Career Change after Injury or Illness

Karen G. Stone
People sometimes pursue self-employment when health issues make it difficult to pursue their previous occupations.

The following story also illustrates how a challenging circumstance can be the basis for meaningful productive work.

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The late author Karen G. Stone, an able-bodied photographer and marketing executive, began writing a popular series of newspaper columns for a New Mexico newspaper on topics related to disability after a major illness left her disabled. She became an activist and later wrote Awakening to Disability: Nothing about Us without Us.

The book is a collection of author’s newspaper columns.
And is written for both able-bodied readers as well as people with disabilities trying to adjust and create a new normal.

Written in a simple easy-to-read style, it’s free of legal and medical language.

Topics are discussed using a short chapter to illustrate day-to-day realities. And the author dismantles common myths and misconceptions. She gives readers an overview of life for more than 50 million Americans living with disabilities, including her own.

Numerous themes include 7 major barriers for people with disability, visible and invisible disabilities, childhood and disability, language, accessible housing, recreation and leisure, education, travel, money and change, diet exercise & health issues, parking, wars, and other battles, employment… or lack thereof, attitude, exercising your spiritual muscle, mentors, on the job, and how to deal effectively with injustices.

Stone compares and contrasts lifestyles and cultural attitudes in the U.S. versus other countries and offers insight on how wasteful government policies are influenced by powerful moneyed lobbying groups in the U.S., which play a major role in the choices available to the American public.

Although the book was written in 1997, the content is still relevant and useful, and for many people, even more so in 2013. Stone’s goal is to educate able-bodied readers and inspire those with disabilities. She uses Awakening to Disability to symbolize equality, dignity, and independence.

For able-bodied readers, the book’s contents may be an unsettling and sobering wake-up call for those who may not be able to answer the following questions:

If you suddenly had a disabling injury how many barriers would you confront ? How would you handle the financial situation?

At the very least, some readers with foresight will take a closer look at the fine print in their health policies and shop for the best possible alternative.

“Awakening to Disability: Nothing About Us Without Us”, by Karen Stone, courtesy of the publisher, Volcano Press.
To view and purchase this book:  www.volcanopress.com

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