Ed Roberts (1939-1995) was a civil rights leader, an activist, and an independent living pioneer. He was a strong advocate and self-advocate, fighting for full access to education, housing, employment, and community participation for people with disabilities who were otherwise shut out from opportunity. January 23rd was Ed Roberts’ birthday and to honor what would have been his 80th birthday, we’ve collected some resources from the NIDILRR community and elsewhere focusing on civil rights, advocacy, and self-advocacy for people with disabilities.
From the NIDILRR Community
The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Promoting Interventions for Community Living developed a collection of resources as part of its “Out and About” intervention to help consumers know their rights. These include factsheets, research briefs, and videos on using research for advocacy and community improvement. Learn about their Community Engagement Initiative (PDF) and how its tools can help people make a difference in their community.
The RRTC on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) created an Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit for Centers for Independent Living and others to conduct interacting and engaging workshops to facilitate the development of advocacy skills of emerging independent living leaders and youth with disabilities.
Check out Project TEAM, an intervention developed to empower youth and young adults with disabilities to identify barriers in their physical and social environments, generate solutions to those barriers, and advocate for change in their environment.
The ADA National Network of 10 regional centers assists people with disabilities, employers, and public entities to understand their rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related civil rights laws. Find the nearest regional center online or call 800/949-4ADA (4232) to be connected to an information specialist.
From the Greater Disability and Rehabilitation Community
Find your local Center for Independent Living, community-based centers run by and for people with disabilities. These centers offer a broad range of services to empower and enable people with disabilities to stay in their community.
Families and friends of people with disabilities can also take an advocacy role. Check out the Sibling Leadership Network for information, support, and tools for siblings of individuals with disabilities to advocate for their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them and their entire families.
Ed Roberts was a big proponent of mentoring young advocates and self-advocates. Check out our recent post on mentoring young people on the path to full participation.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Roberts!