23 Jan Google Calls Attention To Disability Rights

January 23, 2017

By: Michelle Diament
Source: Disability Scoop

A doodle on Google’s homepage is paying homage to a pioneer of the disability rights movement and encouraging visitors to learn about advocacy efforts.

The search giant included a sketch of Ed Roberts on google.com Monday, which would have been the activist’s 78th birthday. Roberts, who died in 1995, fought for greater inclusion of those with disabilities.

Paralyzed from the neck down after contracting polio at the age of 14, Roberts “was confined to a special wheelchair with a respirator during the day and slept in an 800-pound iron lung at night,” Google said.

In 1962, he became the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of California, Berkeley where he worked to make the campus accessible.

Roberts later went on to lead the Berkeley Center for Independent Living, helping spur the development of other similar centers across the country. He also became the director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, the same agency which had declined to him help him attend college because they did not believe he would ever work.

Google regularly honors holidays, anniversaries and people with so-called Google Doodles, variations of the company’s logo on its homepage.

The doodle honoring Roberts is set to display for visitors in the United States on Monday until 11:59 p.m. ET, Google said.

The company included a message beneath the sketch urging users to “explore the work of disability rights advocates in America” with a link to more information about Roberts, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the disability rights movement.

“Researching Ed Roberts’ life for the doodle was indescribably motivational,” said Olivia Huynh, who created the Google Doodle. “It was incredible to learn about how he overcame the challenges of going to school and then going on to become a leader for the community, making higher education more accessible to countless others. I chose to focus mostly on those aspects for today’s doodle, which I hope conveys the full breadth of his efforts.”

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