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Interview with Daryl Rootledge, December 07, 2018

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:28 - Early life

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Partial Transcript: OK. My name is Daryl Rootledge. I was born in 1969 in New York, the City of New York.

Segment Synopsis: Rootledge describes growing up visually impaired due to aniridia, an illness that impacts the development of the eye during birth. He talks about having numerous unsuccessful surgeries to fix his vision. He mentions how his family helped him adapt to mainstream society because of not lowering their high expectation of him despite his disability.

Keywords: Vietnam War; addiction; cataract removal; childhood; colors; corneal transplant; detached retina; heroin; military; parents; siblings

00:03:56 - Education

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Partial Transcript: I went to public school, elementary school, and I went through to my first year of high school in public school.

Segment Synopsis: Rootledge describes attending public school until ninth grade when he transferred to the New York School for the Blind. He talks about utilizing accommodations like large letters and recorded material to navigate the mainstream school system. At the New York School for the Blind, Rootledge describes learning life skills, mobility skills, and independent living skills. He talks about attending New York University (NYU) before going on to obtain numerous graduate degrees.

Keywords: Georgia Council for Developmental Disabilities (GCDD); Kappa; University of Alabama; braille; clinical psychology; cooking; encouragement; fraternity; hearing; itinerary teacher; rehabilitation therapist and counselor; rehabilitation therapy; tandem run; theology; track and field

00:12:48 - Parenting

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Partial Transcript: After I came out of college, I met a young lady and experienced the nuance of being a father and being a husband.

Segment Synopsis: Rootledge describes becoming a husband and having a daughter. He talks about raising his daughter as a blind parent after his wife died. He mentions using braille, large print and audio material as well as scanning technology to read to his daughter and help her with her homework.

Keywords: Georgia House Bill 891; children; education; granddaughter; marriage; widower

00:16:32 - Career / Travels / Faith

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Partial Transcript: After college and having a family, I worked at vocational rehab for the blind and physically handicapped in Alabama.

Segment Synopsis: Rootledge describes working as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the blind and physically handicapped. He talks about being an active member of the National Federation for the Blind and traveling around the world. He discusses having his own ministry and emphasizes the importance of his Christian faith in his life.

Keywords: Arabic; Augusta, Georgia; Hebrew; Jerusalem; Jesus; Somalia; South America; Sudan; University of Alabama Medical Center; audio; braille; homeowner; large print; property; success; support; the Bible; therapy