Identity and Inclusivity Discussions (i2i) explore topics of identity and diversity to find, to build, and to grow in community through shared learning experiences. i2i promotes positive dialogue in hopes of making Portage County a safer and more inclusive community where all people can live out their best identities.

June's i2i discussion will welcome author Matt Glowacki to talk about his insightful new memoir, Able-Bodied like Me, in which the civility speaker and author chronicles the changing attitudes in our society—and in himself—about what it means to be disabled.

In the 1970s, when Glowacki was born, disabilities were still considered something to hide. Despite being born without legs, Glowacki pushed back against this narrative. He didn’t consider himself disabled and thought the term imposed unneeded limitations. He also balked at the remarks of others. He didn’t want to be an “inspiration” to people without impairments or a convenient way for others to signal their own virtue. Glowacki wanted to simply live his life, and he clearly explains how harmful certain remarks and actions can be for people in the disabled community.

In his memoir, Glowacki includes points to ponder as you reflect on your own assumptions and actions. Glowacki also examines his own changing beliefs about the term “disability,” as well as society’s shifting perspective.

As Glowacki shares the challenges he and others face in their everyday lives, he also offers suggestions about how to foster an environment of mutual respect and understanding. Glowacki certainly doesn’t want your pity. He just wants you to listen.