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Review: Growing Up Disabled in Australia edited by Carly Findlay

May 17, 2021

About the book:

‘My body and its place in the world seemed quite normal to me.’
‘I didn’t grow up disabled, I grew up with a problem. A problem those around me wanted to fix.’
‘We have all felt that uncanny sensation that someone is watching us.’
‘The diagnosis helped but it didn’t fix everything.’
‘Don’t fear the labels.’


One in five Australians have a disability. And disability presents itself in many ways. Yet disabled people are still underrepresented in the media and in literature.

Growing Up Disabled in Australia is the fifth book in the highly acclaimed, bestselling Growing Up series. It includes interviews with prominent Australians such as Senator Jordon Steele-John and Paralympian Isis Holt, poetry and graphic art, as well as more than 40 original pieces by writers with a disability or chronic illness.

Contributors include Dion Beasley, Astrid Edwards, Jessica Walton, Carly-Jay Metcalfe, Gayle Kennedy and El Gibbs.

My thoughts:

Wow. This is as beautiful as it is gut wrenching, joyous, painful, inspiring, unique and powerful. A collection of stories written by over 40 Australians about growing up disabled in Australia. Spanning decades of Australian history these stories are a must read. Experiencing life through the eyes, ears and touch of these incredible Australians is something everyone must do.

Carly Findlay has put together an amazing collection. Each own voice’s story is captivating. Every person’s experience is unique, every reaction different and so so important to understand. No one’s disability is the same. Every story reminds us of this fact and really highlights that you cannot have policies to treat disabled people the same… No one condition is the same as another, no one’s experience is the same as another person’s and no one responds to treatment in exactly the same way. The best first step is to Listen. Believe what disabled people tell you. Only they know what they are feeling, experiencing and living through. No one answer fits all cases. This collection at times is a hard and emotional read. I highly recommend it.

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