About the Author: Karl Williams has published two books with leaders in the self-advocacy movement; his play, based on one of these, Lost In A Desert World: The Autobiography Of Roland Johnson, premiered in San Diego. Songs from Williams’ six CDs have aired on NBC, Fox, public television, cable, and German TV, as well as on SIRIUS and earth-bound radio stations around the world. www.karlwilliams.com
About the Book: Roland Johnson spent half his childhood at Pennhurst State School and Hospital for the Mentally Retarded, where he was sexually abused and, essentially, enslaved. When he’d won his freedom as a young adult, he spent several years putting his life back together and learning to control the anger his experience at Pennhurst had kindled in him. And then he happened upon the Philadelphia-based group Speaking For Ourselves. He quickly rose to the presidency and, in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose career he’d followed and whose death he learned of at Pennhurst, was soon traveling across the US and to Canada and England to speak to other fledgling self-advocacy groups and at conferences of professionals, and to work toward establishing a US national self-advocacy organization.
Originally published after Johnson’s death by Speaking For Ourselves, the group Johnson headed up for much of the 1990s, the book sold out its first small printing. One reviewer called it “. . .a work of pioneering authenticity.” Karl Williams has also written a play of the same title, based on the book.
“Roland Johnson was a friend and a hero of mine. He was a great pioneer of the frontier of human being. Read his book.” – Justin Dart, “Father of the of the ADA” (Americans With Disabilities Act)
To Get the Book: You can get an e-book for a Kindle reader for $9.99 from Amazon.com, or you can mail order a paperback copy for $20.00 from Karl Williams's website.
How to Participate: The book club discussion will be streamed over the web via Adobe Connect. The link to access the webinar session is the following:
You will need to be on a computer with either speakers or earphones. You may want to click on the link a little early because it may ask you to install a plugin and restart your browser. Once the Adobe Connect session launches, chose the "Enter as Guest" radio button, enter a name by which you will be identified in the session, then click the "Enter Room" button.
For a tutorial on accessing an Adobe Connect session, you can watch an instructional YouTube video here.
To participate in the Q&A, you should be on a computer with a microphone. If you do not have multi-media on your computer, you will be able to pose your questions via a text chat.
You don't have to register to participate you can just click on the link at the appointed time but by registering, you will receive an e-mail reminder with the link to participate and instructions on the day of the event.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, contact Donald Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-888-2419.