability or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is both of these things and more—and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years. Going back to the earliest days of autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle, while mapping out a path for our society toward a more humane world in which people with learning differences and those who love them have access to the resources they need to live happier, healthier, more secure, and more meaningful lives. Along the way, he reveals the untold story of Hans Asperger, the father of Asperger’s syndrome, whose “little professors” were targeted by the darkest social-engineering experiment in human history; exposes the covert campaign by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner to suppress knowledge of the autism spectrum for fifty years; and casts light on the growing movement of “neurodiversity” activists seeking respect, support, technological innovation, accommodations in the workplace and in education, and the right to self-determination for those with cognitive differences.

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    NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman

    NeuroTribes

    Foreword by Oliver Sacks
    18.8 hrs • 8/25/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 7.9 hrs • 9/11/2014 • Unabridged

    Even a darkening world can be brilliantly lit from within. Born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher Syndrome type III, Rebecca Alexander has been simultaneously losing both her sight and hearing since she was a child and was told that she would likely be completely blind and deaf by age thirty. Then, at eighteen, a fall from a window left her athletic body completely shattered. None of us know what we would do in the face of such devastation. What Rebecca did was rise to every challenge she faced. She was losing her vision and hearing and her body was broken, but she refused to lose her drive, her zest for life and—maybe most importantly—her sense of humor. Now, at thirty-five, with only a sliver of sight and significantly deteriorated hearing, she is a psychotherapist with two masters’ degrees from Columbia University and an athlete who teaches spin classes and regularly competes in extreme endurance races. She greets every day as if it were a gift, with boundless energy, innate curiosity, and a strength of spirit that have led her to places we can’t imagine. In Not Fade Away, Rebecca tells her extraordinary story, by turns harrowing, funny, and inspiring. She meditates on what she has lost—from the sound of a whisper to seeing a sky full of stars—and what she has found in return—an exquisite sense of intimacy with those she is closest to, a love of silence, a profound gratitude for everything she still has, and a joy in simple pleasures that most of us forget to notice. Not Fade Away is both a memoir of the senses and a unique look at the obstacles we all face—physical, psychological, and philosophical—exploring the extraordinary powers of memory, love, and perseverance. It is a gripping story, an offering of hope and motivation, and an exquisite reminder to live each day to its fullest.

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    Not Fade Away

    7.9 hrs • 9/11/14 • Unabridged
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  5. 9.3 hrs • 8/28/2014 • Unabridged

    Liza Long is the mother of a child with an undiagnosed mental disorder. When she heard about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, her first thought was, “What if my son does that someday?” She wrote an emotional response to the tragedy, which the Boise State University online journal posted as “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother.” The post went viral, receiving 1.2 million Facebook likes, nearly 17,000 tweets, and 30,000 emails. Now, in The Price of Silence she takes a devastating look at how we address mental illness, especially in children, who are funneled through a system of education, mental health care, and juvenile detention that leads far too often to prison. In the end she asks one central question: If there’s a poster child for cancer, why can’t there be one for mental illness? The answer: the stigma. Liza Long is speaking in a way that we cannot help but hear, and she won’t stop until something changes.

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    The Price of Silence by Liza Long

    The Price of Silence

    9.3 hrs • 8/28/14 • Unabridged
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  6. 13.1 hrs • 4/1/2014 • Unabridged

    Imagine being trapped inside a Disney movie and having to learn about life mostly from animated characters dancing across a screen of color. A fantasy? A nightmare? This is the real-life story of Owen Suskind, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia. An autistic boy who couldn’t speak for years, Owen memorized dozens of Disney movies, turned them into a language to express love and loss, kinship, and brotherhood. The family was forced to become animated characters, communicating with him in Disney dialogue and song; until they all emerge together, revealing how, in darkness, we all literally need stories to survive.

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    Life, Animated

    13.1 hrs • 4/1/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 9.4 hrs • 1/14/2014 • Unabridged

    The celebrated author of Down the Nile travels far afield as part of her investigation into the world of the blind. In the tradition of Oliver Sacks’ The Island of the Colorblind, Rosemary Mahoney tells the story of Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind in Tibet, and of Sabriye Tenberken, the remarkable blind woman who founded the school. Fascinated and impressed by what she learned from the blind children of Tibet, Mahoney was moved to investigate further the cultural history of blindness. As part of her research, she spent three months teaching at Tenberken’s international training center for blind adults in Kerala, India, an experience that reveals both the shocking oppression endured by the world’s blind, as well as their great resilience, integrity, ingenuity, and strength. By living among the blind, Rosemary Mahoney enables us to see them in fascinating close up, revealing their particular “quality of ease that seems to broadcast a fundamental connection to the world.” In listening to For the Benefit of Those Who See, you will never see the world in quite the same way again.

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    For the Benefit of Those Who See

    9.4 hrs • 1/14/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    40.6 hrs • 11/13/2012 • Unabridged

    From the National Book Award–winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression comes a monumental new work, a decade in the writing, about family. In Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so. Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the triumphs of love Solomon documents in every chapter. All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on forty thousand pages of interview transcripts with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges. Whether considering prenatal screening for genetic disorders, cochlear implants for the deaf, or gender reassignment surgery for transgender people, Solomon narrates a universal struggle toward compassion. Many families grow closer through caring for a challenging child; most discover supportive communities of others similarly affected; some are inspired to become advocates and activists, celebrating the very conditions they once feared. Woven into their courageous and affirming stories is Solomon’s journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent. Elegantly reported by a spectacularly original thinker, Far from the Tree explores themes of generosity, acceptance, and tolerance—all rooted in the insight that love can transcend every prejudice. This crucial and revelatory book expands our definition of what it is to be human.

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    Far from the Tree

    40.6 hrs • 11/13/12 • Unabridged
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  9. 6.0 hrs • 5/15/2007 • Abridged

    In his critically acclaimed bestseller Shadow Divers, Robert Kurson explored the depths of history, friendship, and compulsion. Now Kurson returns with another thrilling adventure—the stunning true story of one man’s heroic odyssey from blindness into sight. Mike May spent his life crashing through. Blinded at age three, he defied expectations by breaking world records in downhill speed skiing, joining the CIA, and becoming a successful inventor, entrepreneur, and family man. He had never yearned for vision. Then, in 1999, a chance encounter brought startling news: a revolutionary stem cell transplant surgery could restore May’s vision. It would allow him to drive, to read, to see his children’s faces. He began to contemplate an astonishing new world: Would music still sound the same? Would sex be different? Would he recognize himself in the mirror? Would his marriage survive? Would he still be Mike May? The procedure was filled with risks, some of them deadly, others beyond May’s wildest dreams. Even if the surgery worked, history was against him. Fewer than twenty cases were known worldwide in which a person gained vision after a lifetime of blindness. Each of those people suffered desperate consequences we can scarcely imagine. There were countless reasons for May to pass on vision. He could think of only a single reason to go forward. Whatever his decision, he knew it would change his life. Beautifully written and thrillingly told, Crashing Through is a journey of suspense, daring, romance, and insight into the mysteries of vision and the brain. Robert Kurson gives us a fascinating account of one man’s choice to explore what it means to see—and to truly live.

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    Crashing Through

    6.0 hrs • 5/15/07 • Abridged
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  10. 6.7 hrs • 4/1/2005 • Unabridged

    They put a price on his head. They did everything they could to disrupt his mission. Finally, when an antitank mine tore off his right foot, the warriors of jihad in Iraq thought they had neutralized one of their most resourceful, determined foes. They were wrong. Refusing to let his injury stop him, Captain David Rozelle roared back into action, returning to Iraq as commander of an armored cavalry troop. He became the first amputee in recent military history to resume a dangerous command on the same battlefield. In Back in Action, Rozelle, who has been awarded the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart, speaks with brisk frankness about his postamputation battles and the gritty determination that carried him through it all. It’s an astonishing story of courage, determination, heroism, and devotion to duty overcoming all obstacles.

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    Back in Action by Capt. David Rozelle

    Back in Action

    6.7 hrs • 4/1/05 • Unabridged
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  11. 3.7 hrs • 9/1/2002 • Unabridged

    So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. If we can conquer outer space, we can conquer inner space, too. Christopher Reeve has mastered the art of turning the impossible into the inevitable. In Nothing Is Impossible, the author of the bestselling autobiography Still Me shows that we are all capable of overcoming seemingly insurmountable hardships. He interweaves anecdotes from his own life with excerpts from speeches and interviews he's given. Reeve teaches us that for able-bodied people, paralysis is a choice -- a choice to live with self-doubt and a fear of taking risks -- and that is not an acceptable one. Reeve knows from experience that the work of conquering inner space is hard and that it requires some suffering -- after all, nothing worth having is easy to get. He asks challenging questions about why it seems so difficult -- if not impossible -- for us to work together as a society. He steers the listener gently, offering his reflections and guidance but not the pat answers that often characterize inspirational works. Published on the eve of both his fiftieth birthday and the seventh anniversary of his spinal cord injury, Christopher Reeve's Nothing Is Impossible reminds us that life is not to be taken for granted but to be lived fully with zeal, curiosity, and gratitude. That is a powerful message in itself, but it is the messenger who gives it its full resonance.

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    Nothing Is Impossible

    3.7 hrs • 9/1/02 • Unabridged
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