Leaders in the IL Movement

senate action 2014

The history of the independent living movement is not complete without mentioning the people who made substantial contributions to the movement and to the rights and empowerment of people with disabilities.

Paul at a 2016 PCA Overtime Wages Rally

Paul Spooner

Massachusetts’ most stalwart disability rights advocate Paul W. Spooner died unexpectedly on October 8th, after a brief hospital stay. His life partner, Winifred McGraw, was by his side. He was ...
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Frank Bowe

Frank Bowe

From the New York Sun. August 29, 2007 by Stephen Miller Frank Bowe, who died August 21 at 60, led a 10-city protest in 1977 that focused attention on the ...
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Marca Bristow and other advocates in Washington D.C. in 2014

Marca Bristo

As a nationally and internationally acclaimed leader in the disability rights movement, Marca Bristo led the campaign to promote the United States ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights ...
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Kirk Joslin, Charlie Carr and Karen Langley

Charlie Carr

Appointed by Secretary Bigby in August 2007, Charles Carr was the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) until 2015. He has dedicated his career as an advocate of advancing ...
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adapt logo - free our people. person in wheelchair breaking chains

Tim Cook

Tim Cook was the first lawyer for ADAPT. Below, Eric Von Schetterling pays tribute to Tim Cook in his description of an important court case about transportation rights. In addition ...
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Justin Dart at the 10th anniversary of the ADA - 2000

Justin Dart

Few people in the disability rights movement understand the power, importance, and nature of grassroots organizing as well as Justin Dart. For over two decades he has been an advocate ...
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Fred Fay with several familiar MA friends.

Fred Fay

Fred Fay became a role model and activist after he fell from a trapeze at the age of 16 and injured his spinal cord. He worked hard to become independent, ...
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Judy Heumann with Michael Morris and Maggie Redden. In photo Michael, Judy and Maggie are smiling and holding hands.

Judy Heumann

After contracting polio at the age of 18 months, in 1949, Judy Heumann faced numerous obstacles in gaining a decent education. Barred from the public school because she used a ...
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Harriet McBryde Johnson

Harriet McBryde Johnson

Harriet McBryde Johnson was born in 1957 in eastern North Carolina and lived most of her life in Charleston, South Carolina. She passed away in 2008.She attended self-contained special-education classes ...
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Bush signs the ADA in 1990. Kemp is seated to the left of Bush

Evan Kemp

Evan Kemp was a key link for the disability community to George Bush and his administration during the 1980s and the ADA deliberations. During the 1970s, as a Washington attorney, ...
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Paul Longmore

Paul Longmore

Paul Longmore passed away on August 9, 2010 at the age of 64. He was a leading disability scholar and activist. Valerie J. Nelson of the LA Times writes "Unable ...
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Ed Roberts with son

Ed Roberts

Ed Roberts, a Berkeley quadriplegic who began the disability rights movement 40 years ago, now has his own California day. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill in July, 2010, creating ...
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Liz Savage with Eric Holder and President Obama

Liz Savage

Liz Savage and Pat Wright are considered the "mothers of the ADA." They led the consumer fight for the passage of the ADA. Ms. Savage is an Attorney-Advisor in the ...
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Max and Colleen Starkloff

Max Starkloff

Max Starkloff passed away December 27, 2010. Amy Leavitt wrote an obituary for the Riverfront Times honoring his life and achievements. He will be greatly missed, especially by the ...
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Roland Sykes driving his bus

Roland Sykes

The Dimenet Network has an extensive memorial page for Roland Sykes with images, quotes, writings and testimonials. We've included a couple of items from the people he touched: Roland ...
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Pat Wright

Pat Wright

Pat Wright's leadership during the ADA's passage eventually earned her the nickname "The General." She was one of a handful of leading strategizers based in Washington, DC, and worked especially ...
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