Ed Roberts — (1939-1995)
“Together we have achieved something that relatively few people achieve in their lives. We have learned more than anything else, about each other, about how much we love each other, and that commitment, that dedication to each other, will carry through the rest of our lives.
We have begun to ensure a future for ourselves, and a future for the millions of young people with disabilities, who I think will find a new world as they begin to grow up. Who may not have to suffer the kinds of discrimination that we have suffered in our own lives. But that if they do suffer it, they’ll be strong and they’ll fight back.
And that’s the greatest example, that we, who are considered the weakest, the most helpless people in our society, are the strongest, and will not tolerate segregation, will not tolerate a society which sees us as less than whole people. But that we will together, with our friends, will reshape the image that this society has of us.
We are no longer asking for charity. We are demanding our rights!”
By Ed Roberts, April 30, 1977 — See entire speech here