Exhibit honors 25th anniversary of the ADA’s signing

Twenty-five years have passed since the ADA — Americans With Disabilities Act — was signed into law. What better place than UC Berkeley to honor the anniversary with a major exhibit on the history of disability and disability activism?

Berkeley, after all, is widely credited as a birthplace of the disability rights movement, and the Bancroft Library houses one of the largest existing historical collections on the disabled and the activism that led to the ADA. 

Images and artifacts from that collection make up “Nothing About Us, Without Us: The 25th anniversary of the ADA,” an exhibit that  opens today in the Bernice Layne Brown Gallery in Doe Library. A reception honoring both the act, the activism and the exhibit will take place tonight in the Morrison Library in Doe. The exhibit will be up through Feb. 17.

Below are some of the images on display. Pictured in the first photo are Judy Heumann and Ed Roberts, two UC Berkeley graduates who pioneered disability rights activism on campus and nationwide. (Article continues after slideshow.)

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The exhibit chronicles the history of disabled people before the disability rights movement, when non-disabled people assumed control of all decisions about the less-abled in the community. The disability rights movement was very much about the disabled asserting the right to lead independent lives and make decisions for themselves; a button on display in the exhibit carries a popular slogan: “Nothing about us, without us.”

Tonight’s opening reception runs from 5-7 p.m. in the Morrison Library in Doe Library.

Related information:

UC Berkeley offers a minor in disability studies.

The Disabled Students Program offers undergraduates a range of services designed to ensure full access to the campus.

Berkeley Law students this week won a national disability law competition.