“Encyclopedia of American Disability History”


This is a photograph of a young man sitting in front of a library stack of books while typing on his laptop.
Young man at a library

There are some books and/or resources that belong in every public library. We plan on using the “library advocacy” feature to identify some of them. We hope you will check to see if your public and/or school library have the resources we identify and, if not, take steps to make sure your library gets a copy. You could encourage the head librarian to purchase books or consider having a fund raiser to purchase books for the purpose of donating them to the library. Either way, it is great to get involved and make sure your community has access to important books related to disability history.

Recommendation: “Encyclopedia of American Disability History”

“Encyclopedia of American Disability History” is a magnificent addition to the written history of disability and the disability rights movement. Published in August of 2009, it is the first encyclopedia covering this topic. It was edited by Susan Burch, Ph. D. with a forward by the noted historian Paul K. Longmore, Ph.D.

350 scholars and experts wrote over 750 articles “examining the issues, events, people, activism, laws, personal experiences, and social ramifications of disability throughout American history.”

It includes a chronology and comprehensive bibliography. The 1264 pages come in a three volume set. The recommended reading level is 9th grade and up. The publisher is Facts on File, Inc.

M.G. Stroh is the Executive Director of DisAbility Rights Washington and Editor of DisAbility Rights Galaxy. He has been a disability rights advocate for thirty plus years. Prior to moving to Washington state in January of 1990, he worked for the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service and Arc Of Michigan for thirteen years. He was born and raised in Indiana.