"I am delivering to you the motorized wheelchair of Ed Roberts.” After several dozen more ink-hewn words—words like “pioneer” and “amazing life”—the note concluded, asserting that the wheelchair told “an important story.”In 1995 Mike Boyd left his friend Ed Roberts' wheelchair with the above note attached to it at the administrative headquarters of the Smithsonian. Roberts was a disability rights activist who challenged the prevailing view at the time that severely disabled people belonged in institutions.
Despite being a post-polio quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on a respirator he accomplished more in his 56 years than many more able-bodied people.
Now held by the National Museum of American History, Roberts’s wheelchair embodies a story of obstacles overcome, coalitions formed and the able-bodied educated.
Read more about Ed Roberts here