GRIT – A FAMILY MEMOIR ON ADVERSITY AND TRIUMPH is a groundbreaking memoir on American Disability History and overcoming adversity, by award winning songwriter and award winning documentarian Jeff Moyer. GRIT tells the monumental story of one family’s struggle with multiple disabilities beginning before the Disability Rights Movement changed the American landscape. It tells of Jeff Moyer’s role as the troubadour of that movement. Senator John McCain reflected, “I appreciate and remember Jeff being at the signing of the ADA…” (Americans With Disabilities Act). Jeff played his song “The ADA Anthem” following the signing of the law at a Senate reception. GRIT is important for both American and Disability History in part because it documents the horrors of State Institutions for individuals with cognitive disabilities, within which Jeff’s younger brother Mark languished for 33 years until Jeff was able to pull him out and establish a supported living home for him in Jeff’s neighborhood. While Mark is central to GRIT, the memoir also details their father’s overcoming alcoholism, overradiation and resulting loss of his lower jaw and ability to speak and swallow. GRIT tells the story of Jeff’s resilience in the face of progressive blindness and hearing loss and his son Kyle’s living effectively with undiagnosed, severe ADHD. In addition, the book tells the story of Jeff’s role as a leader in the Disability Rights Movement and his work in assistive technology that included his role evaluating the speech synthesizer that became the speech prosthesis used by Dr. Stephen Hawking until his death. Further, it documents Jeff’s experience as a kidney donor with resulting severe and chronic pain. Jeff’s donation saved the life of a woman he had not met, daughter of a friend. GRIT is a multifaceted book that offers new contributions to American History, Disability History, and Psychology. GRIT combines so many important aspects through the telling of the Moyer Families life over the last 65 years that it deserves to be taught in every school and celebrated in every family. One reviewer stated “This book will be quoted often in living rooms and hallowed places of learning.” GRIT offers hope and inspiration for families and individuals struggling with adversity and lifts high the banner of the normalcy of diversity and the human hearts power to overcome loss and resistance to change.
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