A Day of Celebration,
Renewal & Commitment

Remembering the Courage & Leadership of Ed Roberts

Ed Roberts day

Expanding the Legacy of the Father of Independent Living

Ed Roberts Day is celebrated on 23rd January every year to honor former American disability rights activist Edward Verne Roberts. He was the pioneering leader of the disability rights movement and is often referred to as the father of Independent Living.

Early Life Crisis

Early Life Crisis

Having contracted polio at the age of 14

Ed Roberts was left with severe muscle and respiratory weakness that caused him to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He lived as a quadriplegic for over 45 years and slept in an iron lung at night.

Ed started his career as an activist after a high-school administrator threatened to deny him his diploma on the grounds of non-completion of driver's education and physical education. He eventually became the first student using a wheelchair to attend the University of California.

Changing the World

Edward Verne Roberts stood up for the rights of differently-abled students at UC Berkeley and was the key driving force behind the Physically Disabled Student's Program (PDSP) – the first student-led disability services program in the world.

He worked closely with other activists, advocating for the equality of disabled individuals while pushing for the implementation of laws aimed at protecting their rights, interests, and benefits. He was responsible for opening the nation's first Independent Living Center instead of institutionalization.

Ed traveled around the world in his one-of-a-kind wheelchair, which now rests at the Smithsonian Museum.

Ed Roberts and Associates.org at 3175 Adeline, #3233, Berkeley, CA 94703.
Next to the Ed Roberts Center, Ashby BART. 3075 Adeline, Berkeley, CA 94703.

Resolution by Congressman George Miller to create a "National Ed Roberts Day" VOTE: 386-8.

Commemorative EVR Poster at Cost

Message Phone +1 (510) 594-4379.