Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Celebrate Ed Roberts Day on January 23rd

CFILC sponsored national Ed Roberts Day legislation

The California Foundation for Independent Living centers applauds the overwhelming passage of legislation honoring pioneering disability rights advocate Ed Roberts in the House of Representatives. Authored by Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez), House Resolution 1759 declares the House’s support for a national “Ed Roberts Day” to be held on January 23rd.  

“Ed Roberts was a ground breaking leader who helped galvanize the disability rights movement around the fundamental idea that all people should have the opportunity to pursue education, go to work and live in the community,” said Sheri Burns, Chair of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers.

“As we recognize Ed’s lifetime of leadership in the Disability Rights Movement we remain committed to continuing his work by advocating for access, equality, and full inclusion of people with disabilities.”

In addition to supporting the establishment of Ed Roberts Day, Miller’s legislation acknowledges the accomplishments Roberts made in helping reduce barriers, increase access and improve lives for persons with disabilities.

Roberts, who passed away in 1995, was the first student with significant disabilities to attend UC Berkeley, where he began advocacy efforts and helped found the nation’s first student-driven disabled students program. Roberts founded the Independent Living Center in Berkeley, directed the California Department of Rehabilitation and was a key leader in the national disability rights movement. Roberts later co-founded and became the President of the World Institute on Disability.

The full text of H Res 1759 is here. The resolution was sponsored by the California Foundation for Independent Living and cosponsored by Representatives Sam Farr, Rush Holt, Barbara Lee and James Langevin.

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