Remembering Ed Roberts, Pioneering Disability Activist

By: DiversityWorking Press
Date Posted: January 24, 2017

People with disabilities today can find great inspiration in Ed Roberts, the pioneering disability activist, whom Google Doodle just paid homage to, on the occasion of his birthday.

Google Doodle paid homage on Monday to what would have been the 78th birthday of pioneering disability campaigner Ed Roberts — who fought throughout his lifetime for people with disabilities to have the right to fully participate in society — with artwork featuring the activist giving a lecture from his wheelchair. <a href="">click here</a>

The story of Ed Roberts is a remarkable example of perseverance, self-acceptance, and courage in helping others despite one's limitation.

Contracting polio at the age of 14, Roberts – in the words of his mother - “grew from a sports-loving kid, through bleak days of hopelessness, into self-acceptance of his physical limitations as he learned what was possible for him to accomplish,” the report above said.

At first, he had to attend school by telephone communication, but later his mother encouraged that he attend school in person even just a few hours once a week.
At school, he faced his deep fear of being stared at and transformed his sense of personal identity. He gave up thinking of himself as a "helpless cripple," and decided to think of himself as a "star." He credited his mother with teaching him by example how to fight for what he needed. <a href="">click here</a>

Roberts’ first notable activism came when he was in high school and was denied his diploma for being unable to complete gym and driver’s education classes. His petition was successful, and after graduating high school, Roberts became the first significantly disabled person to attend the University of California, Berkeley. <a href="">click here</a>

At Berkeley, Roberts continued his fight for himself and fellow students with disabilities.

There, he led other Berkeley students with severe disabilities in creating the Physically Disabled Students Program, the first of its kind.
Roberts went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from Berkeley, and later returned to lead the Berkeley Center for Independent Living, which inspired many similar centers around the U.S. <a href="">click here</a>

Ed Roberts made a big mark indeed in American society working for the rights of people with disabilities to fully be integrated into the mainstream. In 1976, he was appointed by then Gov. Jerry Brown as director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. Roberts also co-founded in 1983 the World Institute on Disability. <a href="">click here</a>

When he died in 1995 at the age of 56, Ed Roberts had left a better world for people with disabilities, by fighting against the prevailing stereotypes about them, and proving that people with disabilities can also achieve as much as their non-disabled counterparts.

Yes, that is the problem people with disabilities still face – stereotypes and biases persist until today, including in the workplace. Hence, people with disabilities face difficulties in their search for jobs, or if employed, are relegated to sub-minimum pay because of set notions about them that are being perpetuated.

As noted by an article by –
Indeed, people with disabilities are perfectly capable of living life to the fullest, but filmmakers and storytellers seem to cater to age-old formulas that perpetuate stereotypes against them, and films most especially, are a powerful medium that create a huge impact on viewers.
Hence, in the world of work, the myth or the stereotype that people with disabilities cannot work as well as able-bodied people do still persists, and often, workers with disabilities are compensated with “sub-minimum wages.” <a href="">click here</a>

Diversity and inclusion means people with disabilities are accepted, appreciated for their unique contributions. They have the right to be afforded respect, understanding, and dignity, as every other human being.

Career Channels

Advertising Aerospace and Defense Agriculture Forestry and Fishing Apparel and Textile Industry
Architecture Arts and Entertainment Automotive Aviation and Airlines
Banking Biotechnology Clergy Clerical and Administrative
Conservation Construction and Real Estate Consulting Services Customer Service
Education Energy and Utilities Engineering Entrepreneur Franchise
Entry Level and Intern Environment Executive and Management Facilities and Ground Maintenance
Fashion and Modeling Financial Services Fire, Law Enforcement, and Security Floral Designer
Food, Beverage, and Tobacco Government Graphic Arts Healthcare - Administrative
Healthcare - Nursing Healthcare - Practitioners Healthcare - Technicians Hospitality Hotel Travel Leisure
Human Resources and Employment Services Installation Maintenance Repairs Insurance and Risk Management Intern
Internet and E-commerce IT - Computers, Hardware IT - Computers, Software IT - Executive, Consulting
IT - Manager IT - Networking Legal Services Library Services
Manufacturing and Operations Marketing Materials Management Media - Broadcast
Media - Online Media - Print Metals and Mining Military
Non Profit Operations Manager Personal Care Pharmaceutical
Printing and Publishing Professional Services Public Relations Purchasing
Rehabilitation Specialist Restaurant and Food Service Retail and Wholesale Sales
Science and Research Security Clearance Sports and Recreation Store Management
Telecommunications Trades and Apprecenticeships Training Transportation Logistics and Warehousing
Work from Home      

Featured Jobs

Browse Featured Jobs

Employers post a job here

Hot Jobs

Browse Hot Jobs

Featured Employers

3E Bed Bath & Beyond BI-LO Brooks Running
buybuy BABY C & S Companies Cabela's Incorporated Carestream
Central Community College Christmas Tree Shops City of Hope Community Health Center, Inc.
Compass Group Datto Foley Equipment Fresco Y Mas
Harmon Harveys Ifbyphone, Inc. Information Services Group
Integra LifeSciences InterContinental Hotels Group Interim HealthCare Keenan & Associates
KPMG LMI Aerospace NeighborWorks America Nestle Purina
O'Reilly Auto Parts Office Depot Packaging Corporation of America Phillips 66
Schaedler Yesco Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Inc. Southeastern Grocers Sun National Bank
The Children's Village The Hanover Insurance Group The Nature Conservancy The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
Thorlabs tronc TSymmetry Union of Concerned Scientists
US Ecology, Inc. Vermeer Midwest Winn Dixie YRCI


IHire Job Target One Click Recruitology

Diversityworking Ads

Post Your Resume Now

This website has been awarded the "preferred website" status
in the Who's Who Guide

Trade Pub