A Matter of Dignity by Andrew Potok
Changing the World of the Disabled

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From A Matter of Dignity:

I realized that I needed to learn about the legislative and legal aspects of disability as much as I did about our feelings regarding wholeness, beauty and ugliness, about the state called normalcy, about liberating technologies and therapies, about the role of the disabled in history and literature.

And what could better inform and enlighten me than contact with people who help create access, who elicit change via care, support, teaching, and study as their life’s work?

As it turned out, I have learned from them that, in spite of the American addiction to youthfulness, “normalcy,” virility, activity, and physical beauty, diversity in all its forms provides not only fascination but strength. Diversity tends toward higher forms, uniformity toward dullness and extinction. What could make more sense than to value all that is diverse, unexpected, and exuberantly impure?

From the Hardcover edition.

About Andrew Potok

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Potok is a painter and writer.
Published December 10, 2008 by Bantam. 322 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help. Non-fiction

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For the author, “training with the first dog was a giant move, not only in shrugging off my natural fears about putting my life in the hands of a dog, but in being unequivocally identified from then on as a blind man.” While the text mildly emphasizes technology benefiting the blind (including a ...

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While careful not to present a completely cheery portrait of the world of the disabled, offering the history of eugenics in U.S. thought and law, and accounts of guide dogs who can "smell, shed, get ill, [or] revert to deeply ingrained beastly behavior," Potok discusses such positive developments...

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