montage of people with varying disabilities

We present the synopsis of a few of the chapters in the upcoming book.

“Living with a 'New Normal'” by Julie Rackebrandt about Emma Rackebrandt.

Emma's story is about facing and accepting a sudden and unexpected cancer diagnosis at the age of 19. Emma worked hard to maintain her self identity and independence, and to improve her functional ability in a wheelchair, even though her progressive and degenerative disease meant that all gains would be temporary. Emma was creative, accepting and adapting to her 'new normal' many times so that she continued to enjoy life as her abilities changed and declined. Emma’s story highlights her positive moments and interesting experiences, while navigating through the world in a wheelchair with paraplegia, and later, an acquired brain injury. Emma's experience is written in retrospect by her mother, Julie, as Emma passed away at age 25.

“Navigating Intersections” by Jasper Cleland

Jasper explores the challenges in life, which for him include being a deaf-blind transgender person and cult survivor. His  journey from being deprived of access to information as a young person living in a highly restricted environment to self-discovery and self-awareness is compelling and mind-boggling. Jasper shares his experience of finding a community he can belong to, and his plans for a future that might just surprise you.

“Deaf, Blind and on the Catwalk” by Vanessa Vlajkovic

Vanessa’s story is about her journey to become a model, despite having only 20% sight and inconsistent hearing. It tells of the isolation she experienced during mainstream schooling and the challenges she faced as a teenager who wanted her independence, but had overprotective parents. It tells of the challenges in learning sign language at age 16. But most of all, it tells us how she became her own advocate and smashed the barriers that stood in her way.

“How to be beautiful” by Grant Lock

Grant directed Afghanistan's largest eye care program, until he himself became blind. He returned home to a society with its own blind spots. He shares the story of the social murder:  marginalisation. After battling corruption, injustice and disadvantage in the deserts, mountains and cities of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Grant confronts us, and then tells us how to be beautiful.

There are at least 21 other stories in the book which will be sold around Christmas 2018.