excerpts from the book.
IN A DESERT WORLD:
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
told to Karl Williams)
Speaking for Ourselves, 1999
s/h - $3.00
book-on-tape: $18.00 / $10.00 for self-advocates or self-advocacy
s/h - $3.00
Johnson has an important story to tell. In writing this truth-telling
autobiography, he becomes a powerful witness to the cost of segregation
and the hope of community."
P. Shapiro, author of "No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging
a New Civil Rights Movement''
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 ADA, Americans With Disabilities Act, and Chairperson of
the Presidents Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities
under President Bush
Johnson was a good and true man whose friendship I cherished. He
was a teacher to many of us and now this book will carry his voice
across the country.
Dybwad, internationally respected advocate and past President of
the International League of Societies for Persons with Mental Handicaps
is a man who excepted you for who you were. He was a friend to everyone
and wanted to help people live their dreams and have control over
their lives. It was an honor to have him as my friend.
Tia Nelis,Chair of
the Board of
Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)
Gwin, (MOUTH magazine):
is rare, even in fiction let alone autobiography, when an author's
words leap off the page through the ear to awaken the reader's
heart. I never knew Roland Johnson. But thanks to Karl Williams,
I am able to know Roland's playful spirit, his soul full of knowing,
the truth of his experience. Bravo to both."
Probst, (AAMR JOURNAL)
and vivid portrayal...Roland Johnson's autobiography...breaks
new ground regarding the authenticity with which it projects his
voice...It tells one person's story...(and) the person whose story
is told is the one telling it. These two elements compel readers
to respond to Roland as a full human being: a sympathetic, vulnerable,
thoughtful, capable, contributing, powerful, fellow human being...Roland
Johnson's gift to his readers is his story...Karl Williams(' )
his sensitive and supportive background role in facilitating the
process, all the way to its posthumous publication...Karl Williams'
preservation of Roland's words, and Roland's voice, his unique
manner of speaking intact, shines new light on the meaning of
"speaking for ourselves." ...The bold decision to convey
Roland's words just as he expressed them - so that if he spoke
in run-on sentences, or 'axed' something of someone, that is what
we read - is likely to influence how people share their stories
in the future...(A) work of pioneering authenticity..."
In a Desert World") is so good and Roland's talking is so
much like him, it felt like I was in the same room with him again
...Loved every minute of it... It made me want to reach out and
Kopchick from Kempton, Pa. USA (for Amazon.com)
Williams brings Roland Johnson to life--exactly as I knew him
more than 25 years ago, but what I learned about Roland from reading
the book brought me to tears and anger about what we used to do
to people who were labeled "different", and yet joy
at what he was able to accomplish through a positive attitude
and a willingness to put himself in a leadership role to help
others. I recommend as must reading to any Human Service student
or worker who wants an entertaining short history of where the
mental retardation field was just 2 generations ago and where
we're going thanks to self-help pioneers like Roland. For all
of us who have toiled in this vineyard for more than 20 or 30
years, it will remind us why we entered this field in the first
place. A great read!!!!"