first with a tape recorder and then from transcribed tapes, Williams
has succeeded in getting down in print the authentic voices of two
important leaders in the self-advocacy movement.
Johnson, born in Philadelphia and court-ordered to Pennhurst
State School as a child, gives a chilling account of his harrowing
journey through what he calls a "desert world" - and finally
back to the world the rest of us live in. By the time of his accidental
death in 1994 he'd become a respected speaker and an influential
leader in the movement of the stature of Frederick Douglass or Marin
Luther King, Jr.
Long's childhood on his family's farm left him unsuspecting
- but in the long run more than adequately prepared - for the shock
of full inclusion in the California Public School system in the
years before the Right To Education. His second grade teacher thought
it best to explain to him that his disability precluded his ever
marrying or holding down a job. But the more vital (and important)
message he got from his family - that he could do anything he set
his mind to - led him eventually to conquer his self-doubt and find
his true calling. He now works for the state of California, is married,
owns a home, and travels regularly across the country to speak.