Description: With 16 first-hand accounts of individuals living with physical disabilities, this book explores societal perspectives, family issues, quality of life, and social support, along with treatment alternatives.
Purpose: The authors note that this book "is the first to truly allow counselors and other related health professionals to 'walk a mile in our shoes' and to learn from the writings of 16 people with disabilities across North America.
Audience: It is intended for students, practitioners, and academics. Both Irmo Marini and Noreen Glover-Graf are professors from the University of Texas-Pan American, and Michael Jay Millington is from Utah State University.
Features: The book begins with sociological issues and includes the history of treatment for disabled persons from early civilization forward. It also addresses societal myths and cultural issues among Latinos, African Americans, Asians, and Native Americans. The next section discusses adjusting to disability using the Livneh stage model (1991), which includes initial impact, defense mobilization, initial realization, retaliation, and final adjustment or reintegration. Chapter 7, on sexuality and disability, is important for its consideration of self-esteem and body image, intimate relationships, and sexual concerns. The book explores quality of life issues through the life span, along with disability type. One of the most significant questions that this book discusses is why some disabled individuals thrive and others are thwarted by the limitations. Finally, the book presents treatment issues and emphasizes the need to work with both the disabled individual and the family. The chapters are arranged fairly uniformly, with an overview preceding the chapter, references, insider perspective, discussion questions, and exercises. The book is easy to read, though I was surprised that there were no tables and figures. Because it covers so many topic areas, it would be a great textbook for classroom use and as a source of valuable insight to professionals who work with disabled individuals.
Assessment: This is an excellent book, but the best parts are the stories of the disabled, which give readers insights into their struggles and triumphs. The book provides practical information backed by research. Clinicians and students will find it valuable.