Our Stories, Our Lives: Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS) Oral History Project

Dublin Core


Georgia--History, Local
People with disabilities--History
People with disabilities--Services for
Georgia Disability Archive


Our Stories, Our Lives is a collection of stories gathered by the Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS) to preserve and document a more complete history of the disability experience, specifically that of people with print disabilities who are living in Georgia. This is an oral history project that works to both preserve and document the varying experiences of those with print disabilities through the stories of people who have lived/are living with a print disability, including visual impairment, physical impairment, blindness, or an organic reading disability such as dyslexia.

All interviews in this collection have been indexed in OHMS.


Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services


Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies







Interviews in this Collection (17):


Stuart Levenson was born and educated in Savannah, Georgia. He attended Armstrong College before working for the Social Security Administration for 36 years. Levenson talks about growing up visually impaired, emphasizing the changing role of…


Vashaun Jones was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. He describes being blind or visually impaired throughout his life. He talks about his career, emphasizing the importance of failure to achieving success.


Rita Harris was born in Good Hope, Georgia. She worked in the school system assisting children with disabilities before she became visually impaired due to retinitis pigmentosa. Harris describes adjusting to life as a visually impaired person. A…


Empish Thomas grew up sighted before losing her vision after college to uveitis, a condition that causes inflammation in the back of the eye near the retina. Thomas describes navigating the workforce while blind, discussing her careers in human…


Jarrett McNutt served in the army during World War II before becoming a minister and working for the Clinical Pastoral Care Organization. He talks about his family history and his career as a minister.


Bridgette Suttle was born in New Jersey, but she grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She became legally blind as an adult due to complications from type 2 diabetes. Suttle describes managing her diabetes, having to have her foot amputated due diabetes, and…


John McCarty is an autistic, non-reliable speaker with impaired vision. In this interview, Joan McCarty reads her son, John McCarty’s, account of his struggle with communication before learning the Rapid Prompting Method (RPM), which enabled him to…


Chris Vandeford became blind as an adult due to diabetic retinopathy. He talks about losing his vision, going through vocational rehabilitation, and becoming involved in his community, both through his work at the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation…


Brian Mosely became blind, lost his sense of smell, and got epilepsy in an accident as an adult. Mosely describes how assistive technology has helped him retain his independence, mentioning the use of the Job Access With Speech (JAWS) screen reader…


Candace Rogers was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) which caused her to become legally blind and have issues with mobility. Rogers describes fighting for disability benefits, purchasing a house, and encouraging others people who have MS.


Daryl Rootledge is a vocational rehabilitation therapist and minister. He was born with aniridia, an illness that impacts the development of the eye during birth. Rootledge describes navigating the educational system and raising his daughter as a…


Anna Trotman was born in Montgomery, Alabama and experienced numerous health problems as a child that caused her to become visually impaired. In this interview, Trotman talks about her education and career as a braille instructor at various…


Alina Garcia Ravelo was born in Cuba and attended the University of Havana, graduating with a degree in industrial engineering. She eventually moved to the U.S. and currently lives in Bainbridge, Georgia, where she works at Georgia Industries for the…


Gaylon Tootle was born in Georgia and attended the Georgia Academy for the Blind, before attending the University of Georgia. After graduation, he worked for the U.S. Army at Fort Stewart and the Moody Air Force Base. Presently, Tootle works at the…


Luis Narimatsu was born in the Panama Canal Zone. He began losing his vision in college as a symptom of glaucoma. After his diagnosis, Narimatsu eventually found work in the 94th Signal Company as a telephone operator. Afterward, Naritmatsu moved to…


Robert Woodward grew up in Decatur County, Georgia. He worked in a variety of jobs, including as an ambulance inspector, food services inspector, and as an employee of Georgia Industries for the Blind (GIB). After retirement, Woordward opened his own…


Cornelius Butler was born in Dawsonville, Georgia and currently lives in Bainbridge, Georgia. At a young age, Butler was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, which has caused progressive loss in sight throughout his life and will result in eventual…

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