My Disability Doesn't Define Me

One student's journey to define his own path and how it can inspire you to define yours

Photo Credit: Bigler Studio; Photographer: Juan Soler

“We all may have our challenges in life; so, if you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out and don’t feel like you’re all alone.”
—Louis Vendetti

Book Description

The test of a lifetime. A brighter worldview. One student’s path to reframing his future.

Louis Vendetti used to claim only his legs had Cerebral Palsy, but his spirit knew no bounds. Refusing to be limited by the debilitating muscular disorder, he pushed back against the educators and school administrators who only saw his condition. Now a college graduate and competitive skier, he navigated a hard road to success by playing to his strengths, learning from his mistakes, and never, ever giving up.

Vendetti’s memoir details the difficult journey to becoming his own strongest advocate. Through heartfelt personal examples and anecdotes from his support system, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look into how he challenged labels and overcame each new obstacle. Perfect for parents, teachers, and students tied up in school bureaucracy, his story will inspire anyone seeking to conquer the seemingly impossible.

In My Disability Doesn’t Define Me, you’ll discover:

  • How to break free from constraining perceptions and set your own standards for success
  • Simple self-affirming steps to living a better life and casting off limiting beliefs
  • The power of rejecting defeat so you can always learn, adapt, and thrive
  • Advice for disadvantaged students to get the most out of their school experience
  • Why building a strong support network can help you face challenges head-on, and much, much more!

My Disability Doesn’t Define Me is a poignant account of struggle and self-empowerment. If you like optimistic outlooks, tips for navigating public school systems, and tales of resilience in the face of adversity, then you’ll love Louis A. Vendetti’s emotional journey.


From handicapped to handicapable: Overcoming. Achieving. Building. Sharing.

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A Small Look into the Book

My Disability Doesn’t Define Me has pieces written by significant people in my life:

  • The President of Hudson Valley Community College, Andrew J. Matonak, Ed.D.
    • Foreword
  • My mother, Karen Vendetti
    • Introduction
  • My elementary school one-on-one aide, Karen Anthony
    • “Forging through the Elementary Years”
  • My aide through middle school and high school, Paul Moylan
    • “My Travels with Lou”
  • My math tutor and friend, Wayne Sharp
    • “The Vendetti Syndrome”
  • The Clerk of the Center for Academic Engagement at Hudson Valley Community College, Tanya Fredricks
    • “The Sun Brings a New Day”
  • Site Supervisor and Academic Coach for the Center for Academic Engagement at Hudson Valley Community College, Andrew F. Roberts
    • “Persistence”
  • Assistant Professor in Business Administration at Hudson Valley Community College, John Meehan
    • “College and Beyond”
  • Librarian at the Dwight Marvin Library at Hudson Valley, Dr. Valerie Lang Waldin, J.D., M.L.S., Associate Professor/Librarian
    • Afterword

There is also an area of the book in which I talk about a late classmate of mine: Sean Craig.  In that section, I have pieces by our Department Chairperson, Ricky Thibodeau; and my late classmate’s parents, Ron and Theresa Craig, that go along with what I have written.

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