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

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!