Respect: Songs of the Self-Advocacy Movement
Released in April 1998 at the Fourth International People First Conference in Alaska, RESPECT became a candidate for a Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary Folk category in 1998. S.A.B.E. - Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered - is the United State\'s national self-advocacy organization with a national board of regional representatives and members from every state in the US. (Self-advocacy is the work of people with cognitive disabilities for respect and for their civil rights.) SABE\'s mission is to ensure that people with disabilities are treated as equals and that they are given the same decisions, choices, rights, responsibilities, and chances to speak up to empower themselves; opportunities to make new friends; and to learn from their mistakes. KARL WILLIAMS spent most of 70s working with kids with cognitive disabilities. In 1985 he wrote a song for the Pennsylvania self-advocacy group Speaking For Ourselves - the first song ever written for the movement. When Williams found that his words and music could serve the group\'s cause, he began to provide a kind of soundtrack for the daily struggle of those in the movement. Williams' self-advocacy songs are now regularly performed before national, regional, and local audiences in the US, Canada, and Europe; they've been translated, used in books, on websites, in videos, and in plays. Williams' efforts have been recognized outside the movement with several awards from ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). Williams has published two as-told-to autobiographies with leaders in the self-advocacy movement. \'Lost In A Desert World: The Autobiography Of Roland Johnson\' recently sold out it's first printing. Williams has also adapted Roland Johnson\'s story for the stage. "First-rate compositions..." wrote critic Ken Tucker, now of Entertainment Weekly and radio's Fresh Air, of Karl Williams\' first album, \'Living At The End Of Time\'. "Williams sings his song in a warm, sexy, wry tone, in a voice that has felt the influence of everyone from Hank Snow to John Sebastian.\' Late in 1999 Williams' CD-single \'To the New Century,\' a hard-edged anthem featuring toasts in 17 languages, was picked up by radio stations around the world. The story of the song's travels appeared in Bruce Pollock's "Working Musicians" (HarperCollins, 2002). Songs from Williams' first children\'s CD, BIG FISH LITTLE FISH, have been used on NBC\'s \'Sunday Today\' and on FOX TV\'s \'Til Death.\' His first play was presented at The Philadelphia Fringe Festival.