At the end of the 1980s, most Americans were not fully aware of the discrimination faced by people with disabilities each and every day. With no public funding, a Task Force on the Rights and Empowerment of Americans with Disabilities was formed, which included 38 volunteer members. One task force member was Cleveland, Ohio, native Elizabeth Monroe Boggs.
This math and chemistry expert became a pioneer in the development of public policy after the birth of her son with developmental disabilities. Among her accomplishments, she served as the first woman president of the National Association of Retarded Children and on President Kennedy’s Panel on Mental Retardation. She was a principal author of the United Nations Declaration of General and Special Rights of the Mentally Retarded, and co-chaired the congressional Task Force on Rights and Empowerment of People with Disabilities, paving the way for the ADA.
Photo Source: The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities