CREATE’s Reading List

CREATE’s monthly newsletters usually include a What We’re Reading section. We’re digging through the archives to list those recommendations here, along with the books, articles, blogs that have inspired us to think CREATEively.

Like any good reading list, this is a work in progress. Have we missed something great? Email us at

Black Disability Politics by Dr. Sami Schalk. An exploration of how issues of disability have been and continue to be central to Black activism from the 1970s to the present. Schalk shows how Black people have long engaged with disability as a political issue deeply tied to race and racism.

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. A mapping of access as radical love, a celebration of the work that sick and disabled queer people of color are doing to find each other and to build power and community, and a toolkit for everyone who wants to build radically resilient, sustainable communities of liberation where no one is left behind.”

Disability Intimacy, by Alice Wong. Upcoming April 2024. With the central value of “tenderness,” delves into topics such as love, creativity, care, and power, all while treating intimacy as a vast and multifaceted concept that can be applied to individuals just as easily as collectives.

Disability Visibility, by Alice Wong. A doorway to continue our learning process, the book contains an array of stories from writers who experience disability in vastly different ways.

The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs, by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. The author asks some provocative questions, starting with, ‘what if, in the near future, the majority of people will be disabled – and what if that’s not a bad thing?

Goodbye Again, Essays, Reflections & Ollustrations, by Jonny Sun. From the New York Times Book Review: “An almost too-perfect companion to the present anxiety, exhaustion and loneliness wrought by the pandemic. . . .Through essays and minimalist drawings that resemble wood cutouts, Sun begins to re-evaluate his relationship to the world, and “this constant voice in my head telling me that my own rest and recovery and catharsis were not valuable to anybody,” including himself.

Hashtag Activism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice, by Sarah J. Jackson, Moya Bailey, and Brooke Foucault Welles.

Nervous: Essays on Heritage and Healing by Jen Soriano. The activist brings to light the lingering impacts of transgenerational trauma and uses science, history, and family stories to flow toward transformation in this powerful collection that brings together the lyric storytelling, cultural exploration, and thoughtful analysis of The Argonauts, The Woman Warrior, What My Bones Know, and Minor Feelings.

Our Reality, by Yoshiko Kohno. A novella to inspire youth, especially middle and high school students — who may one day be software designers — to carefully consider both the impact of technology and the need for more inclusive, thoughtful design practices. “In my ideal world, people in high school social studies classes would read this book and have an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between society and technology. Technology doesn’t exist in isolation,” says Kohno. “These types of conversations shouldn’t happen in the technology community, but outside of it.”

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me, by Keah Brown. A CREATE Accessibility Seminar read in Autumn 2022 and a thoughtful, inspiring, and charming collection of essays exploring what it means to be black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied white America.

Sipping Dom Pérignon Through a Straw, by Eddie Ndopu. Not only highlights the injustices and dehumanization that disabled people face daily, but illuminates the need for amplifying disabled voices and disabled self-advocacy. Eddie’s radical transparency about his triumphs in the face of lifelong systemic oppression is profound.

Skin, Tooth, and Bone: The Basis of Movement Is Our People, by Patty Berne. A primer on disability justice.

What My Bones Know, by Stephanie Foo. A deeply personal and thoroughly researched account, Foo interviews scientists and psychologists and tries a variety of innovative therapies and investigates the effects of immigrant trauma on the community, eventually learning how trauma can be inherited through generations.

A Working Definition of Ableism, blog post by Talila A. Lewis.

Year of the Tiger:  An Activist’s Life, by Alice Wong. A groundbreaking memoir that offers a glimpse into an activist’s journey to finding and cultivating community and the continued fight for disability justice, from the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project. In Chinese culture, the tiger is deeply revered for its confidence, passion, ambition, and ferocity. That same fighting spirit resides in Alice Wong. (See if the UWPLWONG discount code still works at the University Bookstore.)