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List of disability rights activists

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A disability rights activist or disability rights advocate is someone who works towards the equality of disabled people. Such a person is generally considered a member of the disability rights movement and/or the independent living movement.

By AchievementEdit

Helped pass the ADAEdit

  • Robert Burgdorf - drafted the first version of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • Tony Coelho - original congressional sponsor of the ADA
  • Justin Whitlock Dart, Jr. - helped pass the ADA; co-founder of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
  • Bob Dole - Republican senator from Kansas who was a co-writer of the bill with Harkin.[1] Partly disabled through war injuries.
  • Fred Fay - chair, Justice for All
  • Lex Frieden - executive director, National Council on Disability
  • Tom Harkin - Democratic senator from Iowa who introduced the ADA in the Senate. Harkin also delivered part of a speech in sign language so his deaf brother could understand
  • Steny Hoyer - sponsored the passage of the ADA
  • Douglas Martin - first executive director of the Westside Center for Independent Living; national leader in social security and health benefits reform; helped pass the ADA; coordinator of ADA and 504 compliance at UCLA
  • Arlene Mayerson - directing attorney, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
  • Major Owens - helped pass the ADA

Founded or co-founded an organizationEdit

By OccupationEdit

AuthorsEdit

  • James Charlton - author/activist who developed a model of different kinds of disability activists groups in the United States
  • Hugh Gallagher - author, international disability activist; expert on the atrocities committed against people with disabilities by the Nazi regime
  • Laura Hershey -- poet, author and activist
  • Paul K. Longmore - author
  • Cedric Pugh - author; campaigner for disability rights in higher education
  • Irving Zola - sociologist and author

Broadcasters Edit

LawyersEdit

PhysiciansEdit

  • William Berenberg - Harvard professor and pioneer in the treatment and rehabilitation of cerebral palsy

PoliticiansEdit

By NationalityEdit

ChileanEdit

  • Carlos Kaiser- Founder and advisor member of Independent Living Chile, person in charge of PwD's Issues Municipal Office of Algarrobo Town

American activistsEdit

  • Larry Allison - deputy director of the New York City Mayor's Office for the Disabled, 1973-1991
  • Anita Baldwin - deputy director and head of blind services at the Center for Independent Living, Berkeley, California, early 1980s
  • Billy Barner - first African American student in UC Berkeley's Cowell Residence Program for Physically Disabled Students, 1969-1973
  • Elmer Bartels - co-founder of the Boston Center for Independent Living
  • Gerald Belchick - California Department of Rehabilitation counselor ans liaison to the Cowell Residence program, 1970s
  • William Berenberg - Harvard professor and pioneer in the treatment and rehabilitation of cerebral palsy
  • Carol Fewell Billings - attendant at the UC Berkeley's Cowell Residence Program; staff member at the Physically Disabled Students' Program and the Center for Independent Living, Berkeley
  • Wade Blank - ADAPT founder
  • Frank Bowe - first CEO of American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities
  • Jacquelyn Brand - founder of the Disabled Children's Computer Group and Alliance for Technology Access
  • Edna Brean - nurse coordinator of UC Berkeley's Cowell Residence Program, 1969-1975
  • Mary Lou Breslin - co-founder and director of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
  • Marca Bristo - executive director of Chicago's Access Living; former chair of the National Council on Disability; co-founder of the National Council on Independent Living
  • William Bronston - advocate for deinstitutionalization; physician at Willowbrook State School in New York; medical director and consultant for the California Department of Developmental Services, 1985-
  • Janet McEwen Brown - Center for Independent Living, Berkeley, newsletter editor, 1972-1976
  • Henry Bruyn - director of Student Health Services, UC Berkeley, 1959-1972
  • Joel Bryan - founder and director of Disabled Students' Services, UC Riverside and UC Davis
  • Robert Burgdorf - drafted the first version of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • Tony Coelho - original congressional sponsor of the ADA
  • Tracy Copp - an early advocate for people with disabilities
  • Justin Whitlock Dart, Jr. - helped pass the ADA; co-founder of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
  • Dr. Gerben Dejong - director of Research, Economic, and Public Policy at Washington, D.C.'s National Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Eric Dibner - housing and access specialist and staff member at the Physically Disabled Students' Program, UC Berkeley, and the Center for Independent Living, Berkeley
  • James Donald - deputy director of California Department of Rehabilitation, 1975-1982
  • Gunnar Dybwad - early leader of the parents' movement and advocate for deinstitutionalization
  • Anna Fay - founding member of the New York Metropolitan Chapter of the National Paraplegia Foundation, the Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York, and the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities
  • Fred Fay - co-founder of Boston Center for Independent Living and American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities; instrumental in development of adaptive computer technology
  • Dr. Hugh Gallagher - author; expert on the atrocities committed against people with disabilities by the Nazi regime
  • Jim Gashel - director of communications for the National Federation of the Blind
  • Isabelle Goldenson - lobbied the United States Congress for legislation to assist the disabled; co-founder of United Cerebral Palsy
  • Paul Hearne - co-founder of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD); president of The Dole Foundation
  • Laura Hershey - writer and activist
  • Judy Heumann - co-founder of Disabled in Action; deputy director of the Center For Independent Living, 1976; co-director of the World Institute on Disability
  • Steny Hoyer - sponsored the passage of the ADA
  • Neil Jacobson - co-founder of the Computer Training Project, Berkeley, 1974
  • Kenneth Jernigan - executive director of the National Federation of the Blind
  • Mark Johnson - member of ADAPT (American Disabled for Accessible Public Transportation)
  • Mary Johnson - creator of The Disability Rag
  • Cynthia Jones - editor and publisher of Mainstream Magazine
  • I. King Jordan - co-founder of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
  • Deborah Kaplan - founder of the Disability Rights Center, Washington, D.C. in 1976; former Executive Director of the World Institute on Disability (1996 - 2004)
  • John D. Kemp - co-founder of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
  • Gini Laurie - creator of the Rehabilitation Gazette
  • Paul K. Longmore - author
  • Douglas Martin - first executive director of the Westside Center for Independent Living; national leader in social security and health benefits reform; helped pass the ADA; coordinator of ADA and 504 compliance at UCLA
  • Denise McQuade - executive director of the Brooklyn Center for Independent Living
  • Sharon MistIer - director of the Independence Center of Northern Virginia
  • David Oaks - Director of MindFreedom International, a coalition of psychiatric survivors movement organizations
  • Mary Jane Owen - founder and national director of Disabled Catholics in Action; executive director of the National Catholic Office for Individuals with Disabilities
  • Major Owens - helped pass the ADA
  • Cedric Pugh - author; campaigner for disability rights in higher education
  • Ed Roberts (activist) - head of California's Department of Rehabilitation; co-founder of the World Institute on Disability
  • Robert Ruffner - president of the American Association of Disability Communicators
  • Marta Russell - author of Beyond Ramps; activist
  • Mary Switzer - helped shape the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1954; commissioner of vocational rehabilitation
  • Sunny Taylor - artist, writer and protestor
  • Dr. Sylvia Walker - co-founder of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
  • Madeleine Will - Assistant Secretary of Education
  • Frieda Zames - former president of Disabled in Action (DIA)
  • Irving Zola - sociologist and author

Australian activistsEdit

Canadian activistsEdit

Irish activistsEdit

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