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Author Sarah Savage Cooley
By: Wendy E.N. Thomas

At the Family Services Conference, I met Sarah Cooley. We had a nice conversation and it wasn’t until later in the day that I realized she had written a book. Her book, The Selected Essays of Sarah Savage Cooley contains essays about what life is like when you have a disability.  “Being a writer is a gift. It comes from the heart,” says Sarah of her writing.  “I love being who I am, trying to find myself in the world.  It helps me to know I really am."Sarah has graciously allowed us to reprint one of her essays from her book.
Having a Disability
By Sarah Savage Cooley
I have had a disability all my life. I was born with Down syndrome. It’s not simple, and it is not easy. It is really hard knowing who I am and wondering what I am going to do with my life – like getting a job, living on my own, and making a good career. I want to do what I can to make my life better. For example, I would like to learn to drive, but it takes me more time to learn, and I am not sure I can do it. I would like to know what it is like being normal instead of being different all the time. It is just so hard knowing what to do. I want the world to know who I am. What can I do to make the new me Sarah Cooley? I want to have more work experience and better work skills by working at the Disability Rights Center. I want to enjoy my life and do all kinds of hobbies like writing poetry, writing my book, and when I have time, shopping.
Having special needs:  it feels different. What I do to make this world understand what I feel? Sometimes I feel that having a disability causes a lot f trouble, and I feel like I am in the way. Sometimes I feel it is my fault. I am often worried about whether I can take care of myself. I need my family and friends to support me in my life. I would like to have a boyfriend to support me too and make me feel comfortable. Sometimes I am frightened of what will happen to me if my family is gone. I am trying my hardest to make my life look easy, but it is really hard having this disability, which I know I will have for the rest of my life. But I will keep trying to be the best person I can.
Excerpted from The Selected Essays of Sarah Savage Cooley.

About Sarah Cooley
Sarah Savage Cooley is a writer and disabilities advocate in Concord, NH. She prolifically self-publishes her poems, essays, and memoirs. Her newest book is Of Love & Loss Poetry and Tears. She has also written columns for the Rap Sheet, a newsletter for the Disabilities Rights Center, where she has worked for 7 years. Sarah has spoken on the experience of having a disability at both Plymouth State University  and University of New Hampshire.
Sarah’s books are available for purchase at $5 a copy. If you are interested in buying one, please contact her at: