Disability Rights

Disability Rights: 1962

Ed RobertsEd Roberts Ed Roberts is the first student with significant disabilities to attend UC Berkeley.

Disability Rights: 1967

Governor Ronald Reagan signs the California Mental Health Services Act, sponsored by assembly representative Frank Lanterman and state senators Nick Petris and Alan Short, defining legal rights for patients in mental hospitals.

Disability Rights: 1968

Students with disabilities at UC Berkeley organize as the “Rolling Quads” and advocate for accessible classrooms, curb cuts in the city of Berkeley for wheelchair users, and other accommodations for people with disabilities.

Disability Rights: 1970

The “Rolling Quads” and other advocates at UC Berkeley found the Physically Disabled Students’ Program to help students find attendants, readers, and accessible places to live. The program also provides wheelchair repair, transportation, counseling, and orientations.

Disability Rights: 1972

Roberts and GallowayRoberts and GallowayStudents involved with the UC Berkeley Physically Disabled Students Program found the Center for Independent Living (CIL) in Berkeley, which becomes a model for similar programs throughout the country.

Disability Rights: 1973

President Richard Nixon signs the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which includes Section 504, outlawing discrimination against people with disabilities in all federally-funded programs. Section 504 is the first federal civil rights law protecting people with disabilities. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) stalls on issuing regulations for implementation of Section 504.

Disability Rights: 1974

Legislature adds people with disabilities to groups covered by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Disability Rights: 1975

Education for All Handicapped Children Act becomes law, requiring children with disabilities to receive a free public education appropriate to their individual needs and integration of students with disabilities with non-disabled students as much as possible.

Disability Rights: 1976

Jimmy Carter elected President. As a candidate, Carter had criticized President Gerald Ford for not issuing regulations to ensure enforcement of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the first federal civil rights law protecting people with disailities from discrimination.

Disability Rights: 1977

San Francisco 504 protestSan Francisco 504 protestActivists stage demonstrations nationwide on April 5 at Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) offices to protest that HEW Secretary Joseph Califano has not signed regulations to implement Section 504. Protestors in San Francisco occupy HEW offices for nearly a month before Califano signs strong regulations.

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