Want to learn more about an author with a disability? Need an author for an inclusive reading? Check out some of the incredible authors below!
Are YOU an aspiring author with a disability? Look into ImagineWe Publishing, one of our partners that works exclusively with disability related authors!
Charlotte Riggle is the award-winning author of Catherine's Pascha and its companion, The Saint Nicholas Day Snow. She's also an accessibility professional and a disability inclusion advocate.
When her children were young, she did all the ordinary things that mothers do: reading stories, supervising homework and chores, taking the kids to church, and feeling quite certain she would never get enough sleep ever again.
She did less ordinary things, too, like revising 504 plans, attending IEP meetings, and training a service dog for one of her kids. She lives with her family between the ocean and a volcano in the Pacific Northwest.
Location: Pacific Northwest
"No matter the disability, there is a unifying piece that is underrepresented in literature. There are millions of people who can identify as disabled, and with very few resources and stories out there that included people with disabilities, it is easy to feel isolated and even ostracised. My hope is that my writing will offer an avenue for others with similar paths to be able to feel a sense of solidarity and even normalcy in their lives." - Author Ryan Rae Harbuck
Dylan Emmons is a writer, educator, and public speaker living in Poughkeepsie , New York. Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age six, Emmons often writes and speaks about his experiences living with Autism with the goal of promoting understanding for and improving the quality of life of individuals on the Autism Spectrum. His memoir Living in Two Worlds: On Being a Social Chameleon with Asperger’s was published by Jessica Kinglsey Publishers.
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York
Erin Spineto started her writing journey in 2011 with Islands and Insulin, her memoir of sailing solo 100 miles down the Florida Keys with type 1 diabetes back in a time when doctors were foolish enough to recommend against this kind of wild adventure with diabetes. She has written several books since.
Not letting anything slow her down, Erin is also a long-distance endurance adventurer and autoimmune advocate who uses stories to encourage others with chronic illness to go big. Erin started surfing at age five and since then she has had a love affair with empty beaches, warm water, and a post-surf lunch of fish tacos and Diet Dr Pepper.
Sarika S. Gupta
Young adult/new adult multi-genre author Cait Marie has enjoyed reading and creating stories her entire life. Her 2020 fantasy debut, The Lost Legends, encompasses her love of fairy tales and adventure while her following book, The Last Summer, shows her appreciation for fluffy-but-moving contemporary romance. In the time since, she has continued publishing in both genres and has plans to expand into science fiction, steampunk, and dystopian worlds.
Cait is the creator and manager of the book blog Functionally Fictional, works for YA Books Central, and offers a variety of author services, including editing, proofreading, formatting, and graphic design. She has a BA in forensic psychology and is currently working toward her MFA in creative writing. Basically, her life revolves around books, but she also enjoys music, bullet journaling, digital art, and Disney movies.
Location: Crawfordsville, IN
Naomi Valkyrie, often called a Firebrand Provocateur, brings her unique Autistic perspectives and curiosities to life by weaving tales of deep connection, mystery, and romance. She is inspired by being able to spontaneously create a thought that takes on a life of its own, opening up new adventures for her readers.
The Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy realms are particular areas of interest for Naomi as they allow for the vast exploration of magic, adventure, and the impossible while creating diverse characters that her readers connect with on an emotional level. When she isn’t attending to familial connections, Naomi loves a dark, comfy reading space surrounded by the symbolism of her spiritual archetypes and her daemon/familiars, while she sips her Starbucks tea and immerses herself in imagination.
Location: Plano, TX
I have spent my life knowing two sure things about myself. One, that I have an intrinsic need to create, and two, that I experience the world differently from those around me. I have a movement disorder called generalized dystonia, which means that my brain sends incorrect signals to my muscles, causing them to tense and spasm uncontrollably and often painfully.
The pain and experiences that I live with are quiet, they are easy to hide, and people often mistake this to mean that they don’t exist at all. It’s easy to dismiss things that are out of sight, so my hope with this collection was to put the silent experiences of the undercover sufferer into the hands of the everyday person. It was my goal to properly communicate an experience and a type of pain that is difficult to imagine if you’ve never lived in it.
Disability can be isolating, lonely, and emotionally exhausting, and it’s encouraging to see yourself and your experiences in literature. There is no question of whether we should work to normalize disabled experiences or leave them in the shadows, we only stand to benefit from bringing light to disabled experiences.
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
Tylia Flores is a 26-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination to make a difference in the world. Through her many life challenges and obstacles, she discovered her passion for writing. Tylia’s goal in life is to share her stories with the world. In doing so, she hopes to help others with disabilities realize that they, too, have the potential to make their dreams come true.
"We need more awareness about disabilities in literature so that young children, teenagers, and even adults with disabilities don’t feel isolated from society. Having more discussion and literature that brings up the topic of self-identifying and acceptance when it comes to people with disabilities, as well as the different types of disabilities that exist, could help reduce bullying in schools. This is because students would be more aware of people with disabilities and have a better understanding that would help them adapt to communicating with people in society that have disabilities." -Tylia Flores
Tiffany Dawn “TD” Kohnen is a DeafBlind mom of two girls living in Houston, Texas. TD enjoys family time, writing, and being active. She writes fiction and nonfiction.
Her nonfiction series, Can You Help Me Now?, is a collection of guides to interacting with people with disabilities in the hopes of increasing inclusivity. For fiction, she writes fantasy romance to spin tales of love and magic in exciting worlds similar to Jane Austen.
Her fiction series is called Lenses of Magic. In it, the main character’s mother lives with low vision. TD has more stories coming with characters faced with unique challenges.
TD can be found on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram as TD Kohnen. Find her books on her website, www.KohnenBooks.com.
Winslow Dixon, author of multiple books and CEO of the Adrenal Alternatives Foundation, currently volunteers her time as an advocate for those suffering with chronic illness and rare disease as a representative in the US Congress Rare Disease Legislative Caucus.
She is a passionate motivational speaker and has dedicated her life to spreading hope to those who are suffering from rare diseases. She also works in holistic health and helps her clients achieve better quality of life through lifestyle modifications, circadian rhythm modulation and frequency healing through her small business, Hope Healing Happy Co.
In addition to her books, Winslow publishes articles on websites such as Yahoo News, Yahoo Lifestyle and The Mighty. Her poetry work has also been featured in many publications such as the Emerging American Fiction Writers Anthology and Florida’s Emerging Poets.
She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Traditional Chinese medicine and plans to continue providing cortisol care to adrenal disease patients. Her goal is to serve as a medical provider in the only cortisol care center in the United States.
Location: Fort Myers, Florida
- James Baldwin
Even as a young child I dreamed of being an author or journalist. I was always waiting for the perfect time, the perfect moment. I was waiting for life to slow down just long enough for me to catch my breath, but that time didn't come. While I still dreamed of the day my book would be released, the time to write it never felt right. Enter, COVID. Suddenly I was jobless, with doctor's orders to not leave the house for weeks.
On day two of what ended up being a five-month summer break, I sat down with my laptop. Within two weeks I found myself writing chapter five, and I realized that my memoir had been born.
My desire for God to take the ashes of my past and create something beautiful that would bring hope to others was being fulfilled before my eyes. All I could do was be still and know. Know that all of the chaos in my life meant my book was finally coming out. Know that now I could - finally! - add "author" to my name. Know that, truly, all things work together for good. And know that it's time for a little celebration in my life because sometimes dreams do come true in the most ordinary yet miraculous of ways.
Location: Waterford, MI
A proud Canadian and the mastermind behind the Bentley Hippo Book Series, Award-winning author Argyro Graphy, is acclaimed globally for her thought-provoking books for children. The author remains at the forefront to promote the worth of positive aptitudes among children of all ages, all while instilling the love for reading. “Teaching kids the significance of inclusivity and diversity right from the start can make them caring individuals towards others.” says Graphy.
Argyro Graphy is no stranger to obstacles, challenges and life-altering traumas. Her struggles continued at the start of her author journey when a routine eye procedure went bad overnight and she woke up blind in one eye. It was after she noticed a huge shift in how others treated her, that she shifted her direction and gave each of her characters a disability or challenge. The characters in her books are visually impaired, as is she, have diabetes, kidney issues, autism, ADHD, as well as alopecia. Her hope is to normalize the characters in the eyes of children so that they can grow up to be more accepting towards people who face these difficulties every day. Encouraging and empowering children to embrace their differences, celebrate their abilities, recognize opportunities to spread kindness and promote the Power of Inclusion
Location: Toronto Ontario, Canada
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