Disability Allyship Resources

General Disabilities

Video Short

  • Taking Charge: Stories of Success and Self-determination

University of Washington focuses on defining success, setting goals, understanding abilities/disabilities and how to play to strengths, etc.

http://www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures/Technology/charge.html brochure

http://www.washington.edu/doit/Video/index.php?vid=26 video brochure was based off of

Recommended Readings

Reading Level:  AC (Adult read to children; For Pre-K to Grade 3, ranging from 10 to 30 pages, with illustrations; typically designed for parents to read to their children.)

Reading Level:  JE (Juvenile Easy Reader; For children who are beginning to read on their own, such as those in Grades 1-2; ranging from 30 to 80 pages; illustrations are included to break up the text.)

Reading Level:  JF (Juvenile Fiction; Children's fiction or chapter books; for children in Grades 2-6; ranging from 60 to 200 pages, the books are generally divided into chapters, contain fewer illustrations, and have more complicated plots or concepts than either AC or JE books.)

Reading Level:  YA (Young adult; For young adults in Grades 5-12; more complicated plots and topics of general interest to the young adult population.)

Reading Level:  A (Adult; Contains language and/or content that may be unsuitable for young adults.)

Reading Level:  AC

  • What It's Like to Be Me by Helen Exley

Reading Level:  JE

  • I'm Like You, You're Like Me: A Child's Book about Understanding and Celebrating Each Other by Cindy Gainer
  • There's a Blue Square on My Brother's School Bus by Sally Craymer
  • We Can Do It! by Laura Dwight

Reading Level:  JF

  • Rosie: A Visiting Dog's Story by Stephanie Calmenson

Reading Level:  YA

  • Are You Alone on Purpose? by Nancy Werlin
  • Extraordinary People with Disabilities by Deborah Kent and Kathryn A. Quinlan
  • Views from Our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs by Donald Meyer
  • Ability Magazine

13th magazine in the world, leading magazine to cover disability. Accessible information for people with disabilities, about people with disabilities. Features celebrities who have disabilities. Available at DRES in waiting area.

Acquired Brain Injury

Recommended Readings:

Reading Level:  AC

  • Elvin the Elephant Who Forgets by Heather Snyder

Reading Level:  JF

  • My Friend Ben by Wanda Gilberts Kachur

ADHD/ADD

Recommended Reading:

Reading Level:  AC

  • Eukee: The Jumpy Jumpy Elephant by Clifford L. Corman and Esther Trevino
  • Otto Learns About His Medicine: A Story About Medication for Hyperactive Children by Matthew Galvin

Reading Level:  JE

  • Shelley: The Hyperactive Turtle by Deborah M. Moss

Reading Level:  JF

  • Eagle Eyes: A Child's View of Attention Deficit Disorder by Jeanne Gehret, M.A.
  • First Star I See by Jaye Andras Caffrey
  • Zipper, the Kid with ADHD by Caroline Janover

Reading Level:  YA

  • Cory’s Stories  by Jeanne Kraus

Blind/Low Vision

Movies:

  • At First Sight-“A blind man has an operation to regain his sight at the urging of his girlfriend and must deal with the changes to his life.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0132512/
  • The Color of Paradise-“Mohammad, a boy at Tehran's institute for the blind, waits for his dad to pick him up for summer vacation. While waiting, he realizes a baby bird has fallen from its nest: he chases away a cat, finds the bird, climbs a tree, and puts it back. His father finally comes and takes him to their village where his sisters and granny await. The lad is a loving student of nature and longs for village life with his family, but his father is ashamed of him, wanting to farm the boy out to clear the way for marriage to a woman who knows nothing of this son. Over granny's objections, dad apprentices Mohammad far from home to a blind carpenter. Can anything bring father and son together?” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0191043/
  • Fanaa-“Set in Delhi and the Kashmir Valley, a blind woman falls in love with a rakish tour guide who hides a terrible secret…” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0439662/
  • Ray-“The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0350258/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
  • Scent of a Woman-“A prep school student needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105323/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Recommended Reading:

Reading Level:  AC

  • Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin and John Archambault

Reading Level:  JE

  • Luna and the Big Blur: A Story for Children Who Wear Glasses by Shirley Day
  • Naomi Knows It's Springtime by Virginia L. Kroll
  • See You Tomorrow, Charles by Miriam Cohen
  • The Night Search by Kate Chamberlin

Reading Level:  YA

  • Stevie Wonder by John Swenson

Cancer

Recommended Readings:

Reading Level:  JE

  • Kathy's Hats: A Story of Hope by Trudy Krisher

Reading Level:  YA

  • Waiting for Johnny Miracle by Alice Hendricks Bach

Movies:

  • Brian’s Song-“True story of Brian Piccolo, Bears football player diagnosed with cancer, showing the relationship between Piccolo and Gale Sayers, despite their racial differences and the fact they are competing for the same position” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289873/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2
  • The Doctor-“Jack McKee is a doctor with it all: he's successful, he's rich, and he has no problems.... until he is diagnosed with throat cancer. Now that he has seen medicine, hospitals, and doctors from a patient's perspective, he realises that there is more to being a doctor than surgery and prescriptions.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101746/
  • The Fault in Our Stars-“Two teenage cancer patients begin a life-affirming journey to visit a reclusive author in Amsterdam.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2582846/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
  • Love Story-“A boy and a girl from different backgrounds fall in love regardless of their upbringing - and then tragedy strikes.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066011/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
  • My Life-“"My Life" tells a story that sets your mind at work, wondering how you would feel and what you would do. The movie is about a man named Bob Jones who has received some good news and some bad news.” - http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/my-life-1993
  • Restless-“Gus Van Sant's "Restless" is an uncommonly touching romance about a young man and woman who essentially worship at the shrines of their own deaths. The girl with infinite tact and sweetness is able to coax the boy back into the world of the living, even though we learn cancer will allow her only three more months of life.” - http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/restless-2011
  • Third Star-“James and his three closest lifelong friends go on an ill-advised trip to the stunning coastal area of Barafundle Bay in West Wales. What follows is a touching and comical adventure dealing with friendship, heroism and love.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1510906/
  • 50/50-“Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1306980/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

TV Shows:

  • Red Band Society: TV Show- FOX-TV show about teens living in a hospital because of their various illnesses, which includes cancer, but also discusses heart problems, anorexia, and comas. (More of a Hollywood point of view)
  • Chasing Life: TV Show - ABC Family-24 year old female journalist diagnosed with leukemia (in pilot episode) won’t let cancer ruin her life. (More of a Hollywood point of view of disability)http://abcfamily.go.com/shows/chasing-life/episode-guide/season-01/01-pilot

Cerebral Palsy

Recommended Readings:

Reading Level:  AC

  • Danny and the Merry-Go-Round by Nan Holcomb

Reading Level:  JE

  • Andy Opens Wide by Nan Holcomb
  • A Smile from Andy by Nan Holcomb
  • Can't You Be Still? by Sarah Yates
  • Patrick and Ima Lou by Nan Holcomb

Reading Level:  JF

  • Adam and the Magic Marble by Adam and Carol Buehrens
  • Here's What I Mean To Say... by Sarah Yates
  • Howie Helps Himself by Joan Fassler
  • I'm Joshua and "Yes I Can" by Joan Lenett Whinston
  • Sara's Secret by Suzanne Wanous

Reading Level:  YA

  • Don't Stop the Music by Robert Perske
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Reading Level:  A

  • Under the Eye of the Clock: The Life Story of Christopher Nolan by Christopher Nolan

Movies:

  • Including Samuel-Inclusion starts out young; don’t fix the disability, fix the system;  Shot and produced over four years, Habib’s award-winning documentary film, Including Samuel, chronicles the Habib family’s efforts to include Samuel in every facet of their lives. The film honestly portrays his family’s hopes and struggles as well as the experiences of four other individuals with disabilities and their families. Including Samuel is a highly personal, passionately photographed film that captures the cultural and systemic barriers to inclusion.
  • Door to Door-“A man with cerebral palsy is determined to become a salesman.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274468/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
  • My Left Foot-“Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097937/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Cystic Fibrosis

Movies:

  • 65 Red Roses-Cystic fibrosis documentary on Netflix; extremely awesome documentary following a girl who is waiting for a double lung transplant; shows that using the internet has helped CF patients who can’t necessarily interact with people, but there are still support systems out there

Recommended Reading:

Reading Level: JE

  • Anna Joins In by Katrina Arnold

DEAF/HARD OF HEARING

Documentaries

  • Sound and Fury-This documentary ontroversy of cochlear implant shown within a single extended family one family wants the implant, the other doesn’t because of the pressure being brought in by the deaf culture the six year old daughter is asking for the implant while her parents are unsurehttp://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/60003753?sod=search-autocomplete

Ted Talks

  • Heather Artinian from Sound and Fury-This movie focuses on the “Heather world” because she doesn’t want to just be a part of the deaf culture or the hearing culture, but both summarizes what happened after the Sound and Fury documentaries http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhm5OaXJVMQ

TV Shows

  • Switched at Birth-Two girls who were “switched at birth”; one is hard of hearing, one is not discusses cochlear implant in first episode; father who raised hearing child wants other child (his real one) to get the implant while the mother who raised the daughter who was deaf  was against the implant more of a Hollywood point of view of disability but still a resource

Movies

  • Sound and Fury: Six Years Later-This movie discusses heather and family getting cochlear implants / how it affected them Heather now attends a hearing/mainstream school and plays sports
  • Beyond Silence-A clarinetist (Sylvie Testud) leaves her deaf parents and small German village for the first time to study music in Berlin.
  • Children of a Lesser God-Starting his new job as an instructor at a New England school for the deaf, James Leeds (William Hurt) meets Sarah Norman (Marlee Matlin), a young deaf woman who works at the school as a member of the custodial staff. A romance slowly develops between the pair in spite of Sarah's withdrawn emotional state due in part to her difficult relationship with her mother (Piper Laurie). Matlin, who is deaf in real life, won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this, her first film role
  • Johnny Belinda-In this acclaimed drama, Belinda McDonald (Jane Wyman), a young deaf-mute woman living off the coast of Canada on Cape Breton Island, becomes close to the new local doctor, Robert Richardson (Lew Ayres). When Belinda is raped by a customer at her family's farm and becomes pregnant, many suspect Dr. Richardson. Seeking to start over in a new location with Belinda, he leaves town to find a new home, but more conflicts ensue, further jeopardizing their happiness.
  •  Black-Paul (Dhritiman Chaterji) and Catherine McNally (Shernaz Patel) give birth to their first daughter, Michelle (Rani Mukherji), who can neither hear nor see. Not knowing how to care for a deaf and blind child, they isolate their daughter from the outside world and as a result, she is ill-behaved and emotionally distraught. Paul even considers putting Michelle in a mental hospital until an eccentric teacher with a questionable past (Amitabh Bachchan) offers to help
  •  The Miracle Worker-Blind and deaf after suffering a terrible fever as a baby, young Helen Keller (Patty Duke) has spent years unable to communicate, leaving her frustrated and occasionally violent. As a last chance before she is institutionalized, her parents (Inga Swenson, Andrew Prine) contact a school for the blind, which sends half-blind Annie Sullivan (Anne Bancroft) to teach Helen. Helen is initially resistant, but Annie gradually forms a bond with her and shows Helen ways of reaching others.

Recommended Readings

Reading Level:  AC

  • A Very Special Friend by Dorothy Hoffman Levi
  • A Very Special Sister by Dorothy Hoffman Levi
  • Silent Observer by Christy MacKinnon
  • Thomas Alva Edison: Great Inventor by David A. Adler
  • A Picture Book of Helen Keller by David A. Adler

Reading Level:  JE

  • When I Grow Up by Candri Hodges

Reading Level:  JF

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Musical Pioneer by Carol Greene
  • The Flying Fingers Club by Jean F. Andrews

Reading Level:  YA

  • Annie's World by Nancy Smiler Levinson
  • A Thousand Lights by Hope Benton
  • Tell Me How the Wind Sounds by Leslie D. Guccione

Reading Level:  A

  •  The Silent’s by Charlotte Abrams

Down Syndrome

Movies

  • Girlfriend-A young man with Down syndrome romances a single mother who is mixed up with a violent ex.
  • Yo, Tambien-A recent university graduate with Down syndrome falls in love -- on his first day at work -- with Laura, a woman who spends her nights in the city's crowded clubs and singles bars. The two begin a bittersweet friendship that puts them both on the road to happiness.
  • I am Sam-A compelling story of Sam Dawson (Sean Penn), a mentally-challenged father raising his daughter Lucy (Dakota Fanning) with the help of a unique group of friends. As Lucy turns seven and begins to intellectually surpass her father, their close bond is threatened when their unconventional living arrangement comes to the attention of a social worker who wants Lucy placed in foster care
  • Radio-In a racially divided town, coach Jones (Ed Harris) spots a mentally disabled African-American student named Radio (Cuba Gooding Jr.) near his practice field and is inspired to befriend him. Soon, Radio is Jones' loyal assistant, and principal Daniels (Alfre Woodard) happily notes that Radio's self-confidence is skyrocketing. But things start to sour when Jones begins taking guff from fans who feel that his devotion to Radio is getting in the way of the team's quest for a championship
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape-Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) is a small-town young man with a lot of responsibility. Chief among his concerns are his mother (Darlene Cates), who is so overweight that she can't leave the house, and his mentally impaired younger brother, Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio), who has a knack for finding trouble. Settled into a job at a grocery store and an ongoing affair with local woman Betty Carver (Mary Steenburgen), Gilbert finally has his life shaken up by the free-spirited Becky (Juliette Lewis)

Recommended Readings

Reading Level:  AC

  • Be Good to Eddie Lee  by Virginia FilIing
  • Big Brother Dustin by Alden R. Carter
  • Russ and the Apple Tree Surprise by Janet Elizabeth Rickert
  • Russ and the Fire House by Janet Elizabeth Rickert

Reading Level:  JE

  • Buddy's Shadow by Shirley Becker
  • Charlsie's Chuckle by Clara Widess Berkus
  • Cookie by Linda Kneeland
  • How About a Hug by Nan Holcomb
  • Thumbs Up, Rico! by Maria Testa
  • We'll Paint the Octopus Red by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
  • Where's Chimpy? by Berniece Rabe

Reading Level:  JF

  • My Sister Annie by Bill Dodds

Reading Level:  YA

  • Bus Girl by Gretchen Josephson
  • Idea Man by Karen Melberg Schwier

Learning Disabilities

Websites:

Movies:

  • Dominick and Eugune: - “Dominick and Eugene are twins, but Dominick is a little bit slow due do an accident in his youth. They live together, with Dominick working as garbage man to put Eugene through medical school. Their relationship becomes strained when Eugene must decide between his devotion to his brother, or his need to go away to complete his training. Things are also not helped by Dominick's co-worker, or Eugene's budding romance.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095050/
  • The Mighty:-“This tells the story of a strong friendship between a young boy with Morquio's syndrome and an older boy who is always bullied because of his size. Adapted from the novel, Freak the Mighty, the film explores a building of trust and friendship. Kevin, an intelligent guy helps out Maxwell to improve his reading skills. In return, Kevin wants Maxwell to take him out places since he is not allowed out unauthorized. Being the social outcasts of the town, Kevin and Maxwell come to realize that they are similar to each other and accept that they are "freaks" and nothing will stop them.” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119670/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
  • The Other Sister:-A girl with an intellectual disability proves herself to be every bit as capable as her "perfect" sister when she moves into an apartment and begins going to college. - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0123209/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
  • I Can’t Do This But I Can Do That: (HBO Documentary)-Four children with learning differences speaking about how they felt before and how they feel now that they are more confident about their disability thanks to adaptive technology/people knowing that they have a disability.Reviews: http://store.hbo.com/i-cant-do-this-but-i-can-do-that-a-film-for-families-about-learning-differences-dvd/detail.php?p=292430#tabs, http://www.amazon.com/Cant-This-But-Can-That/dp/B004M5HJQC

Recommended Reading:

Reading Level:  AC

  • Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus
  • What Do You Mean I Have a Learning Disability? by Kathleen M. Dwyer

Reading Level:  JF

  • A Gebra Named Al by Wendy Isdell
  • How Dyslexic Benny Became a Star: A Story of Hope for Dyslexic Children and Their Parents by Joe Griffith
  • How Many Days Until Tomorrow? By Caroline Janover
  • Josh: A Boy with Dyslexia by Caroline Janover
  • Learning Disabilities and the Don't Give Up Kid by Jeanne Gehret
  • My Name Is Brain Brian by Jeanne Betancourt
  • The Best Fight by Anne Schlieper
  • Trouble with School: A Family Story About Learning Disabilities by Kathryn Boesel Dunn and Allison Boesel Dunn
  • Wrongway Applebaum by Marjorie Lewis

Reading Level:  YA

  • Dyslexia My Life: One Man's Story of His Life with a Learning Disability by Girard J. Sagmiller
  • Emily in Love by Susan Goldman Rubin
  • Probably Still Nick Swansen by Virginia Euwer Wolff
  • Reach for the Moon by Samantha Abeel
  • The Worst Speller in Jr. High by Caroline Janover
  • Turning Around the Upside-Down Kids: Helping Dyslexic Kids Overcome Their Disorder by Harold Levinson and Addie Meyer Sanders

Reading Level:  A

  • The Doctor He Begged to Be by A. McDonald Vaz

Mobility/Physical

Ted Talks

  • Aimee Mullins: The Opportunity of Adversity-An athlete, actress, model and world record-breaker in Paralympic Games in 1996 was the first double amputee to compete in Division 1 Track and Field gives a talk about her experiences. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTwXeZ4GkzI

TV Shows

  •  Friday Night Lights-High school senior with spinal cord injury in first episode. Chronicles the injury, the rehabilitation and recovery, adapted sport teams, the sexual encounters/questions that come along with paralyzing injury.
  • Push Girls-Focuses on four friends who use wheelchairs and how they live in LA.

Movies

  • Born on the Fourth of July-In the mid 1960s, suburban New York teenager Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) enlists in the Marines, fulfilling what he sees as his patriotic duty. During his second tour in Vietnam, he accidentally kills a fellow soldier during a retreat and later becomes permanently paralyzed in battle. Returning home to an uncaring Veterans Administration bureaucracy and to people on both sides of the political divide who don't understand what he went through, Kovic becomes an impassioned critic of the war.
  • Coming Home-The wife of a Marine serving in Vietnam, Sally Hyde (Jane Fonda) decides to volunteer at a local veterans hospital to occupy her time. There she meets Luke Martin (Jon Voight), a frustrated wheelchair-bound vet who has become disillusioned with the war. Sally and Luke develop a friendship that soon turns into a romance, but when her husband, Bob (Bruce Dern), returns unexpectedly, she must decide between staying with him and pursuing her new love.
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly-Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric), editor-in-chief of French fashion bible Elle magazine, has a devastating stroke at age 43. The damage to his brain stem results in locked-in syndrome, with which he is almost completely paralyzed and only able to communicate by blinking an eye. Bauby painstakingly dictates his memoir via the only means of expression left to him
  • Door to Door-Bill Porter (William H. Macy), a man with cerebral palsy, is desperate to find a job despite his condition. He uses his sense of humor, determination and winning spirit to convince a manager to hire him as a door-to-door salesman for Watkins, a supplier of household items and baking products. Porter walks several miles every day on his sales route, eventually working his way into the hearts of his customers. This film is based on a true story
  • The Elephant Man-Dr. Frederic Treves (Anthony Hopkins) discovers Joseph (John) Merrick (John Hurt) in a sideshow. Born with a congenital disorder, Merrick uses his disfigurement to earn a living as the "Elephant Man." Treves brings Merrick into his home, discovering that his rough exterior hides a refined soul, and that Merrick can teach the stodgy British upper class of the time a lesson about dignity. Merrick becomes the toast of London and charms a caring actress (Anne Bancroft) before his death at 27
  • The Intouchables-An unlikely friendship develops between a wealthy quadriplegic (François Cluzet) and his caretaker (Omar Sy), just released from prison
  • Langer Gang-In a rehabilitation center in Germany, a group of people suffering from various disabilities explore relationships with one another. Nesrin (Nina Kunzendorf) is a paraplegic, who uses a wheelchair at all times. Didi (Dieter Resch) suffers from dwarfism and atrophy of his arms, but is still able to play the drums and paint with his feet. Didi romances Nesrin, who struggles with her family's traditional values. Didi's carefree ways soon threaten to get him in trouble
  • The Men-When Ken (Marlon Brando) is shot in battle, he loses the use of both his legs. In the hospital, he spends his time mired in self-pity, making little effort to respond to treatment. After much encouragement from his devoted fiancée, Ellen (Teresa Wright), he finally consents to let kindly Dr. Brock (Everett Sloane) help him and is determined to be able to stand up on his wedding day. However, he and Ellen begin to question whether they're truly ready to accept the burden of his disability.
  • Michael J. Fox Show-When Mike Henry gets a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, he decides to put his news-anchor career on hold to focus on his health and family. After five years at home, Mike is growing restless. His family concocts a strategy with his former boss, Harris Green, to get him working again: They'll arrange for Mike to "run into" Green and come up with the plan, himself, to return to work! With Mike back to juggling his work and home lives, things return to the way they were prediagnosis -- but somehow better
  • Music Within-After a confrontation with one of his idols dashes his dreams of studying public speaking in college, Richard Pimentel (Ron Livingston) joins the Army and ships off to Vietnam. During his service, Richard loses nearly all of his hearing. Joining a new circle of friends, including a man with cerebral palsy and an alcoholic war veteran, Richard discovers his gift for motivational speaking and becomes an advocate for people with disabilities
  • Musical Chairs-A handyman (E.J. Bonilla) helps a former dancer (Leah Pipes) prepare for a wheelchair ballroom-dancing competition
  • Passion Fish-After soap opera actress May-Alice Culhane (Mary McDonnell) has a car accident, she is paralyzed and forced into a wheelchair. She retreats to her family's vacant home in Louisiana and indulges in alcohol and self-pity. When nursing aides come to help, May-Alice unleashes her anger, prompting each to quit. Chantelle (Alfre Woodard), a nurse who desperately needs the job, arrives determined to change May-Alice's outlook. As the two women become friends, they help each other cope with challenges
  • Pumpkin-Carolyn's (Christina Ricci) sorority sisters set their sights on the Sorority of the Year award and coaching challenged athletes is their ticket to the trophy. But when the queen of formals finds herself mentoring Pumpkin (Hank Harris), a disabled athlete, their two worlds collide.
  • Quid Pro Quo-A paraplegic (Nick Stahl) meets a mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) who wants to be confined to a wheelchair.
  • Rory O’Shea Was Here-In a Dublin home for the disabled, Michael Connolly (Steven Robertson) leads a glum, introverted existence; his cerebral palsy makes it difficult for anyone to understand his speech. But everything changes when Rory O'Shea (James McAvoy) enters his life. Although muscular dystrophy limits Rory to a wheelchair, he has the wild, carefree attitude that Michael lacks. Together, they make an unstoppable team -- eventually landing their own apartment and a beautiful assistant (Romola Garai).
  • Rust and Bone-Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), a former boxer and single father, meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) when he saves her from a brawl at the nightclub where he works as a bouncer. Their casual acquaintance develops into something much more after Stephanie, who trains killer whales at a marine park, suffers a horrible accident and loses both her legs above the knee. As Stephanie draws on Ali's physical strength, an unexpected courtship slowly comes to life.
  • The Best Years of Our Lives-Fred, Al and Homer are three World War II veterans facing difficulties as they re-enter civilian life. Fred (Dana Andrews) is a war hero who, unable to compete with more highly skilled workers, has to return to his low-wage soda jerk job. Bank executive Al (Fredric March) gets into trouble for offering favorable loans to veterans. After losing both hands in the war, Homer (Harold Russell) returns to his loving fiancée, but must struggle to adjust.
  • The Waterdance-Injured in a climbing accident, writer Joel Garcia (Eric Stoltz) wakes up in a hospital having lost the use of his legs. Soon after, he's placed in a recovery ward where he begins the arduous process of rehabilitation and meets others with injuries like his own. Raymond (Wesley Snipes) is a ladies' man whose girl has nevertheless split, and Bloss (William Forsythe) is a rather prejudiced biker. Together, this unlikely trio helps one another to overcome the greatest challenge of their lives.
  • Who are the DeBolts?-The story of Dorothy and Bob DeBolt's struggle to adopt and care for 19 children, with several of them being physically disabled war orphans
  • Whole-Filmmaker Melody Gilbert documents people who feel the need to remove a limb from their bodies

Recommended Readings

Reading Level:  AC

  • Danny and the Merry-Go-Round by Nan Holcomb
  • Keith Edward's Different Days by Karen Melberg Schwier
  • My Mom Is Handicapped: A "Grownup" Children's Book by Barbara Turner Brabham

Reading Level:  JE

  • Andy Finds a Turtle by Nan Holcomb
  • Andy Opens Wide by Nan Holcomb
  • A Smile from Andy by Nan Holcomb
  • Can't You Be Still? by Sarah Yates
  • Fair and Square by Nan Holcomb
  • Patrick and Ima Lou by Nan Holcomb

Reading Level:  JF

  • Adam and the Magic Marble by Adam and Carol Buehrens
  • Arlene On the Scene by Carol Liu and Marybeth Sidoti Caldarone
  • Here's What I Mean To Say... by Sarah Yates
  • Hi, I'm Adam. A Child's Story of Tourette Syndrome by Adam Buehrens
  • Howie Helps Himself by Joan Fassler
  • I'm Joshua and "Yes I Can" by Joan Lenett Whinston
  • Margaret's Moves by Bernice Rabe
  • Sara's Secret by Suzanne Wanous

Reading Level:  YA

  • Best Friends by Hope Benton
  • Don't Stop the Music by Robert Perske
  • Down the Aisle by Hope Benton
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: Gallant President by Barbara Feinberg
  • Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time by Ray Robinson
  • The Nautilus by Wanda Gilberts Kachur
  • Whoa, Nellie! by Hope Benton

Reading Level:  A

  • The Me in the Mirror by Connie Panzarino

Psychological

Movies

  • Adam-Adam Raki (Hugh Dancy), an electronics engineer, has an autism disorder called Asperger syndrome. When a young woman named Beth (Rose Byrne) moves into his apartment building, he is quite taken with her. She does not quite know how to react to Adam's unconventional overtures but decides to give him a chance nonetheless. But Beth's parents are apprehensive about her new romance, which could end the young lovers' relationship before it has a chance.
  • As Good As it Gets-Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is an obsessive-compulsive writer of romantic fiction who's rude to everyone he meets, including his gay neighbor Simon (Greg Kinnear), but when he has to look after Simon's dog, he begins to soften and, if still not completely over his problems, finds he can conduct a relationship with the only waitress (Helen Hunt) at the local diner who'll serve him
  • Autism: The Musical-Originating in Los Angeles, "Autism: The Musical" is a 2007 documentary that follows the lives of five autistic children who write and perform their own musical. The film also follows the parents of the five, and reveals the intense personal struggles and challenges of raising children with autism. The parents in the film include well known figures like Rosanne Katon-Walden, a former Playboy model, and musician Steven Stills of the band Crosby, Stills and Nash.
  • A Beautiful Mind-A human drama inspired by events in the life of John Forbes Nash Jr., and in part based on the biography "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Nasar. From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery.
  • Benny & Joon-Benny (Aidan Quinn), who cares for his mentally disturbed sister, Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson), also welcomes the eccentric Sam (Johnny Depp) into his home at Joon's request. Sam entertains Joon while he dreams of a job at the video store. Once Benny realizes Joon and Sam have started a relationship, he kicks Sam out of the house. This leads to an altercation between brother and sister. Joon runs away with Sam, who soon realizes that she may need more support than he alone can provide
  • Best Boy/Best Man-Director Ira Wohl documents three years in the life of her cheerful, mentally handicapped 52-year-old cousin, Philly Wohl, whose elderly parents have recently started to prepare him for the day when they can no longer be his caretakers. Ira follows Philly as he travels from his apartment in Queens into Manhattan, where he takes classes to learn to care for himself. Slowly, Philly begins to learn the ways of the world and becomes more self-reliant and independent.
  • Blue Sky-In the late 1950s, the U.S. Army assigns nuclear engineer Hank Marshall (Tommy Lee Jones) to an isolated weapons testing facility in Alabama. Hank causes waves with his superior officers due to his stance against the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. Marshall's wife, Carly (Jessica Lange), further aggravates the situation because of her emotional instability and flirtatious nature. The move to Alabama sends her into the arms of base commander Vince Johnson (Powers Boothe)
  • Canvas-In a small coastal town, contractor John Marino (Joe Pantoliano) struggles to understand his wife, Mary (Marcia Gay Harden), when she starts behaving strangely. After a doctor's visit, they discover she has schizophrenia. Nothing the doctors do helps, however, so John must live with his wife's incurable mental illness, while also helping their confused child Chris (Devon Gearhart) make sense of it. But as Mary's mental state declines, John finds an unexpected source of comfort in his son
  • David's Mother-A woman (Kirstie Alley) estranged from her husband and family insists on caring for her autistic son alone.
  • Digging to China-Precocious young Harriet (Evan Rachel Wood) lives with her much older sister, Gwen (Mary Stuart Masterson), at a New Hampshire motel owned by their mother (Cathy Moriarty), and dreams of a life beyond her neglectful family and stultifying town. When Ricky (Kevin Bacon), a mentally disabled man, stays at the motel, Harriet finds him to be kinder and more interesting than anyone she has ever known before. After tragedy strikes, Harriet and Ricky cling to each other ever more tightly.
  • Girl, Interrupted-Set in the changing world of the late 1960s, "Girl, Interrupted" is the searing true story of Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder), a young woman who finds herself at a renowned mental institution for troubled young women, where she must choose between the world of people who belong on the inside -- like the seductive and dangerous Lisa (Angelina Jolie) -- or the often difficult world of reality on the outside
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story-Stressed by adolescence, 16-year-old Craig Gilner (Keir Gilchrist) checks himself into a mental-health clinic. Unfortunately, the youth wing is closed, so he must spend his mandated five-day stay with adults. One of them, Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), quickly becomes his mentor -- and protege, while Craig finds himself drawn to a fellow teen, Noelle (Emma Roberts), who just may be the cure he needs to forget an unrequited crush
  • The Loretta Claiborne Story-Gutsy Loretta Clairborne (Kimberly Elise), born with mental and physical disabilities, realizes at an early age that she's a talented athlete. Always able to stick up for herself, Loretta is thrown out of school after a fight, but, urged on by her mother (Tina Lifford) and a devoted social worker (Camryn Manheim), she runs in Special Olympics meets and the Boston Marathon. Loretta's resolve is tested again when her mother becomes seriously ill and her own health requires attention.
  • Mary and Max-A lonely Australian girl (Toni Collette) and an elderly Jewish man (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in New York develop an unlikely friendship through letters.
  • Mozart and the Whale-New York taxi driver Donald Morton (Josh Hartnett) has Asperger's syndrome, a type of autism. Proficient with numbers but shy around people, Donald organizes a support group for others with with his condition. Isabelle Sorenson (Radha Mitchell), who is direct to a fault and practical, but easily upset by any perceived insult, joins the group. The two fall in love, but their mutual difficulty in coping with their condition threatens their fragile relationship
  • My Name is Khan-A mildly autistic man (Shah Rukh Khan) travels across the U.S. to meet President Obama.
  • Ordinary People-Tormented by guilt following the death of his older brother, Buck, in a sailing accident, alienated teenager Conrad Jarrett (Timothy Hutton) attempts suicide. Returning home following an extended stay in a psychiatric hospital, Conrad tries to deal with his mental anguish and also reconnect with his mother, Beth (Mary Tyler Moore), who has grown cold and angry, and his emotionally wounded father, Calvin (Donald Sutherland), with the help of his psychiatrist, Dr. Berger (Judd Hirsch)
  • Rain Man-When car dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) learns that his estranged father has died, he returns home to Cincinnati, where he discovers that he has an autistic older brother named Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) and that his father's $3 million fortune is being left to the mental institution in which Raymond lives. Motivated by his father's money, Charlie checks Raymond out of the facility in order to return with him to Los Angeles. The brothers' cross-country trip ends up changing both their lives.
  • Shine-As a child piano prodigy, David Helfgott's (Geoffrey Rush) musical ambitions generate friction with his overbearing father, Peter (Armin Mueller-Stahl). When Helfgott travels to London on a musical scholarship, his career as a pianist blossoms. However, the pressures of his newfound fame, coupled with the echoes of his tumultuous childhood, conspire to bring Helfgott's latent schizophrenia boiling to the surface, and he spends years in and out of various mental institutions.
  • The Soloist-Los Angeles columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) has reached an impasse in his life. His marriage is on the rocks, and he's disillusioned with his job. Then, while wandering through L.A.'s Skid Row, he spots a homeless man (Jamie Foxx) playing a two-stringed violin with a virtuoso's skill. Lopez initially thinks of the man, named Nathaniel Ayers, as just a story idea. But as he begins to unravel the mystery of Ayers' strange fate, Lopez realizes that a change is happening within himself.
  • Snow Cake-Traveling through Canada, ex-con Alex Hughes (Alan Rickman) picks up a vivacious young hitchhiker, Vivienne (Emily Hampshire), who needs a ride to her hometown. Soon afterward, the pair are involved in a horrible car accident that kills Vivienne. Alex continues on to her home to tell Vivienne's mother (Sigourney Weaver) about her fate. Later he begins an affair with a neighbor (Carrie-Anne Moss) who paves the way for his healing.
  • The Three Faces of Eve-Suffering from headaches and inexplicable blackouts, timid housewife Eve White (Joanne Woodward) begins seeing a psychiatrist, Dr. Luther (Lee J. Cobb). He's stunned when she transforms before his eyes into the lascivious Eve Black, and diagnoses her as having multiple personalities. It's not long before a third, calling herself Jane, also appears. Through hypnosis and continued therapy, Luther struggles to help Eve recall the trauma that caused her identity to fracture.

Recommended Readings

Reading Level:  AC

  • Andy and His Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson
  • Having a Brother Like David by Cindy Dolby Nollette and Others
  • Ian's Walk: A Story About Autism by Laurie Lears
  • My Brother, Matthew by Mary Thompson
  • Russell Is Extra Special: A Book About Autism for Children by Charles A. Amenta III, M.D.
  • Talking to Angels by Esther Watson
  • Daddy’s Home by Carolina Nadel

Reading Level:  JE

  • Joey and Sam by Illana Katz and Edward Ritvo
  • My Sister Is Different by Betty Ren Wright

Reading Level:  JF

  • At the Back of the Woods by Claudia Mills

Reading Level:  YA

  • Emily Good as Gold by Susan Goldman Rubin
  • Retarded Isn't Stupid Mom! by Sandra Z. Kaufman
  • Wish on a Unicorn by Karen Hesse

Reading Level:  A

  • Tears of a Warrior by Janet J. Seahorn, E. Anthony Seahorn
  • Title: Blood Letting: A Memoir of Secrets, Self-Harm, and Survival by Victoria Leatham 

Speech

Movies

  • The King’s Speech-England's Prince Albert (Colin Firth) must ascend the throne as King George VI, but he has a speech impediment. Knowing that the country needs her husband to be able to communicate effectively, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) hires Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian actor and speech therapist, to help him overcome his stammer. An extraordinary friendship develops between the two men, as Logue uses unconventional means to teach the monarch how to speak with confidence.
  • The Piano-After a long voyage from Scotland, pianist Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter) and her young daughter, Flora (Anna Paquin), are left with all their belongings, including a piano, on a New Zealand beach. Ada, who has been mute since childhood, has been sold into marriage to a local man named Alisdair Stewart (Sam Neill). Making little attempt to warm up to Alisdair, Ada soon becomes intrigued by his Maori-friendly acquaintance, George Baines (Harvey Keitel), leading to tense, life-altering conflicts.

Recommended Readings

Reading Level:  AC

  • Armann and Gentle by Kristin Steinsdottir
  •  Cat's Got Your Tongue? by Charles E. Schaefer

Reading Level:  JE

  • Sarah's Surprise by Nan Holcomb
  • The Bob (Butterbean) Love Story by Terry Page and Bob Love

Reading Level:  JF

  • The Summer Kid by Myrna Neuringer Levy

Systemic/Medical Disabilities

Movies

  • Control-A profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23.
  • My Sister’s Keeper-Conceived as a marrow donor for her gravely ill sister, Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) has undergone countless surgeries and medical procedures in her short life. Though their older daughter's life has no doubt been prolonged, the unorthodox decision of Anna's parents has cracked the entire family's foundation. When Anna sues her parents for emancipation, it sets off a court case that threatens to destroy the family for good.
  • First Do No Harm-The true story of one woman's struggle against a narrow-minded medical establishment.
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl-An awkward high-school senior (Thomas Mann) and a gravely ill classmate (Olivia Cooke) surprise themselves by becoming inseparable friends.
  • The Mighty-Kevin Dillon (Kieran Culkin) suffers from a disorder known as Morquio's syndrome, which weakens his heart and stunts his growth. Maxwell Kane (Elden Henson) has dyslexia and towers above his classmates. The two couldn't be more different, but, when Kevin is asked to help Maxwell with his reading, they soon bond over their mutual social alienation and absent fathers. Following a run-in with local gang member Blade (Joe Perrino), the two become inseparable.

Recommended Readings

Reading Level:  AC

  • The Rabbit with Epilepsy by Deborah M. Moss
  • Luke Has Asthma, Too by Alison Rogers
  • There's a Little Bit of Me in Jamey by Diana M. Amadeo
  • You Can Call Me Willy: A Story for Children About AIDS by Joan C. Verniero

Reading Level:  JE

  • Anna Joins In by Katrina Arnold
  • Kathy's Hats: A Story of Hope by Trudy Krisher
  • Little Tree: A Story for Children with Serious Medical Problems by Joyce C. Mills
  • Sarah and Puffle: A Story for Children About Diabetes by Linnea Mulder
  • What About Me? When Brothers and Sisters Get Sick by Allan Peterkin

Reading Level:  JF

  • A Season of Secrets by Alison Cragin Herzig and Jane Lawrence Mali