The perfect books to mark Disability Pride Month

July is Disability Pride Month, so we've gathered together the best books to learn, engage with and understand all things disability.

Lydia Wilkins
A flatlay of books about disability, on a black background with colourful zig-zags
Image: Ryan MacEachern/Penguin

July is Disability Pride Month, a chance to celebrate all things disability, which equates to around a quarter of the UK’s population. Over the past 18 months we have heard a lot about representation and allyship; here is the ultimate list of books to begin educating yourself not just for July but beyond. We have encompassed a range of age ranges, as well as different disabilities and conditions. Remember, this list is not exhaustive – and not every disabled person is the same. 

Neurotribes by Steve Silberman (2015)

Autism is gradually becoming more widely diagnosed, thanks to an update in dated diagnostic criteria. But are you aware of the full tapestry of the condition, as well as the history? Using his incredible eye for detail, Steve Silberman has constructed something of a tour de force in Neurotribes. The book encompasses different elements of Autism through history, as well the future of neurodiversity. It also touches on other neurodiverse conditions, too. No wonder it's been described as groundbreaking.

Crippled By Frances Ryan (2019)

As a journalist writing for the Guardian, Frances Ryan has often been applauded for her work covering disability. Crippled has recently been updated, and should be required disability history reading. This charters the impact of austerity, as well as the cuts to the welfare state – and the devastating toll that has taken over almost a decade. The prose is packed with detail, as well as unfolding the impact through the eyes of the people it hurt most. 

Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8 by Naoki Higashida (2017)

The Reason I Jump became something of an overnight international sensation a few years ago and the film of the same name was released this month. However, Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8 is the follow-up to the original bestseller. Autism is so often portrayed as lacking imagination or empathy for other human beings – but this tome should put that stereotype to rest, at long last. 

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