The Schneider Family Book Awards honoring books that highlight the disability experience were announced this week along with the renowned Caldecott and Newbery awards for children’s literature by the American Library Association. The awards are given to authors and illustrators in three different categories “for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” This year’s winners included stories about an artist wounded while serving in World War I, a princess with a foot deformity who helps chase dragons and a courageous American pilot who is captured by Nazis and sent to a concentration camp.
Actors with disabilities are often passed over for lead roles, even when the character actually has a disability, according to this Code Switch blog from NPR.
Frustrated actors and other players in the industry complain this is a major Catch-22, keeping them out of jobs and, as a result, keeping an honest portrayal of people with disabilities from audiences. Take, for example, the new remake of “Ironside” which premiered this week on NBC. In both the 1960s version starring Raymond Burr and the modern version with Blair Underwood, the lead is a paraplegic detective. Also in both versions, neither Burr nor Underwood were/are disabled. Read more.
Elaine Hoogeboom takes a deep breath before she starts to talk about her art. She knows what she wants to say. But she has aphasia, a disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. It’s hard for her to remember words, put together sentences and understand what people have told her.
“Def” has been a part of hip-hop lexicon since the early 1980s, but for Sean Forbes, it means something different. The 28-year-old from suburban Detroit has been deaf since he was a baby but says that hasn’t stopped him from making music. He recently released a new single called “I’m Deaf,” and is busy recording more songs for an upcoming album. Forbes says music has always been part of his life.
In February 2003, architect Michael Graves came down with what he thought was a cold. After a long and frigid site visit to one of his projects, it got worse. A spinal infection was ravaging his body and left him paralyzed. He now uses a wheelchair.
An orange-haired woman wearing a laurel wreath and a Grecian tunic sits on a man’s knee at center stage, pretending to be his ventriloquist’s dummy as he performs a song. With perfect timing and expressions, she mimes to his words, flinging her arms and legs.