Collection: Ability

Back Story of the Collection

Hi There! My name is Judith Carter, Executive Director of MZS Press & MZS World Store, bibliophile and friend of MZS for over 22 years. I wear many hats in life, but the ones I’m most proud of is being a Single Mom to an Exceptional Son, a Legal Advocate and Special Education Advocate. I’ve been in the “Special Needs”/”Disability” community (for the record I’m not fond of these labels, or any label for that matter, but use them for the general public) my entire life.

My son was born early, by medical intervention to save his life from serious complications. I was able to hold him for a moment and then the NICU team lovingly took him.  Then, at 7 weeks old, he was hospitalized with his first documented seizures. I officially became a “special needs” mom when he was 17 months old, diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Autism Spectrum Disorder). At 19 months he suffered a global regression, where he lost every developmental skill: walking, talking, eating, potty training, everything. I knew there was something more happening. This led to the discovery and diagnosis of a life-threatening variant of a very rare seizure disorder. Our journey had begun!

A voracious reader, I had always turned to books whether it was to laugh, have companionship, educate or escape. This time was no different. At first I wanted to educate myself as much as possible to help my son, devouring every book I could find or that was recommended to me. Unfortunately, most were academic or parenting advice books. I had a hard time finding the type of books I desired. I wanted books to help me find community and comfort, but I couldn’t. This left me feeling alone. 

Meanwhile, the arts were miraculously how I found the way to communicate with my son and give him the ability to communicate and express himself. Over time and with recommendations from our community, I found many amazing books. But every time I went to a bookstore to find these books the section was only a shelf, if the store had a section at all, and the majority of titles were academic and parenting advice books. Never once did I encounter a comprehensive selection. I had to rely on friends to point me in the right direction. This was how I learned how much there was out there, but there wasn’t a place—one place—to find many options. 

One day my son’s Music Therapist talked to me about the Disability Arts Movement founded in the UK in the late 70’s. She thought I knew of it, having seen how much I used the arts with my son. It was all new to me. The world opened up for me, and more importantly for my son, through me. For the first time on our journey, I didn’t feel like I was alone. 


About our Collection

In this collection/section, you’ll find Fiction & Non-Fiction, Memoirs, Biographies, Graphic Novels, Academic Texts, and much more. Titles strive to be inclusive of all people with disabilities: physical, visual, hearing, mental, medical and/or developmental; colors, demographics, and identities. Some are funny. Some are novels where the protagonist or main character has a disability of some kind. Some are academic books on disabilities in the Arts, inclusive of visual arts, music, performance arts, dance, film, television and literature. There is classic literature, and books on people that you may have never known or realized that were disabled. 

Our Assurance

 We are pricing all items at our cost without a profit. It’s more important to us to create/curate this collection and share it.  So we're putting the margins very low, just enough to pay for creating and maintaining the collection and getting the information out there.  

I've curated over 250 titles for the collection, so it will be like the rest of the store (and all of us), always changing and evolving. We’re starting the collection with 50 titles, 30 new titles and 20 that were already in our inventory.

I’m in search of the best spoken word books on the Arts to be added to the collection and to the store in general. 

If you have any recommendations on books that would be a great fit for this collection, please email me at mzspressexec@gmail.com, I would love to hear from you. The more we share, the more we know and the more we know the more we grow.

51 products
  • A Deaf Artist in Early America: The Worlds of John Brewster Jr. (Hardcover, NEW)
    A Deaf Artist in Early America: The Worlds of John Brewster Jr. (Hardcover, NEW)
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  • About Us: Essays from the Disability Series of the New York Times (Paperback, NEW)
    About Us: Essays from the Disability Series of the New York Times (Paperback, NEW)
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  • BFI Film Classics: The Best Years of Our Lives (Paperback)
    BFI Film Classics: The Best Years of Our Lives (Paperback)
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  • Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road (Hardcover, SIGNED)
    Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road (Hardcover, SIGNED)
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  • Brush of Giftedness (Hardcover)
    Brush of Giftedness (Hardcover)
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  • Coconut Ratz & Kung Fu Cowboys: Tales of a Pacific Islander's Childhood (Paperback)
    Coconut Ratz & Kung Fu Cowboys: Tales of a Pacific Islander's Childhood (Paperback)
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  • Cutter and Bone (Paperback)
    Cutter and Bone (Paperback)
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  • Dancing Past the Light: The Life of Tanaquil Le Clercq (Hardcover)
    Dancing Past the Light: The Life of Tanaquil Le Clercq (Hardcover)
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  • Different Bodies: Essays on Disability in Film and Television (Paperback)
    Different Bodies: Essays on Disability in Film and Television (Paperback)
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  • Disability in Film and Literature (Paperback)
    Disability in Film and Literature (Paperback)
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  • Disability Theatre and Modern Drama: Recasting Modernism (Paperback)
    Disability Theatre and Modern Drama: Recasting Modernism (Paperback)
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  • Don Mahoney: Television Star (Paperback, NEW)
    Don Mahoney: Television Star (Paperback, NEW)
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  • Drawing Autism (Paperback)
    Drawing Autism (Paperback)
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  • Entwined: Sisters and Secrets in the Silent World of Artist Judith Scott (Hardcover)
    Entwined: Sisters and Secrets in the Silent World of Artist Judith Scott (Hardcover)
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  • Framed: Interrogating Disability in the Media First Edition (Paperback, USED)
    Framed: Interrogating Disability in the Media First Edition (Paperback, USED)
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  • Funny, You Don't Look Autistic: A Comedian's Guide to Life on the Spectrum (Paperback, NEW)
    Funny, You Don't Look Autistic: A Comedian's Guide to Life on the Spectrum (Paperback, NEW)
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