Thursday, November 10, 2016

Why do libraries matter to nurses with disabilities?

Recently, I was asked why I encourage nurses, nursing students, nursing faculty and disability services staffers to ask their university, college, hospital or local library to purchase copies of my books.

Of course, the stories shared in books offer inspiration and hope to nurses and nursing students with disabilities, but there are other reasons......

If you purchase a copy as an individual (thank you!!!), but I would venture to guess that after you read the book it will be placed on a shelf and later end up in a landfill or thrift store.

But if a library purchases the book, the stories shared by trailblazing nurses with disabilities will live on for generations to come. 

The stories serve as examples of nursing students and nurses who benefited from the Americans with Disabilities Act. Some asked for reasonable accommodation and often fought the system, overcame challenges and moved forward to do the work they love. Information is shared about nursing school, gaining employment, accommodation, reactions from patients and fellow staff nurses.... and so much more.

If books about nurses with disabilities are available in libraries, nurses who are working on masters and doctoral degrees and doing research on the experiences of nursing students and nurses with disabilities will find the stories. Nursing historians will be informed as well.

Disability services staffers, human resource staffers, nursing administrators, attorneys, law students, vocational rehabilitation counselors, physical and occupational therapists need to know about nurses with a wide range of disabilities who have been successful in school and work place settings. They need evidence that a person with one hand, mental illness, lower limb amputation, spina bifida, learning disability, spinal cord injury, chronic illness, epilepsy, essential tremor, hearing or vision loss can become a nurse with and without accommodation! 

Most libraries have an easy online form you can complete to request a purchase.

Can you help the stories live on?

Maheady, D.C. (Ed.). (2014). The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.   ISBN: 13:978-1495400933

Maheady, D.C. (2006). Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses Working with disAbilities.
Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc.       ISBN:13:978-0-595-39649-8

Maheady, D. (2003). Nursing Students with Disabilities Change the
Course. River Edge, New Jersey: Exceptional Parent Press. (Now available from

With thanks in advance!


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