How do you believe you can change the world when you can’t even move?

Handicapped’ brings out the rich, but unknown history of Australian disability activists starting in the 1970s and 80s who fought to create a more open society and began to shrug off the ‘handicapped’ label that had kept them down.

When polio struck 20-year-old Richard Llewelyn in 1957, he had a year in an iron lung to figure out how to live. In ‘Handicapped’, composer Becky Llewellyn, Richard’s wife and carer, reveals the inside story of her 32 years with Richard in a time before support services and basic human rights for people with disability.

Richard invented a portable lifting machine so he didn’t get stuck in the Home for Incurables. It was the first of many risks he took, going on to have two marriages, four children and advise the Premier of South Australia. Richard insisted that people living with severe disability be heard and became a major leader for change across Australia, inspiring many others to join the fight.

This is a personal story of the costs and strains for one family, their day-to-day living with a major impairment and their passion to break down the barriers holding back people with disabilities. Becky’s story is a revealing insider’s look at this era of progress when Australians with disabilities began to raise their voices for change.

‘An invaluable record and what an adventure’ Robyn Archer



About the author
Becky Llewellyn is an established composer whose works have been performed in Australia and overseas. As Director of Disability Consultancy Services in Adelaide, South Australia for almost two decades, Becky was able to shape the access on major public buildings and infrastructure and public transport, to be open to all. ‘Handicapped’ is her first memoir.

Published: April 2023
ISBN: 978-0-9806843-6-0
Imprint: Walden Press
Format: Paperback
Pages: 357
RRP: $35.00 plus postage
Buy directly from Walden Press

Categories: Memoirs, Disability