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With An Eye to the Future

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2011: "Ed Roberts Day"

The U.S. House of Representatives declared January 23, 2011 to be "Ed Roberts Day."

Ed Roberts contracted polio at the age of 14, and came home from the hospital paralyzed from the neck down. He became a driving force for disability rights, and by the time he died in 1995, he was a legend in the disability community.

He served as the head of the Berkeley Center for Independent Living (CIL), the first independent living service and advocacy program run by and for people with disabilities. In 1976 California Governor Jerry Brown appointed him Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation, where he served until 1983. He returned to Berkeley and co-founded the World Institute on Disability.

Ed Roberts - Painting by Patrick Wm. Connally
Ed Roberts - Painting by Patrick Wm. Connally