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Disability History: Berkeley Rotary Honors Judy Heumann and Ed Roberts

The Rotary Club of Berkeley held their 2014 Rotary Peace Grove Awards Ceremony to honor Ed Roberts and Judith Heumann, leaders of the civil rights movement for the disabled, on July 16, 2014.

The following is an excerpt from a press release by Maxim Schrogin, Chair, Peace Committee, Berkeley Rotary:

Ed Roberts, a native Californian, and Judith Heumann, a native New Yorker, are the bookends in the story of the independent living movement for disabled persons in America. Both contracted polio as children, both fought for their right to attend school, and both gained post-graduate degrees from Cal Berkeley. Their combined tenacity energized the civil rights movement for the disabled, established laws to provide access, and created organizations that helped countless individuals around the world find ways to reach their potential.

Ed Roberts served as the Director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation from 1976-1983. He passed away in 1995. Judith Heumann currently serves as Special Advisor on Disability Rights for the U.S. State Department under President Barack Obama. Ms. Heumann will be in attendance at the awards ceremony.

In 1955, Berkeley Rotary created the Peace Grove by planting fifty redwood trees in Tilden Park. Each year, the club honors an individual or group that has made a significant contribution toward world peace in their lifetime. Judith Heumann and Ed Roberts gave disabled individuals and their families the right to live less restricted and more peaceful lives. Berkeley Rotary is pleased to honor these two extraordinary peacemakers.

The entire press release:

For more on Ed Roberts:

For more on Judith Heumann:

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