S219. Disability in Children's Literature: Not an Anomoly&mdashAn Imperative

Room 11, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


Children and young adult readers deserve realistic characters reflective of themselves and the people around them. Yet, too often, kids with physical or intellectual disabilities are absent from literature for young readers—or if present, the disability is the focus of the book. We'll discuss how authors can responsibly integrate characters with varying abilities into their work so that the disability isn't the story, but merely a challenge that a particular character faces within the narrative.


Naseem Jamnia is a nonbinary Muslim writer and former scientist. They received their AB from the University of Chicago and MS from DePaul University, both in the biological sciences. They care deeply about centering marginalized voices in both fiction and nonfiction and strive to make these voices the norm.

Brian Tashima is the author of the Joel Suzuki series, a YA sci-fi/fantasy series featuring a teenage protagonist on the autism spectrum. He is also a board member of Autism Empowerment, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people in the autism community.

Rachel DeWoskin


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside