barb moran
in the works

Lost in a Desert World

Click here for
excerpts from the book.


(as told to Karl Williams)
Speaking for Ourselves, 1999

• $20.00
• s/h - $3.00

• book-on-tape: $18.00 / $10.00 for self-advocates or self-advocacy groups
• s/h - $3.00

"Roland 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."
—Joseph P. Shapiro, author of "No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement''

“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 ADA, Americans With Disabilities Act, and Chairperson of the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities under President Bush

“Roland 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.”
—Gunnar Dybwad, internationally respected advocate and past President of the International League of Societies for Persons with Mental Handicaps

"Roland 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)

Lucy Gwin, (MOUTH magazine):

"It 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."

Melissa Probst, (AAMR JOURNAL)

"...intimate 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..."

Robert Perske, (Author)

"("Lost 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 hug him…"

George Kopchick from Kempton, Pa. USA (for Amazon.com)

"Karl 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!!!!"