Spotlight on Disability Culture: No Pity

A copy of No Pity on a cluttered desk

Reading Joseph Shapiro’s 1993 book No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement in my early 20’s was an awakening. Though non-disabled himself, Shapiro dives deep into the lives and actions of people across the disability spectrum and highlights the work that they have done to shift the world’s thinking and actions towards people with disabilities. At the heart of the book is the idea that, “there is no pity or tragedy in disability, and that it is society’s myths, fears, and stereotypes that most make being disabled difficult.” For me, and many of my friends with disabilities reading this book was the first time that we saw our disabilities as part of our identities, even more so that our disabled identities were something to take pride in – that disability connects us to a movement and to each other.

If you would like to buy a copy of the book you can order it from Powell’s or Amazon, or check online at your local library.

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