A Matter of Dignity: Changing the Lives of the Disabled

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Bantam Books, Jan 1, 2002 - Social Science - 305 pages
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Publisher Fact Sheet A MATTER OF DIGNITY is proof that actions are more powerful than words. Tens of millions of Americans have disabilities that affect their minds or bodies, & a revolution is taking place we all need to know about. It goes beyond our routine awareness of ramps, wheelchair lifts, & accessibility symbols on bathroom doors--it's a fundamental change in how we think about disability. It cuts to the heart of the old stereotypes of disability as damage, as a problem that needs to be fixed. It's a revolution about the disabled themselves, who want not to be "helped" but to have as a matter of right the same entitlements & opportunities as the ablebodied. Author Andrew Potok--himself blind--brings this revolution alive through portraits in action of the men & women who have helped bring it about. We see them train guide dogs, make computers speak, create astounding prostheses, bring awareness to minds frozen in dementia. We also meet those who have legislated revolutionary changes about disability itself, the teachers & lawyers who used the template of the civil rights movement to create new laws, culminating in the remarkable Americans With Disabilities Act. Riveting & revelatory, A MATTER OF DIGNITY is a salute to the passion to make a difference. These life stories inspire readers to wage the battles still to come.

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Contents

I
RIGHTS 45
BODIES 87
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About the author (2002)

Andrew Potok is a painter and writer whose two previous books are a memoir, "Ordinary Daylight", and a novel, "My Life with Goya". He lives in Vermont.

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