Resource Guide: How to Break into the Digital Accessibility Profession

Here are fantastic resources to learn more about people with disabilities and digital accessibility. Thanks to Louise Clark for putting this together.

Disability Equality Education has a list of recommended reads by age and videos.

Reads Involving Disability

More Than Organs by Kay Ulanday Barret

“A love letter to Brown, Queer, and Trans futures, Kay Ulanday Barrett’s More Than Organs questions ‘whatever wholeness means’ for bodies always in transit, for the safeties and dangers they silo. These poems remix people of color as earthbenders, replay ‘the choreography of loss’ after the 2015 Pulse shooting, and till joy from the cosmic sweetness of a family’s culinary history.”

Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally by Emily Ladau

“An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more inclusive place.”

Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century by Alice Wong

“Disability rights activist Alice Wong brings tough conversations to the forefront of society with this anthology. It sheds light on the experience of life as an individual with disabilities, as told by none other than authors with these life experiences. It’s an eye-opening collection that readers will revisit time and time again.” — Chicago Tribune

Spectrums: Autistic Transgender People in Their Own Words by Maxfield Sparrow

“Written by autistic trans people from around the world, this vital and intimate collection of personal essays reveals the struggles and joys of living at the intersection of neurodivergence and gender diversity. Weaving memories, poems, and first-person narratives together, these stories showcase experiences of coming out, college and university life, accessing healthcare, physical transition, friendships and relationships, sexuality, pregnancy, parenting, and late-life self-discovery, to reveal a rich and varied tapestry of life lived on the spectrums.”

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

“The first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle-grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum. For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises — some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.”

Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt

“Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the troublemaker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.”

How To Talk To Your Kid About Disabilities” by Caroline Bologna

The Degenerates by J. Albert Mann

“In the tradition of Girl, Interrupted, this fiery historical novel follows four young women in the early 20th century whose lives intersect when they are locked up by a world that took the poor, the disabled, the marginalized-and institutionalized them for life.”

Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma

“The incredible life story of Haben Girma, the first Deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School, and her amazing journey from isolation to the world stage. Haben defines disability as an opportunity for innovation… She developed a text-to-braille communication system that created an exciting new way to connect with people. Haben pioneered her way through obstacles, graduated from Harvard Law, and now uses her talents to advocate for people with disabilities.”

Blind Man’s Bluff: A Memoir by James Tate Hill

“A writer’s humorous and often-heartbreaking tale of losing his sight — and how he hid it from the world. At age sixteen, James Tate Hill was diagnosed with Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy, a condition that left him legally blind. When high-school friends stopped calling and a disability counselor advised him to aim for C’s in his classes, he tried to escape the stigma by pretending he could still see…

“For fifteen years, Hill hid his blindness from friends, colleagues, and lovers, even convincing himself that if he stared long enough, his blurry peripheral vision would bring the world into focus. At thirty, faced with a stalled writing career, a crumbling marriage, and a growing fear of leaving his apartment, he began to wonder if there was a better way.”

Cost of Living: Essays by Emily Maloney

“When Emily Maloney was nineteen she tried to kill herself. An act that would not only cost a great deal personally, but also financially, sending her down a dark spiral of misdiagnoses, years spent in and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices, and tens of thousands owed in medical debt. To work to pay off this crippling burden, Emily becomes an emergency room technician. Doing the grunt work in a hospital, and taking care of patients at their most vulnerable moments, chronicling these interactions in searingly beautiful, surprising ways.”

The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found by Frank Bruni

“One morning in late 2017, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni woke up with strangely blurred vision. He wondered at first if some goo or gunk had worked its way into his right eye. But this was no fleeting annoyance, no fixable inconvenience. Overnight, a rare stroke had cut off blood to one of his optic nerves, rendering him functionally blind in that eye—forever. And he soon learned from doctors that the same disorder could ravage his left eye, too. He could lose his sight altogether.”


Let’s Talk About Ableism with Emily Ladau

#Ableism by Leah Smith, Center for Disability Rights

Ableism 101: What it is, what it looks like, what we can do to fix it by Ashley Eisenmenger, Access Living

Words Matter, And It’s Time To Explore The Meaning Of “Ableism” by Andrew Pulrang, Forbes

Keah Brown Is Here to Disable the Ableist Narrative” by Genelle Levy, Shondaland

Ableism with Jeremy Ault, PBS Wisconsin Education

“A key element to creating a classroom free of ableism is reimagining the concept of inclusivity… In this video, we hear from Special Education teacher Jeremy Ault about the ways in which educators can approach ableism by formatting your instruction, and shifting both your and your student’s mindsets.”

Films Involving Disability

Sound of Metal directed by Darius Marder

“Keeping at bay his inner demons by devoting himself to art, metal drummer, Ruben, has been living for the moment for the past four years. Then, while on tour with his lead-singer/girlfriend, Lou, Ruben realises that his hearing is rapidly deteriorating. As this sudden hearing loss turns his world upside down, and numbing fear paired with angry denial take over, Ruben reluctantly accepts to join a small deaf community overseen by Joe, a compassionate Vietnam War veteran. Now, Ruben needs to find some solid ground, understand that being deaf is not a handicap and that deafness isn’t something to fix. But, is Ruben willing to accept his new life and learn how to be deaf?” — Nick Riganas

Drought directed by Hannah Black and Megan Petersen

“It’s 1993 and North Carolina is experiencing a historic drought. Autistic teen Carl, fascinated by weather, predicts that a storm will soon hit nearby. His sister Sam crafts a plan to help him chase the storm, stealing their mother’s ice-cream truck to embark on a road trip about family, forgiveness, and following your dreams.”

SPOTLIGHT ON: Drought – An Authentic Representation of Autism” by Angela Carlton

CODA directed by Hannah Black and Megan Petersen

“As a CODA (child of deaf adults) Ruby is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her passion at Berklee College of Music and her fear of abandoning her parents.”

The Tension at the Heart of CODA” by John Hendrickson, The Atlantic

Representation or Stereotype? Deaf Viewers Are Torn Over ‘CODA’” by Amanda Morris, The New York Times

Peanut Butter Falcon directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz

“The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zak (22), a young man with Down syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler by attending the wrestling school The Salt Water Redneck. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler (32), a small-time outlaw on the run, becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (28), a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own, to join them on their journey.”

Why films about learning disabilities need to be more than merely feelgood by Saba Salman

What does Peanut Butter Falcon mean for Down Syndrome? by Dawn

Give Me Liberty directed by Kirill Mikhanovsky

“In this freewheeling comedy, medical transport driver Vic risks his job to shuttle a group of rowdy seniors and a Russian boxer to a funeral, dragging clients like Tracy, a young woman with ALS, along for the ride.”

First African-American Disabled Lead Female In a Film by The Black Wallstreet Times

Ensuring Authentic Representation of Black Disabled People in the Entertainment Industry by Eric Asher, RespectAbility


“Shaken by a friend’s suicide, a Deaf high school football player copes with family and relationships while anticipating his final homecoming game.”

Avoiding Inspiration Porn

I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much!” by Stella Young

4 Examples of Inspiration Porn” by Kayla Kingston, MCIE Blog — Think Inclusive

An Open Letter to the Media: On ‘Severe’ Autism and Inspiration Porn” by Terra Vance, NeuroClastic

Black Disability Gone Viral: A Critical Race Approach to Inspiration Porn” [PDF] by Sami Schalk, CLA Journal

White Privilege and Inspiration Porn” [PDF] by Vilissa Thompson, Ramp Your Voice

Documentaries About Disabilities

Who Am I to Stop It? directed by Cheryl Greene

“Three everyday people with traumatic brain injury disabilities use arts to reconnect to a sense of identity, self-pride, and community and to assert their agency and autonomy. This feature-length documentary centers the artists’ narratives, creating complex portraits that go beyond the medical aspects of brain injury that typically dominate educational media on the topic.”

Who Am I to Stop It?” by Karina Sturm, Medical Humanities Blog

The Power of 504

“Award-winning 18-minute documentary video, which captures the drama and emotions of the historic civil rights demonstration of people with disabilities in 1977, resulting in the signing of the 504 Regulations, the first Federal Civil Rights Law protecting people with disabilities. Includes contemporary news footage and news interviews with participants and demonstration leaders.”

Short History of the 504 Sit-in” by Kitty Cone, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

When I Walk directed by Jason DaSilva

“In 2006, 25-year-old Jason DaSilva was on vacation at the beach with family when, suddenly, he fell down. He couldn’t get back up. His legs had stopped working; his disease could no longer be ignored. Just a few months earlier doctors had told him that he had multiple sclerosis, which could lead to loss of vision and muscle control, as well as a myriad of other complications. Jason tried exercise to help cope, but the problem only worsened.

“After his dispiriting fall on the beach, he turned to his Mom, who reminded him that, despite his disease, he was still a fortunate kid who had the opportunity to pursue the things he loved most: art and filmmaking. Jason picked up the camera, turned it on his declining body, and set out on a worldwide journey in search of healing, self-discovery, and love.”

When We Walk directed by Jason DaSilva

“Filmmaker Jason DaSilva has been living with a severe form of multiple sclerosis for over 10 years. In his wheelchair, Jason begins to realize just how many places he is unable to experience with his son. To solve that, he works on a nonprofit AXS Map to help him determine the places he could go. When his son moves 1700 miles away to Austin, Texas he is unable to cope with this loss.

“He attempts to relocate to Austin which reveals to him the extent of the broken Medicaid system, and ultimately discovers that the Medicaid system would require him to live in a nursing home. When We Walk documents a devoted father and filmmaker with an indestructible drive to keep the cameras rolling no matter what and to show his son what it means to never give up.”

Guest Post: A Review of ‘When We Walk’” by Andrew Ryder, Diversability

Predicting My MS by Jason DaSilva, PBS

Picture This directed by Jari Osborne

“In Picture This, a new documentary by Jari Osborne, we meet Andrew Gurza, a self-described ‘queer cripple’ who has made it his mission to make sex and disability part of the public discourse.”

Rising Phoenix directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui

“Rising Phoenix tells the extraordinary story of the Paralympic Games. From the rubble of World War II to the third biggest sporting event on the planet, the Paralympics sparked a global movement which continues to change the way the world thinks about disability, diversity & human potential.”

Rising Phoenix: a documentary about the Paralympic Games movement” by Emma Purcell, Disability Horizons

Crip Camp directed by Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht

“A groundbreaking summer camp galvanizes a group of teens with disabilities to help build a movement, forging a new path toward greater equality.”

Crip Camp: The Virtual Experience

“In the summer of 2020, the Crip Camp Impact Campaign hosted its flagship program, Crip Camp: The Official Virtual Experience! In these unprecedented times, there is no one better to think outside of the box and deliver community building right to your home. We invited all grassroots activists and advocates to join us for a virtual camp experience featuring trailblazing speakers from the disability community. All were welcome, activism experience was not a requirement to participate.”

Crip Camp: Curriculum

“The goal of this curriculum is to extend the knowledge and understanding of disability and of disabled people offered in the Netflix film CRIP CAMP… Our bold collective vision is to support students, educators, and families in a welcoming conversation about the disability rights movement, power, ableism, and disability justice.”

Crip Camp – President Barack Obama Moderates a Conversation on Disability Rights

“President Barack Obama moderates Crip Camp: A Conversation on Disability Rights featuring co-directors Nicole Newnham & Jim LeBrecht and disability activists featured in Crip Camp Dennis Billups, Judy Heumann and Denise Sherer Jacobson.”

Crip Camp reminds us that, in America, nothing improves without massive sacrifice” by Joshua Rivera, The Verge

Intersectionality and Disability Justice

Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color” [PDF] by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw

“Legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” in 1989 to describe how systems of oppression overlap to create distinct experiences for people with multiple identity categories. Although intersectional theory and activism today are far-flung and embrace a wide variety of people, Crenshaw began with Black women, whose oppression couldn’t be encompassed exclusively with the terms “racism” or “sexism,” if they were framed as an either/or proposition.” – The Editors of JSTOR Daily

Kimberlé Crenshaw’s Intersectional Feminism” [PDF] by The Editors, JSTOR Daily

“Legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” in 1989 to describe how systems of oppression overlap to create distinct experiences for people with multiple identity categories. Although intersectional theory and activism today are far-flung and embrace a wide variety of people, Crenshaw began with Black women, whose oppression couldn’t be encompassed exclusively with the terms “racism” or “sexism,” if they were framed as an either/or proposition.” – The Editors of JSTOR Daily

Skin, Tooth, and Bone: The Basis of Movement is Our People articulated by Patty Berne and Sins Invalid

“The Recently released Second Edition of Skin, Tooth, and Bone: The Basis of Movement is Our People is a Disability Justice Primer based in the work of Patty Berne and Sins Invalid. The Disability Justice Primer offers concrete suggestions for moving beyond the socialization of ableism, such as mobilizing against police violence, how to commit to mixed ability organizing, and access suggestions for events. Skin, Tooth, and Bone offers analysis, history and context for the growing Disability Justice Movement. The Second Edition includes the addition of a section on Audism and Deafhood written and edited by members of the D/deaf community, and a Call to Action from Survivors of Environmental Injury, as well as disability justice timelines, an extensive glossary, and a resource list for learning more.”

What is Disability Justice?” articulated by Patty Berne and Sins Invalid

10 Principles of Disability Justice [PDF] articulated by Patty Berne and Sins Invalid

Web Accessibility Perspectives

Web Accessibility Perspectives Videos: Explore the Impact and Benefits for Everyone” by W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

“[Web accessibility is essential for people with disabilities and useful for all. Learn about the impact of accessibility and the benefits for everyone in a variety of situations.”

How People with Disabilities Use the Web” by W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

“This resource introduces how people with disabilities, including people with age-related impairments, use the Web. It describes tools and approaches that people with different kinds of disabilities use to browse the Web and the barriers they encounter due to poor design. It helps developers, designers, and others to understand the principles for creating accessible websites, web applications, browsers, and other web tools.”

How Persons with Disabilities Use the Web” by Deque

“This webinar was intended to create awareness around web accessibility, or how persons with disabilities use the web. This webinar is a great introduction for people who are new to accessibility but want to learn more. Our panelists went over the various scenarios they encounter while using the internet. Millions of people have disabilities that affect their use of the web. Currently, most websites and software have accessibility barriers that make it difficult or impossible for many people with disabilities to use the web.”

Assistive Technology

Screen Readers in the Wild” by Knowbility

“Dive deep into real-world screen reader usage with Anthony Vasquez, Knowbility Communication Specialist, and native screen reader user. Anthony will demonstrate how he uses a screen reader to navigate the web, delving into the good, the bad, and the ugly of website design.”

A Brief History of Screen Readers” by Becky Gibson, Knowbility

Assistive technology, accessible technology, and the accessibility tree” by Louise Clark, CPWA

What is assistive technology?” by Deque

Types of Assistive Technology (AT)” by Minnesota Guide to Assistive Technology

An Overview of Assistive Technologies and Digital Accessibility Principles” by Stanford WebCamp

“[Assistive Technology for Kids with Multiple Disabilities]” by Chau Nguyen

Resources Shared at A11yNYC

Accessibility Internet Rally from Knowbility

The Accessibility Internet Rally is a unique design competition that builds partnerships between nonprofits and artists and teams of volunteer web developers, designers, and other tech specialists. The goal of this partnership is a new or improved website for the organization or artist that is accessible to people with disabilities plus information and resources that they can use in the future to help maintain the accessibility of their site.


The purpose of this group is to help people in the early stages of their accessibility journeys learn and grow together in an ally support group.

Digital Accessibility Jobs Tweets by Jennison Asuncion

International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) Certifications

Introduction to Web Accessibility free online course from W3C

“Get a strong foundation in digital accessibility to make your websites and apps work well for people with disabilities, meet international standards, and provide a better user experience for everyone.”

Web Design References by University of Minnesota Duluth