After contracting Polio at age 14, the disease left Roberts paralyzed from the neck down. In spite of spending the rest of his life in a wheel chair and unable to breath without a respirator, Roberts fought for his rights – starting in high school when he was told he wouldn’t receive his diploma because he had failed to complete phys-ed and driver’s ed requirements.
Roberts petitioned his school and was awarded his diploma. He went on to be the first University of California Berkley student with severe disabilities.
The Google Doodle Blog on Roberts shared the following quote from Roberts’ mother, Zona:
Among his accomplishments as a disabilities rights actives, Roberts created the Physically Disabled Students Program at his University. California Governor Jerry Brown named him Director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in 1976. Seven years later, Roberts co-founded the World Institute on Disability – a nonprofit focused on disability rights policies, research and consulting.
Marking what would have been Roberts’ 78th birthday, the doodle leads to a search for “Ed Roberts activist” and is being displayed on Google’s U.S. homepage.
Early sketches of the doodle were included on the Google Doodle Blog:
You can learn more about the World Institute on Disability’s efforts and programs at: www.WID.org.
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