Ed Roberts, A Life Dedicated Towards Equality.
On December 15th, 2010 the United States House of Representatives declared January 23rd as Ed Roberts Day, in honor of the amazing accomplishments he made for the disabled community. It is because of individuals like him in this community is able to have the rights and resources that they have today. Due to Ed Roberts’ courage and inspiration, we continue to strive and create a more inclusive community.
Throughout his lifetime, Roberts fought for people with disabilities to have the right to fully participate in society. Roberts was an American activist who was paralyzed from the neck down after contracting polio at a young age. His condition required him to use a wheelchair for the remainder of this life. His mother, Zona Roberts, often spoke about the difficulties he had to overcome as he came to terms with his disability. Yet despite his restrictions, Ed strived to live a life with as few limitations as possible.
Ed Roberts began his activism in high school where he petitioned the school board to allow him to graduate high school and receive his diploma despite him not being able to complete the driver’s education and physical requirements. Robert’s won the petition and received his diploma in 1960. He then went on to become the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of California, Berkeley. Roberts received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Political Science from the college. He later returned to lead the Berkeley Center for Independent Living, a project he started during his time as a student and a program that became a model for disability rights around the globe.
Despite Robert’s passing away in 1995, he is still remembered for the work he has done and the change he has created for the disability community. It is because of his accomplishments that Google Doodle has paid homage to this amazing activist on Monday, January 23rd, 2017. On what would have been his 78th birthday, Google displayed an illustration of Ed Roberts giving a lecture on their main search page.
BHW would like to thank Ed Roberts and everyone else who has create an impact on the disability community. Happy (belated) Birthday Ed Roberts! We hope the world continues to create inclusion and acceptance! Because of your dedication to making a difference for disabled individuals, you have made our world a more accessible community.