Pushing Limits

Fading Scars: My Queer Disability History

Corbett Joan O'Toole. photo by Karen Nakamura
Corbett Joan O’Toole. photo by Karen Nakamura

Highlights from Corbett Joan O’Toole’s reading from her new memoir, Fading Scars: My Queer Disability History.    Partial transcript available here.

Arriving in Berkeley among the first wave of people with disabilities, Corbett O’Toole experienced the creation of the west coast Independent Living Movement first hand.  In this book, she brings those early days to life. 

But that’s just the beginning.  With her signature intelligence and humor, she takes us through the major issues of our disabled lives.  From violence to crip dancing, O’Toole’s analysis is often surprising and always illuminating.

Cover photography & model: Chun-Shan (Sandie) Ye
Cover photography & model: Chun-Shan (Sandie) Ye

Published by Autonomous Press, a new press devoted to disability, O’Toole’s book establishes the life-saving necessity for the disability rights movement as it points out the many places we have yet to go.

Edited from a live reading at the Ed Roberts Center in Berkeley,  this program includes O’Toole’s history of the ground-breaking 504 sit-in, including the little known history of Black Panther support.  O’Toole also explains how she approached the problem of writing for people who don’t like to read due to their disabilities — while also writing a book for people who love to read.

O’Toole mentions learning some details of “plain language” from Self Advocates for Becoming Empowered.  This article by Elizabeth “Ibby” Grace explains why it is important in academia.

Find our more about Corbett O’Toole here.

This program produced and hosted by Adrienne Lauby.  Sheela Gunn-Cushman and Shelley Berman provided audio editing.

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