November Reading List

Monthly Reading List – November Reading List

What’s your November Reading List? Here’s ours.

Every first week of the month, Disabled Spectator publishes a reading list of our favorite disability and accessibility related articles. We look for insightful, interesting, controversial, heartbreaking, well-written, or enjoyable articles that provoke thought, conversation, and emotion. This post looks at articles we read in November. Accordingly, here is our November Reading List.

Accessibility is good business, and it’s the right thing to do, by Brian Peterson, Lehigh Valley Business

This article touts how being an accessible business is a savvy strategy. The article outlines a number of benefits including costs, community presence, and the obvious tax benefits. The article does more though by discussing the value that raising disability awareness has. They also provide examples, both good and bad, for businesses to study. This is a valuable article.


Businesses could be losing thousands of potential customers by failing to make their facilities accessible to all.

“A lot of places don’t understand what it takes to be accessible,” Bott said. “Businesses are all worried about the bottom line.”

By 2012, every business should have been ADA-compliant, Rogers noted about the act. In the ADA, there is no such thing as a rule allowing a business to be grandfathered into compliance, he added.

What the job market is like when you have a disability, by Sarah Trick, TVO

Sarah Trick discusses the obstacles people with disabilities face while seeking employment. Sarah starts by stating the reasons why the obstacles people with disabilities face in the job market are complex. These obstacles are not caused by bigots or those who intentionally discriminate. However, the fact that Sarah has been out of graduate school for over a year and still can’t find a job is troubling. She goes further, citing studies in both the United States and Canada showing how the vast majority of people with disabilities who do not have a job want one and are seeking one. She also discusses the fact that the education rate of people with disabilities has increased but that hasn’t had an effect on the employment rate. Clearly, there is a problem.


Job hunting is a frustrating and painful exercise for everyone, and the job market is challenging for everyone. But when you have a disability, you often can’t even get in the door, literally.

But education is not a cure-all. For one thing, it is not available or accessible to everyone: disability and income level can act as barriers.

Not only do I feel perpetually behind because it has taken me longer to build a work history, but it takes me longer to do most things and longer to find jobs worth applying for.

Talking to Emma Cooper-Williams, singer-songwriter and disability mentor, by Grace Stratton, The Spinoff

In this interview, disabled artist and musician Emma Co0per-Williams discusses how disability has motivated her career. Emma opens up about how she sees her talent as a platform to send a positive message and act as a role model for others with disabilities. Emma Cooper-Williams is a 19-year old award-winning musician from Auckland, New Zealand. She is quickly becoming a leader in the disability community in her home country.


Emma says her motivation is to “make a difference to someone’s life” through music and lyrics. This dedication is also something which Emma is living out through her actions within the disability community.

“We all have our own struggles and insecurities that are a part of being a human, not just a part of being a human with a disability,” she says.

“My leadership in the disability community allows me to share in the experiences of others, much like performing does, because when I perform I hope to give the audience a message and make a difference in their lives.”

Sensations of Sound: On Deafness and Music, by Rachel Kolb, The New York Times – The Opinion Section

Rachel Kolb discusses the difference between hearing music before and after her cochlear implant seven years ago. Although Rachel could not hear music the same way someone not hard of hearing does, that didn’t mean she wasn’t musical in some ways prior to the implant. Throughout the article, Rachel discusses examples of when people asked her “can you hear music?” After the implant, Rachel describes music as a physical, visual, and tactile experience that is best described by the question “how does music make you feel?” This is a gripping read.


Aside from the amplified noises I’d heard through my hearing aids, which sounded more like murmurs distorted by thick insulation swaddling, I had never heard music, not really. But that did not mean I wasn’t in some way musical.

Sad. This is how some hearing people reacted to my imagined lifetime without music. Did it mean that some part of my existence was unalterably sad, too? I resisted this response.

“Can you hear the music?” Even though I now can, I think this question misses the point. Music is also wonderfully and inescapably visual, physical, tactile — and, in these ways, it weaves its rhythms through our lives. I now think a far richer question might be: “What does music feel like to you?”

I stutter. As a result, I have been mocked, insulted, misjudged and refused service., by Rachel Hoge, The Washington Post

In this article, Rachel Hoge discusses discrimination she faces simply for having an example. Mundane activities become stressful for Rachel due to judgment, misunderstanding, and general mistrust by complete strangers. Rachel discusses how talking to a bank teller, entering a bar, or talking to a police officer can quickly become a fiasco. They often think she’s drunk or under the influence of some substance. They immediately become suspicious.


I have a speech disability — a stutter — and interactions with strangers have the potential to be, at the very least, extremely awkward; at worst, I have been mocked, insulted, misjudged or refused service. I avoid interacting with new people, fearful of their judgment. Using the ATM offered me more than just convenience.

I have an idea where this mistrust toward me and my disability comes from: There’s a myth that stuttering is a reflection of poor personal integrity.

Thankfully, not all strangers are quick to judge. Sometimes I’ll meet someone who regards me with patience and not pity, with respect and not condemnation.

Thanks for reading our November Reading List. Keep an eye out for our list next month. You can read last month’s reading list here.

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Josh Appel

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