Pioneering disability center opens its Berkeley campus

The Ed Roberts Campus is one of the first buildings of its kind in the nation

The Ed Roberts Campus, on Adeline opposite Ashby BART station, opened its doors this week introducing a welcome resource for people with disabilities, and lending more than a touch of contemporary architectural style to Berkeley.

As Rachel Trachten reports on, several agencies have already moved into their offices on the campus, while others will follow in the next few months.

A total of seven agencies devoted to working with adults and children with disabilities will eventually be housed in the new center. They are the  Center for Accessible Technology, the Center for Independent LivingBay Area Outreach and Recreation ProgramDisability Rights Education and Defense FundThrough the Looking GlassThe World Institute on Disability, and the Computer Technologies Program.

A red spiral ramp under a circular skylight inside the Ed Roberts campus building

The campus also provides a range of disability-related services and programs, including a fitness center, café, childcare facilities and underground parking.

The center is named for Edward Roberts, an advocate for disability rights and the first student with severe disabilities to attend UC Berkeley. Earlier this year it was decreed that January 23 would be marked as Ed Roberts Day throughout California.

As we reported yesterday, the campus, which was designed by San Francisco-based Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, received an excellence in design award from Berkeley Design Advocates which, in its praise for the building, cited “its promotion of the important role of Universal Design in our daily lives”.

In her column, which focuses on Berkeley kids with special needs, Trachten will be highlighting the various agencies at the Ed Roberts campus over the coming weeks.

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  • Robert Collier

    The Ed Roberts Campus is real reason to be proud of Berkeley. Our city is cutting edge on things that matter! Congrats to all in the disability rights community who worked for so long on this. And also to Tom Bates, whose skill as an old-school dealmaker helped bring funding from many different sources for this project.

  • Finally, a gigantic structure to commemorate a gigantic dreamer, Ed Roberts.

  • Karl Reeh

    Congratulations. The LeConte Neighborhood Association has supported the idea of such a campus from the beginning. We are proud that this has come to past.
    Cheers, Karl Reeh, President, LeConte Neighborhood Assn.