Here to Help: Disabilities & Inclusion

By sharing stories together and having conversations about the books you read, you can help young children understand the world around them. Seeing diverse experiences represented in books helps children to explore their own identities and develop empathy for others.

From physical and developmental disabilities to vision and hearing impairments, disability encompasses a broad spectrum, and children with and without disabilities may have questions. The following books positively portray a range of disabilities, enabling children with disabilities to see themselves and introducing children of all abilities to people who experience the world in a variety of interesting ways.

Not every book is available at all locations, but any title can be requested. The children’s librarian at your neighborhood library is also here to help, with suggestions for additional titles on topics of interest–or feel free to suggest some titles to us. New books are always being added to the collection. You can find more Here to Help booklists on different topics by clicking here.

Can Bears Ski?

Is Little Bear ignoring his friends when they say hi, or is something else going on? A discovery opens new doors in a tale that will delight kids with deafness and all children learning to navigate their world. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.

A Friend for Henry

Henry would like to find a friend at school, but for a boy on the autism spectrum, making friends can be difficult, as his efforts are sometimes misinterpreted, or things just go wrong–but Henry keeps trying, and in the end he finds a friend he can play with. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eBook on Hoopla.

Hello Goodbye Dog

A student who uses a wheelchair finds a way to see her dog each day in school.

I Like Berries, Do You?

Photographs of young children with Down syndrome enjoying a wide selection of healthful foods, from fruits and veggies to meats and snacks.

Just Because

Encompasses the issue of disability in a charming celebration of sibling friendship.

Lola and I

A story about a special friendship between a young girl and her dog, featuring a surprise ending.

Oona and the Shark

Oona the mermaid is friends with everyone, but when her attempts to befriend a shark with sensory issues fail miserably she realizes what may be fun for her may be overwhelming for him.

A Sky-Blue Bench

Young Aria returns to school after recovering from an accident and being fitted with a prosthetic leg, but the school has no furniture and sitting on the floor is too painful. She finds a way to build her own bench, surprising and inspiring her classmates.

Susan Laughs

Rhyming couplets describe a wide range of common emotions and activities experienced by a little girl who uses a wheelchair.