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Writer Tackles Disability & Social Justice In Novels

Former social worker turned writer Robert Bennett of Jericho will join other local writers with the Long Island Authors and Writers Society (LIAWS) for a book signing event this weekend featuring fiction, non-fiction and children’s book authors from Nassau and Suffolk counties.

“I was born with Spina Bifida, but I had no discernible functional impairment until a car accident in 1988 changed my life,” says Bennett. “Since then I have struggled with the barriers, both physical and societal, that people with disabilities are challenged by every day.”

Bennett’s lifelong focus has been a concern for the needs of society’s disenfranchised, his fiction grounded in real world events and technologies as well as his own philosophical concerns.  

“In writing about the issues people with disabilities are involved in I feel I have learned a very important lesson, one that I hope I can help others understand,” he says. “It is the act of living that is important not the manner in which that action is undertaken. People with disabilities have the same wants and needs as others in the world community.”

The event will run from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sip This Coffeehouse on 64 Rockaway Avenue in Valley Stream.

“Good coffee and good books are a natural fit,” says LIAWS president, Tom Gahan. “Many novels have been inspired in coffee houses, and fueled by caffeine. This is a chance for readers to meet the people behind the story.”

Bennett will also discuss his latest book, Blind Traveler’s Blues and sign books at the Jericho Public Library at 7 p.m. on September 24.

Books by Robert Bennett:

Blind Traveler’s Blues

Douglas Abledan, a blind computer technologist, embarks on a long anticipated vacation. On the plane to Chicago, he meets world-renowned agricultural pathologist Cara Cordelia. Little do either of them know she has been targeted for murder.

Blind Traveler Down a Dark River

Douglas Abledan is a blind man using a GPS unit to navigate the world. One day the device malfunctions. He stumbles upon the scene of a murder about to take place. Due to the confusion caused by the failure of his technology, it isn’t until he hears a radio announcer reporting an accidental shooting that pieces start falling into place. Unable to convince authorities to look into the matter, he launches his own investigation. In the year 2021 increasing global earthquakes threaten civilization’s infrastructure. Unimat Incorporated is trying to stop the destruction by introducing a new building material. Special interests are up in arms. Environmentalists blame technology for the problem and want a different solution. Steel workers worry about jobs and safety. Now someone has hired a contract killer to stop the project. How can Abledan expose the killer without becoming a target?

Footfalls

Bob Sinclair is a patient in a rehabilitation hospital. Following his day to day life during a period of three weeks we watch Bob’s struggle to overcome the physical obstacles inherent in the life of a newly handicapped man. As the story unfolds a landscape is painted. The challenges faced by Bob, as well as those faced by other patients he encounters, are similar to those faced by people in the outside world.

Enabling The Dragon

Within the pages of this book martial arts practitioners and teachers from all over the world, those with and without disabilities, are assembled to talk about hope and perseverance. In each chapter they share their individual experiences. Together they weave a story about how disability affects lives and the methods that can be used to counter those affects. They describe how they have used martial arts as part of their regime for healthy living. This book is for everyone; rehabilitation and medical professionals, martial arts practitioners and instructors, and people with disabilities.

For more information on Robert Bennett, visit www.enablingwords.com.