A colored etching of hands showing the sign language alphabet

Deaf Colonists in Victorian-Era Canada

In 1884, educator Jane Groom defied naysayers to found a community for working-class Deaf people on prairies of Manitoba.
From the 1923 film, Love, Life and Laughter

How “Talkies” Disrupted Movies for Deaf People

The years of silent films are sometimes described as a "golden era" in the cultural history of the American Deaf community.
A woman with cerebral palsy using her phone

Navigating Dating Apps While Disabled

How disabled people use dating apps, whether specific to their communit(ies) or not, can raise personal questions about how to present themselves.
An abstract spectrum of colored dots on a black background that cohere together to represent sound waves or a music equalizer.

How to Hear Images and See Sounds

Artists Shannon Finnegan and Andy Slater talk accessibility, transdimensional hearing, alt-text as poetry, sound descriptions, and Instagram captions for McSweeney’s Audio Issue.
Illustration: Head of a man with a severe disease affecting his face by Christopher D' Alton, 1858

Source: https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.24834473

The Ugly History of Chicago’s “Ugly Law”

In the nineteenth century, laws in many parts of the country prohibited "undeserving" disabled people from appearing in public.
Blind men working on boxes for Elizabeth Arden cosmetics at the Lighthouse, an institution for the blind in New York

How Blind Activists Fought for Blind Workers

The National Federation of the Blind was the first major group of its kind to be led by visually impaired people.
Helen Keller, 1956

What Does It Mean to Call Helen Keller a Fraud?

A TikTok trend is only the most recent example of how people often question the abilities of marginalized groups.
An early nineteenth century wheelchair

The Rise of Disability Stigma

Religion once held sway over how people thought about disability. How did that change with the rise of secularism?
Illustrated chart from the late 19th Century

Dispatches from Deaf Education’s Infancy

Despite deep biases, the early editions of the American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb contain the seeds of a distinct deaf culture.
A series of four blue pictograms in front of a light yellow background. Three pictograms are disability access symbols, for wheelchair accessibility, sign language interpretation, and low vision access. The fourth pictogram is of a brain, and is meant to symbolize cognitive impairment accommodations.

Disability Studies: Foundations & Key Concepts

This non-exhaustive reading list highlights some of the key debates and conceptual shifts in disability studies.