Provided by the Department of VSA and Accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Writing Spotlights is an educational tool teachers can use in their classroom.
According to the web site, this tool “features short literary works by prominent writers with disabilities. Designed to engage middle and high school students and encourage dialogue about disability and diversity, each Writing Spotlight is accompanied by discussion questions and writing activities to promote language arts skills, including reading comprehension and creative writing.”
Stone Strong was written by Stephen Kuusisto specifically for Writing Spotlights. Here is an excerpt:
I’m an old man nowadays but don’t let that fool you—I’m a bit of a rascal. I always was a rascal.
…I always loved to tell stories and from my earliest days I could talk to anyone. Let’s be honest: if you’re blind it really helps if you can talk to people—especially by being bold, not waiting for others to talk to you first. You can’t be a wallflower and go places in this world and that’s particularly true if you can’t see. When I catch a train I don’t stand around the station waiting for someone to tell me where to go. I just ask the invisible people around me where the train to Poughkeepsie is. You can’t be shy if you have a disability—any kind of disability. Anyway, a rascal is someone who likes to talk and occasionally he’ll even stretch the truth if he has to. That’s just how it is.