The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Promoting Independence, Productivity, Self-Determination, Integration and Inclusion
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A Day in the Life of Ed Roberts

Lee Roberts talks about his father, Ed Roberts

Introduction

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Lee Roberts: I think it's really important that people understand this side of my father. Now, I haven't shared this really since he died. I just think that a huge part of the person is their personal life, and so my goal with this interview because there's not a lot of people outside of his mother, his attendants, and his closest friends who really know a day in the life of Ed Roberts. Who he was as a person, what sort of special stories that I could share. That's what I wanted to convey to people.

I think it's important to know the man as well as the mission. And these are personal sacred stories that I just feel people would know that can help them get a little closer to my father as a person rather than just a figure, and it was important to me that I share that in this situation with these people. With some of my father's close friends, so that they can really understand my father as a person. That's what I really wanted to accomplish.

My bottom walk-away experience that I believe I carry with me every day is that my father never settled for anything and always fought for everything. And he always, always followed his gut, followed his passion, went with it no matter who was against him, and oftentimes there was more people against him than it was for him.

So I've always followed my gut and followed my passion. And in so many different speeches, he would always encourage that person to look within themselves, find their passion, follow it. You can't... You can't go wrong with your gut. You can't go wrong with your passion. Don't ever settle. He never settled. I'll never settle. I carry that with me every day, and if there's anything he loved to pass on, it's just go for it. Follow your passions. If that's an independent living movement, then go for it. Don't settle. Fight for what you want and what you believe in. That's what my father would want.

Those individual aspects of my father s life and his work. It was funny, I caught so many different moments because I would travel with him, but I was... I wasn't there for others. My experience with my father was on a much more personal level, not to the specifics of everyday work, except for how he got up, how he went to bed, and how I related as father and son. Yeah, I did a lot of things with him when he was on road trips and travel, but some of the specifics are best left more accurately to others. I have the personal life.

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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center, the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.