Henry Mayhew interviews a "Crippled Street-Seller of Nutmeg Graters" in London Labour and the London Poor.
John Kitto describes his experience of deafness in The Lost Senses.
Harriet Martineau sees invalidism as a philosophical state in Life in the Sickroom.
Charles Dickens writes his observations of the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston.
A journalist observes the first asylum for the cognitively disabled, The Earlswood Asylum.
A journalist visits the London School for the Blind on Guy Fawkes day.
Wordsworth reflects on his encounter with a blind man in his autobiographical poem, The Prelude.
"Nothing about us without us". This slogan in disability rights activism gestures toward the long history of institutional and political decisions made by the able-bodied without input from the disabled community, and important attempts to redress that injustice in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The life writing that survives from the nineteenth century allows the voices of people with disabilities to be heard over a hundred years later. As Martha Stoddard Holmes writes, "autobiography can articulate a personal counternarrative of identity that is different from the stories the dominant culture tells about your experience" (Fictions of Affliction 133). Many of the examples of life writing about disability from the nineteenth century have a "mediated and multivocal quality", as Stoddard Holmes points out. This is particularly true of the journalistic pieces on life on the street or in institutions for the disabled that reporters for newspapers and periodicals like Dickens's Household Words published. Yet, such pieces nonetheless provide valuable insights into life with disability in the nineteenth century. The examples of life writing in this section range from journalistic observations of institutions such as the Earlswood Asylum for the cognitively disabled to first person accounts of deafness and invalidism by John Kitto and Harriet Martineau.