The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is the largest school of its kind in the United States and Ray Charles went to this school. Placing a few members of my fictional cult into the school—seems fair. I’m not sure how many blind and deaf people found jobs in the carnival industry, but I suspect a few did.
Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken is based on the life of Sonora Webster Carver who performed a horse diving act in Atlantic City. An accident left her blind, but it did not stop her from performing. Gabrielle Anwar starred on the movie.
I suspect I will use a different stunt, but I will try for an allusion to the movie. Anwar fits my Florida theme and my first novel slips in an allusion to her. One character may be named, Sonora Anwar. Another may be named, Charlize Ray, to allude to Ray Charles. I will probably go for three members, and my next will probably deal with another famous blind person. To be fair, I should probably make a deaf character, too. I need to research and put some thought into that allusion.