1939 January 23

Ed Roberts, Disability Rights Pioneer, is Born

 

A paralyzed polio survivor, Ed Roberts in 1962 became the first student with severe disabilities admitted to the University of California, Berkeley. Roberts became an early leader in the disabilities rights movement. He was instrumental in founding the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, the first independent living service and advocacy program run by and for people with disabilities. He also co-founded the World Institute on Disability with Judy Heumann and Joan Leon.

On July 26, 1990, the historic American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. Even though the ADA served as a model for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the UN signed on March 30, 2007, the U.S. has still not ratified the convention because of conservative opposition.

Read about Ed Roberts: http://www.mnddc.org/ed-roberts/index.html

Learn More: Fred Pelka, What We Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement (2012)

Learn more about the rights of persons with disabilities: https://www.aclu.org/disability-rights

Learn more:  Kim Nielsen, A Disability History of the United States (2012)

Learn more at the National Disability Rights Network: http://www.ndrn.org/index.php

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