History of disAbilities Books

A Brief History of disAbilities Books

by Stanley Klein

[Please note, most of the books featured in this history are no longer available through this website, with the exceptions of  Managing A special Needs Trust, Legal Planning for a Special Needs in Massachusetts, and Reflections from a Different Journey. Should you want any of the books we no longer sell here, you may still be able to find and purchase them on Amazon.com.]

During more than 50 years in the disability field (see About Our Founder), I have learned that the most important experts in this field are individuals with disabilities and their parents. As you can see from the brief descriptions below, all the books I have worked on have enabled these experts a share their first-hand knowledge.
I have co-edited three books of essays. My co-editor for each book was a person with a disability. For each, visitors can view a Summary, Table of Contents, Excerpts, Reviews and Meet the Authors/Meet the Editors.

You Will Dream New Dreams, Inspiring Personal Stories by Parents of Children with Disabilities (Kensington Books, 2001), co-edited with Kim Schive, is a book with 63 short essays by parents of children with many different disabilities. The essay authors, all “veteran” parents, wrote what they wished they had been told when they first learned about their child’s disability. Foreword by Dick Thornburgh, a parent as well as former Governor of Pennsylvania and U.S. Attorney General.

From There to Here: Stories of Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury (No Limits Communications, 2004; DisABILITIESBOOKS, 2011), co-edited with Gary Karp, includes forty-five short essays by women and men describing how they coped with a spinal cord injury in order to get from first being injured (There) to leading full adult lives (Here). One essay is by Gary Karp. Gary is the author of Life on Wheels: The A to Z Guide to Living Fully with Mobility Issues (Demos Health, 2009). Foreword by Marcie Roth, former Executive Director, National Spinal Cord Injury Association.

Reflections from a Different Journey: What Adults with Disabilities Wish All Parents Knew (McGraw-Hill, 2004; DisABILITIESBOOKS, 2011), co-edited with John D. Kemp, is a book of forty inspiring and realistic short essays by successful adult role models – including John Kemp. The essay authors, all successful adults with disabilities, wrote what they wished their own parents had read or been told while they were growing up. Foreword by Marlee Matlin, Academy Award actress, author of Deaf Child Crossing.

I also wanted to provide a special way for the voices of these “experts” to be heard and emphasize the abilities of people with disabilities and their families. So I created DisABILITIESBOOKS in 2002 (see “Self Publishing” below).
Since 2004, DisABILITIESBOOKS has been involved in the development of two fine books that explain complicated legal issues.

Managing A Special Needs Trust: A Guide For Trustees (DisABILITIESBOOKS, 2012) by Barbara D. Jackins, Richard S. Blank, Ken W. Shulman, and Harriet H. Onello is an invaluable guide for anyone who is managing a special needs trust for a person with a disability. In clear, easy to understand language, the authors explain how a trustee can use trust funds to meet the financial needs of a person with a disability and still comply with the complex rules of government benefit programs.

Legal Planning for Special Needs In Massachusetts: A Family Guide to SSI, Guardianship, and Estate Planning (AuthorHouse, 2010), by Barbara D. Jackins, attorney and parent, is a practical guide to legal planning for parents of children with special needs. In a relaxed, conversational style, Jackins explains the essentials of SSI, guardianship, and estate planning when there is a family member with a disability. Although some of the materials are specific to Massachusetts, most of the strategies discussed are valid in any state.

Self Publishing
In 2002, “self publishing” had just begun. Anyone could publish his/her own book. It was no longer necessary to get an established publishing company to publish a book because it was now possible to publish a small quantity (as few as one) of books economically.
I started working with iUniverse.com (now merged with AuthorHouse), one of the first self-publishing companies because a parent I knew in the publishing world had connected me with them. I began working with potential authors from the disability community.
As “Series Editor,” I facilitated the publication of thirteen books and sold them on this site until this year. Now, they are sold by Amazon and other stores. Here is a picture of the cover and a brief description of each book.

Books by Parents

Both Sides of the White Coat: An Insider’s Perspectives on the Critically Ill Child. Scott E. Eveloff, M.D., covers seven years of fear, uncertainty, and hardship as he and his wife, also a physician, cope with their son’s life-threatening illness.


My Son, My Gentle Son. Author Robert Greenwald describes the emotional issues faced by the family and deals candidly with the depression and sense of loss brought on by his son’s early diagnosis and later, his death.


Perfectly Normal. A Mother’s Memoir. Marcy Sheiner shares years of denial, anger, resentment and fear as well as the injustices she faced battling with medical professionals, educators, and social service providers as a mom raising a son who is now an independent adult.


Getting It: Persuading Organizations and Individuals to Be More Comfortable with People with Disabilities. Melissa Marshall, an attorney and parent describes the diversity training she conducts with corporate employees as well as high school students.


Independent Living for Physically Disabled People: Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating Self-Help Rehabilitation Programs. Nancy M. Crewe, Ph.D., Irving Kenneth Zola, Ph.D. and Associates chronicle the independent living movement for people with physical disabilities in the United States.

Movie Stars and Sensuous Scars: Essays on the Journey from Disability Shame to Disability Pride. Steven E. Brown Ph.D. has combined autobiographical stories about living with a disability with essays about disability rights and disability culture, and profiles of disability rights leaders.

Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear (Inside Brain Injury). Sol Mogerman tells the story his recovery from brain injury in a direct, personal manner highlighting his loss of self-image. Part Two provides practical information for families, rehabilitation professionals, and individuals with brain injury.

Remind Me Why I’m Here: Sifting through Sudden Loss of Memory and Judgment. Diana Lund describes her short-term memory loss from a car accident and her struggles with self-identity and underdiagnosis of her condition in an insightful and entertaining memoir.


The Story of Jude: A Guide to Rehabilitation Counseling. Sol Mogerman describes his work as a rehabilitation counselor with a women who finds the strength to overcome devastating loss and disability through her relationship.


Voices of Conflict; Voices of Healing: A Collection of Articles By a Beloved Philadelphia Inquirer Columnist. Daniel H. Gottlieb, Ph.D., psychologist, NPR radio host, and person with quadriplegia, offers his perspectives and guidance in over sixty essays on issues such as stepfamilies, finding happiness, relationships, and coping with difficult emotions.

YES! WE MADE IT! The Story of New Horizons: How People with Severe Disabilities in a Chronic Care Hospital Worked Their Way to Independence. Polly Hincks tells the true story of young people with severe physical disabilities living in a nursing home who decide to take charge of their own lives and escape!

We also used to sell several books by people who had worked with me on one of the books I co-edited.

Count Us In. Jason Kinglsey and Mitchell Levitz make a powerful and inspirational statement about the full potential of individuals with developmental disabilities. In the first edition (1994) of this books, the authors, at ages nineteen and twenty-two, shared their innermost thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams, and their experiences growing up with Down syndrome. The new 2007 edition includes a new afterword by the authors that recounts their successes and challenges as adults.
“What I’d Tell That Doctor” is an essay by Jason included in our Reflections book. In 1987, Emily Kingsley, Jason’s mom, wrote the classic essay “Welcome to Holland.” It is in the Dreams book.

Disabled and Challenged: Reach for Your Dreams! Terry Scott Cohen and Barry M. Cohen, Ph.D. (Terry’s dad) wrote “I have myotonic muscular dystrophy… As a teen I suppose I struggled the most. Then it hit me – My disability isn’t in charge of my life, I am. It was up to me to make my life worthwhile despite all my problems.” Terry speaks frankly and in a language that children and young adults can easily understand.

Letters to Sam : A Grandfather’s Lessons on Love, Loss, and the Gifts of Life. Author Daniel Gottlieb, Ph.D. writes “As your only living grandfather, I wanted to welcome you into this world. Always remember… life is a gift and a blessing.” Fourteen months later, grandfather Dan learned that Sam had been diagnosed with pervasive developmental disability, a form of autism. At that moment, the letters took on a new meaning and urgency. Voices of Conflict; Voices of Healing, Dr. Gottleib’s first book, was published by DisABILITIESBOOKS. His essay, “Mourning and Healing“, is in From There to Here.

Voices from the Spectrum: Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, People With Autism, And Professionals Share Their Wisdom, edited by Cindy Ariel, Ph.D. and Robert A. Naseef, Ph.D. This is a compelling collection of sixty personal accounts from people on the autism spectrum and those who care for them. The essay authors address how autism has changed their lives in love and/or work, what they have learned, and what they would want others to know that might help them. “The Rudest Awakening“, an essay by Dr. Naseef is in the “Dreams” book.

Stan Klein, Founder disABILITIES BOOKS

(Edited and updated February 2015 by disAbilities Books Press, LLC)