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South African Library for the Blind Book Reviews for November

Title: Hit by an iceberg: coping with disability mid-career

Author: Janet Freedman

Format: Available in braille

Review: More people suffer a disability before age 65 than die before age 65. This book shows how to manage a mid-career disabling experience – whether its your own or that of a relative, friend, client or colleague – from a personal financial and legal standpoint. The book guides you through government and private insurance and rehabilitation programmes, housing and living assist More people suffer a disability before age 65 than die before age 65. This book shows how to manage a mid-career disabling experience – whether it’s your own or that of a relative, friend, client or colleague – from a personal financial and legal standpoint. The book guides you through government and private insurance and rehabilitation programmes, housing and living assistance, and legal and money management considerations for the disabled working person.

 

Title: Able-bodied: scenes from a curious life

Author: Leslie Swartz

Format: Available in both Audio and braille

Review: A large Wagnerian grandmother. A great-aunt known as ‘the Buchenwald chicken’. Shame and misery on the sports field. A club-footed father who disappeared to the golf course every weekend. How do these experiences lead to a career in psychology? Able-Bodied is a unique account of how being the son of a disabled man and the product of an eccentric family brought Leslie Swartz to a professional life working with disability issues. At the heart of this tale is a moving account of a complex, troubled, but loving father-son relationship, a relationship that spurred a lifetime of trying to understand and come to grips with what different bodies and different abilities mean for us all. With wit, compassion, frankness and irreverence, Swartz considers the challenges faced by families, academics, institutions and everyone trying to make a positive difference to society. Poignant and often hilarious, Able-Bodied is a tale of conflict, achievement, pain and triumph. It is a fascinating blend of personal narrative, anecdote and reflection on society, medicine and ethics.

 

Title: Limitless: devotions for a ridiculously good life

Author: Nick Vukicic

Format: Audio

Review: this book is from a best-selling author, evangelist and motivational speaker born without arms or legs. This is a step by step inspirational devotions guide with quotations from the bible to help you face your challenges either be it confidence, faith, relationships, anger, health etc. the author provides positive attitude that will help you as a reader change your life.

 

Title: The education of Laura Bridgman: first deaf and blind person to learn language.

Author: Ernest Freeberg

Format: Available in braille

Review: In the mid-nineteenth century, Laura Bridgman, a young child from New Hampshire, became one of the most famous women in the world. Philosophers, theologians, and educators hailed her as a miracle, and a vast public followed the intimate details of her life with rapt attention. This girl, all but forgotten today, was the first deaf and blind person ever to learn language.

Laura’s dark and silent life was transformed when she became the star pupil of the educational crusader Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. Against the backdrop of an antebellum Boston seething with debates about human nature, programs of moral and educational reform, and battles between conservative and liberal Christians, Freeberg tells this extraordinary tale of mentor and student, scientist and experiment.

Under Howe’s constant tutelage, Laura voraciously absorbed the world around her, learning to communicate through finger language, as well as to write with confidence. Her remarkable breakthroughs vindicated Howe’s faith in the power of education to overcome the most terrible of disabilities. In Howe’s hands, Laura’s education became an experiment that he hoped would prove his own controversial ideas about the body, mind, and soul.

Poignant and hopeful, The Education of Laura Bridgman is both a success story of how a sightless and soundless girl gained contact with an ever-widening world, and also a cautionary tale about the way moral crusades and scientific progress can compromise each other. Anticipating the life of Helen Keller a half-century later, Laura’s is a pioneering story of the journey from isolation to accomplishment, as well as a window onto what it means to be human under the most trying conditions.

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