Acknowledgments xvii labels as disabled to be heard. It is with utmost humility and grati- tude that I thank the following individuals for their selflessness and for their courage and fortitude. This work would not have been pos- sible without their voices. When I think of them, I know I am in the midst of leaders. With all of my heart, I thank my parents and grandparents, my family and friends, whose circle of love and support surrounded me and gave me the strength, the courage, and the fortitude to begin and to remain steadfast in life’s journey. There are no words to fully convey how grateful I am to God for knowing the path for my life and for putting people in my path to direct my steps. The journey began with my parents and my grandparents. While they could have been devastated by my premature birth and the medi- cal challenges that ensued, or by the unkindness and discrimina- tion they sometimes experienced when raising a child society labeled as having disabilities, they instead chose to seek God’s guidance and to teach me to see the abilities that come with differences—and that, they did. When I went to them and tearfully expressed frustration over feeling that I couldn’t do something, they simply said, “If you think you can, you can . . . we’ll find a way.” When I went to my maternal grandfather, my “DD”—a man who said that being raised at Thornwell Orphanage during the Great Depression was the greatest thing that ever happened to him because it gave him faith and character—and expressed my frustration about not being athletic, he looked at me thoughtfully for a moment. Then, he grinned in the way only he could and said, “Well Boo, you have beauty, brains, and your walkie thing. You can’t have everything. No one can have everything . . . you have beauty, you have brains, and you have a responsibility to help the world learn about differences.” It is with a servant’s heart that I humbly present this work and my profound hope that the voices of its contributors help make differences and support librarians, edu- cators, families, and communities in quests to be inclusive and to access everyone’s abilities. I am truly grateful to Dr. Blanche Woolls for her incredible mentor- ship and the opportunity to complete this work, and to Drs. Saman- tha K. Hastings and Linda Lucas Walling, without whom this work would not have been possible. Dr. Walling, your work as an acces- sibility pioneer paved the way. Thank you to Dr. Karen Miller, Jessica
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