Challenge: All Abilities

Explore stories from the perspective of authors and characters who experience the world in a different way. Or try an activity to get a glimpse of what like might be like with different abilities.

When you complete 3 tasks, you will earn 30 points and a badge.

A group of individuals- a man with a service dog, a man in a wheelchair being pushed by another man, and a woman with sunglasses, a prosthetic arm and a white cane- explore a grassy hill together.

Read one book by an author who has dealt with a medical condition that affected their everyday abilities.

  • Cece Bell (deafness)
  • Toni Braxton (heart condition)
  • Charlotte Bronte (tuberculosis)
  • Christy Brown (cerebral palsy)
  • Shane Burcaw (spinal muscular atrophy)
  • Arthur C. Clarke (post- polio syndrome)
  • Samantha Cotterill (Asperger's)
  • Miley Cyrus (heart condition)
  • Corey Doctorow (ADHD)
  • Corinne Duyvis (autism)
  • Carrie Fisher (bipolar disorder & heart disease)
  • Sara Gruen (autoimmune condition)
  • Stephen Hawking (ALS)
  • Laura Hillenbrand (CFS)
  • Helen Hoang (Asperger's)
  • Peg Kehret (polio)
  • Yoon Ha Lee (bipolar)
  • John Milton (blindness)
  • Flannery O’Connor (lupus)
  • Dav Pilkey (ADHD)
  • Terry Pratchett (Alzheimer’s)
  • Rick Riordan (ADHD)

Read one book featuring blindness or visual impairment. Some titles you might enjoy are:

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr***
  • As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds*
  • The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin*
  • The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin***
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green**
  • Girl, Stolen by April Henry**
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: The Diary of Bess Brennan*
  • She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick**
  • Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson***

Read one book featuring a congenital physical disability. Some titles you might enjoy are:

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer**
  • A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev***
  • Breath by Donna Jo Napoli*
  • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth**
  • Cold Hands, Warm Heart by Jill Wolfson**
  • Dr. Martino by William Faulkner***
  • Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley**
  • Tale of the Ragged Mountains by Edgar Allen Poe***
  • Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner***
  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio*

Read one book featuring deafness or auditory impairment. Some titles you might enjoy are:

  • A Silent Death by Peter May***
  • El Defo by Cece Bell *
  • Impossible Music by Sean Williams**
  • Into the Dark by Karen Rose ***
  • Not a sound by Heather Gudenkauf***
  • Silent Melody by Mary Balough***
  • This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kacen Callender**
  • Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers**
  • You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner**

Read one book featuring a mobility impairment. Some titles you might enjoy are:

  • A Song of Shadows by John Connelly***
  • The Bite of Mango by Mariatu Kamara**
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer**
  • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson***
  • Every Note Played by Lisa Genova***
  • The Girl In the Window / The Girl Who Wasn't There by Penny Joelson**
  • The Girl with All the Gifts By Mike Carey***
  • Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw***
  • Lock In by John Scalzi***
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper*
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo**
  • A Time to Dance by Padme Venkatraman**

Read one book featuring neurodiversity. This could include congenital conditions like the Autism spectrum, ADHD, dyslexia, bipolar, or it could feature neurological disabilities such as MS and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Some titles you might enjoy are:

  • A Boy Called Bat by Elana Arnold*
  • A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows**
  • Anything But Typical by Nora R. Baskin*
  • Armond Goes to A Party by Nancy Carlson*
  • Can You See Me? By Libby Scott, Rebecca Westcott*
  • The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon***
  • Devoted by Dean Koontz***
  • Fish in a tree by Lynda Hunt*
  • Focused by Alyson Gerber**
  • Lights, Camera, Disaster by Erin Dionne**
  • Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali**
  • Me and My Sister by Rose Robbins*
  • The Percy Jackson series*
  • Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer**
  • Temperence Brennan mysteries by Kathy Reichs***
  • Uniquely Wired by Julia Cook *
  • The Vow by Kim Carpenter, Krickitt Carpenter, Dana Wilkerson***
  • We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly**

What is it like to navigate the world with a disability or impairment? With safety help from a parent or adult friend, try THREE of the following activities:

  • WHILE WEARING A BLINDFOLD: Navigate from one side of your home to another (The 2nd person should be a guide/spotter to make sure you don't fall).
  • WHILE WEARING A BLINDFOLD: Draw a detailed picture of a farm, with a barn and three different types of animals.
  • WHILE WEARING A BLINDFOLD: Make and eat a cold lunch, like a sandwich and fruit (Do not use sharp utensils!). What was the experience like? Did the food taste different when you couldn't see it?
  • WHILE WEARING A BLINDFOLD: Type a letter to a friend. Once you take the blindfold off, how many errors did you find? If you have access to voice recognition software, try dictating a letter. Did it help? What challenges did you have with the software?
  • BORROW SOME FUZZY GLASSES: Old prescription glasses or magnifiers work well. Try reading a magazine article. How easy/difficult is it? Were you able to read everything? Or did some shapes/colors give you trouble?
  • NON-DOMINANT HAND: With your usual hand, write a letter or story with 2-3 paragraphs. How long did it take you? How easy was it? Now, SWITCH HANDS, so you are using your Non-Dominant hand, and copy the letter or story, giving yourself the same amount of time. How was this experience different? Did you make mistakes? How did you feel trying to complete the same task in the same amount of time?
  • NON-DOMINANT HAND: Do 3 tasks that you normally find easy to do with one hand- such as getting dressed, making a meal, or gardening- but use only your non-dominant hand. How difficult was it?
  • WHAT DID THEY SAY?: Turn the volume down on the television very low, so you can hear it, but not easily. Now put on another source of loud sound, like a fan or radio. How hard is it to tell what people are saying to each other? Do you find yourself reading body language, or trying to read their lips to fill in the words you miss? Watch the same scene with subtitles -how much of a difference do they make?


Many individuals have conditions that limit their ability to do things by limiting the amount of energy they have. They might need to "ration" and prioritize their activities. The Spoon Theory is a way of exploring what daily life is like in these scenarios. Spoons (Or buttons, or coins, or slips of paper) represent a unit of energy sufficient for doing a small, basic task. Try doing as much work as you normally do without running out of spoons.

Flip a coin: If it lands on heads, today is an average day, and you have 22 of these spoons/units for an entire day. If it lands on tails, it's a rough day, and you only have fifteen spoons/units for the day.

Tasks cost spoons, based on the amount of energy (physical, mental, or emotional) each might take. If you go over six units in an hour, you have to flip a coin. If it lands on heads, you may continue on. If it lands on tails, you lose all remaining units of energy for the day (a "crash").

EASY tasks are short (10 minutes or less), easy to do, and don't require bending, lifting, twisting, or pushing weight. They cost 1 spoon each.

Moderate tasks may be longer duration (15 minutes), or require a little bending, lifting, twisting or pushing weight. They cost 2 spoons each.

Complex tasks are longer (25-30 minutes), may include 2 Easy tasks, and require bending, lifting, twisting, or pushing weight. They cost 4 spoons.

Highly Complex Tasks: Any non-sedentary activity over 30 minutes OR may go 15 minutes with multiple types of bending, lifting, twisting and pushing weight. May include several Easy, Moderate, or Complex tasks. Cost 6 spoons.

Each task can cost more spoons depending on the challenges you face each day. Tasks completed outside when it is over 100 degrees cost an extra 2 spoons. Some common examples of tasks are below:

  1. Taking a shower (1 spoon if you have a bathing chair and ADA accessible bath or shower. Otherwise, 2 spoons).
  2. Going out to sit on your own patio (1 spoon)
  3. Reading (1 spoon for every 60 minutes if you have at least 8 spoons, otherwise, 1 spoon for every 25 minutes)
  4. Getting dressed (1 spoon for every 2-3 pieces of clothing. Underwear, socks, shoes, shirt and either a pants or skirt is 3 spoons).
  5. Making a meal (1 spoon per homemade item or takeout meal. A bowl of cereal, yogurt, a piece of fruit, or a complete takeout meal is 1 spoon. An entree you make yourself with 2 sides is 3 spoons). If you're making at least 4 meals, it costs another spoon.
  6. Don't forget about dishes. 5 small pieces (plate, bowl, cup, or each piece of silverware) is 1 spoon. If you have to load or unload the dishwasher, that's 2 spoons each. Washing, drying, and putting away a dishwasher-load of pots, pans, plates, silverware, glasses, etc...) by hand is 8 spoons.
  7. Taking any medication- 1 spoon. If you are supposed to do this and skip this step, you automatically lose 2 spoons.
  8. Calling a friend, sending email, or browsing social media- 1 spoon for every 30 minutes
  9. Shopping (online is 1 spoon for each store, plus an extra spoon every time you need to reset a username or password, plus 1 spoon to drive there and back for curbside pickup). Going into a large or grocery store is 8 spoons (driving to the store, shopping, carrying items out to the car, driving home, and putting items away). If it's over 100 degrees outside, add 2 spoons to the cost. Couldn't get a parking spot close to the store entrance? This costs you another spoon.
  10. Paperwork/bills/banking- 1 spoon for every 15-20 minutes
  11. Laundry- 2 spoons to sort, 1 to put in the washer, 2 to transfer to the dryer, 3 to sort, fold, and put away.
  12. Working- 12 spoons for 8 hours, with the following adjustments: *Do you work at home? you get 1 spoon back UNLESS your internet is spotty or your computer troublesome. *Do you carpool, and someone else drives? get 1 spoon back *Do you do a lot of lifting, bending, twisting, or pushing/pulling? If so, lose two more spoons. *Are your customers and coworkers nice? If not, lose an extra spoon. If it's a really bad day, lose 3.

How are you doing? Did you win the spoon game?

Learn about how you can improve acceptance and inclusion in your community by exploring Hasbro's Be Fearless, Be Kind challenge, or learning about Inclusion initiatives at

Using Kanopy, Hoopla, or your local library's collection, watch a movie or documentary that explores the challenges of those who experience the world differently. The films below may not be appropriate for all audiences, but some possibilities include:

  • I Am Sam (2001)
  • Murderball (2005)
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)
  • Radio (2003)
  • Ray (2004)
  • The Sessions (2012)
  • Soul Surfer (2011)
  • Sound of Metal (2019)
  • Still Alice (2014)
  • The Theory of Everything (2014)
  • The Upside (2017)
  • Walk. Ride. Rodeo. (2019)
  • Wonder (2017)