Ed Roberts, Activist
Dr. William Bronston: Ed as a Role Model
Dr. William Bronston: Essentially, he was very much like Martin Luther King at the cutting edge, in his time, of a perfect storm that was really embedded in who he was and when he was, to be able to give voice to 60 million Americans. And God knows how many more people in the world that he then subsequently traveled.
And that message was "You are somebody. You count, and you have to be in school, and you have to be in work, and you have to be in community, and you have to be in fun, and you have to be able to have sex. And you have to live a normal life without essentially being discriminated against and isolated and marginalized and disappear in the society."
So that his role as the Director of the Department... first of all, it was the first time that a massively disabled person was in a position of governance, real governance. He had the State Architect System. He had Social Service Delivery System. He had the Finance Department. He had the Legislature. He had the Governor himself as colleagues, as peer colleagues. And his work day after day, episode after episode, adventure after adventure, was to frame a different kind of a world it was an all-inclusive world, it was a meaningful and respectful world. And that's what the campaign was, because he came into a society that was completely, completely barricaded against his community, his world.