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Marcfirst Celebrates: Women's History Month

Happy Women's History Month! We are so excited to celebrate all of the amazing girls and women in our community and around the world. For Marcfirst, of course we want to look at the intersections between developmental disabilities and femininity, too!


Judith Heumann in the documentary "Crip Camp", photo from the New York Times


How do women who also have disabilities experience the world, and how can we better understand these experiences to sympathize, relate, and show our love? A great example is this Ted Talk featuring Judith Heumann titled, "Our Fight for Disability Rights--And Why We're Not Done Yet"! Judith is a disability rights activist from the United States who is recognized for her work internationally. Let's see what she has to say about her experiences!

Judith is a truly incredible woman--it is easy to admire her grit, effective arguments, and storytelling abilities. She does a great job framing how things used to be for people with disabilities compared to how they are today, while still emphasizing how much work there is to be done! We would love to hear what you think about her story and history of activism.


"Disability is a family you can join at any point in your life."

Judith Heumann


Check out our recommended books for stories about/created by women living with varying disabilities! This is a great way to foster awareness and understanding for different abilities, body types, and life experiences. Get excited to do some reading, and as usual, check out the children's books, too!


Look for these books at Barnes and Noble or Amazon! Some are even free as Ebooks on Amazon.


  • “Unruly Bodies: Life Writing by Women With Disabilities” by Susannah B. Mintz explores the intersection of disabilities and femininity.  


    “Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law” by Haben Girma is an autobiography describing her experiences. Learn about her life and how she has adapted to thrive despite her disabilities!


    “Say Hello” by Carly Findlay is a memoir about a woman living with a highly visible skin condition. It is comedic, honest, and will keep you thinking.


    “Life on The Autism Spectrum: A Guide for Girls and Women” by Karen McKibbin follows the story of Allison, a girl with Asperger syndrome. This is a great read because it brings awareness to women and girls having conditions that do not present in the same ways that male-based research has demonstrated.


    “Women and Disability: The Double Handicap” by Mary Jo Deegan provides an in-depth look at the gender discrepancies for people with disabilities. Learn about how history and science are lacking in certain departments for women with disabilities specifically!


    “Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back” by Harilyn Rousso is a feisty memoir that discusses how able-bodied individuals often overcompensate or overaccommodate for people with disabilities.


    “Leah’s Voice” by Lori Demonia tells the story of two sisters learning how to understand and interact with kids who have special needs. (6-8 years) 


    “The Pirate of Kindergarten” by George Ella Lyon follows Ginny, a girl who is diagnosed with double vision. Learn how her and her classmates adapt to her abilities while she becomes the Pirate of Kindergarten! (4-8 years)


    “Thank You, Mr. Falker” by Patricia Polacco tells the story of how Trisha grew up with dyslexia, and her teacher’s encouragement helped her to persevere through the challenges. Learn how a child with a disability became a well-known children’s author! (5-8 years)


    “The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin” by Julia Finley Mosca follows Temple, a girl with Autism, and shows how she became a scientist! This book shows us the importance of embracing our differences and accepting ourselves. (5-10 years) 


    “Who Are You?: Ella The Enchanted Princess” by Rosaria L. Calafati features Ella, a princess who has no hair. Follow along as she questions the world around her and learns to love and accept herself as she is! (4-12 years) 

About the Author:

Marissa is a graduate student at Illinois State University and has decided to create blogs for Marcfirst in the coming months to build awareness about important topics. Marissa has a background in women’s and gender studies, and uses this to locate high-quality research and understand diverse points of view that she herself can never fully experience. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed are Marissa’s and do not necessarily represent the official views of Marcfirst.

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