List of disability rights activists
A disability-rights activist or disability-rights advocate is someone who works towards the equality of people with disabilities. Such a person is generally considered a member of the disability-rights movement and/or the independent-living movement.
- Javed Abidi – Director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) in India
- Fatima al-Aqel – lost her sight in college. Al-Aqel opened the first school for blind women in Yemen in 1995.
- Jamala al-Baidhani – was paralyzed from complications due to meningitis. Created the Al-Tahadi Association for Disabled Females, the first group in Yemen devoted to helping girls with disabilities.
- Ola Abu Alghaib – disability activist from Palestine, she's an expert in inclusion, gender and disability rights.
- Gabriela Brimmer – had cerebral palsy; life chronicled in the American-Mexican drama film Gaby: A True Story (1987), directed by Luis Mandoki
- Marca Bristo, cofounded the (American) National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) with Max Starkloff and Charlie Carr
- Lydia Brown – autism advocate and writer
- Jane Campbell, Baroness Campbell of Surbiton – had spinal muscular atrophy and was a commissioner of the British Disability Rights Commission
- Charlie Carr – cofounder of National Council on Independent Living, Boston Center for Independent Living and founder and CEO of The Northeast Independent Living Program in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Went on to become Commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission under Gov. Deval Patrick. Long-time Massachusetts community activist and cross-disability coalition builder
- Liz Carr – British actress, stand-up comedian, broadcaster and international disability rights activist
- Judi Chamberlin – American activist, leader, organizer, public speaker and educator in the psychiatric survivors movement; her political activism followed her involuntary confinement in a psychiatric facility in the 1960s the author of On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System, which is a foundational text in the Mad Pride movement
- James I Charlton – Activist who feels disability is socially constructed and author of Nothing About Us Without Us.
- Claudia Cockburn – British activist for transportation accessibility
- Tony Coelho – Former congressman from California who lived with epilepsy; primary author and U.S. House sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Rebecca Cokley – Executive Director of the National Council on Disability
- Diane Coleman – disability rights activist and president of Not Dead Yet
- Justin Whitlock Dart, Jr. – Co-founder of the American Association of People with Disabilities; had post-polio syndrome.
- Nyle DiMarco – Activist and Spokesperson for LEAD-K, 'Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids' campaign for American Sign Language and English in education setting.
- Rich Donovan – Economist and founder of the Return On Disability Index
- Stephan Drake – disability activist and staff advocate of Not Dead Yet.
- Theresa Ducharme – Founder of the disabled-rights advocacy group People in Equal Participation Inc. in 1981; the organization's chair for many years thereafter
- AK Dube – Andrew Kudakwashe (AK) Dube is chief executive of the Africa Disability Alliance (ADA).
- Dominick Evans - Filmmaker, activist, founder of #FilmDis. Media & Entertainment advocate for Center for Disability Rights in New York.
- Edward Evans – Chairman of the UK Ministry of Health Health Advisory Committee on Handicapped Persons from 1949 to 1960
- Fred Fay – American advocate for disabled persons.
- Julie Fernandez – Actress with osteogenesis imperfecta; founded The Disability Foundation; active on presentation of the disabled.
- Catherine Frazee – Co-director of Ryerson University's Institute for Disability Studies Research and Education
- Lex Frieden – Chairman of the National Council on Disability from 2002-2006; key developer of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Judy Fryd – founded group that became Mencap
- Vic Finkelstein – South African born activist and academic, pioneer of the social model of disability.
- Marilyn Golden – disability transportation activist
- Ari Heck - Brazilian Representer of the Disabled Server Core of Sintrajufe- Rio grande do sul.
- Laura Hershey – protested MDA Labor Day Telethon; a feminist born with a form of muscular dystrophy
- Judith Heumann – wheelchair user who co-founded the World Institute on Disability; served as its co-director from 1983 to 1993; became the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State
- Dr Paul Harpur - Guide dog user, Paralympian, lawyer and disability rights advocate and scholar.
- Jenny Hyslop - Scottish; secretary of her local branch of the Voluntary Association for Handicapped Persons; later worked for the Disablement Advisory Committee.
- Mosharraf Hossain - Director of Global Policy for ADD International. In Bangladesh, he has contributed to the formation of nearly 200 disability activist organisations of urban and rural areas.
- Rick Hansen - A former Canadian Paralympian. Hansen raised $20 million by travelling on wheelchair through 34 countries, for which is to be directed to spinal cord research, rehabilitation and wheelchair sports.
- Harriet McBryde Johnson – a New Mobility "Person of the Year"; a disability-rights attorney and anti-euthanasia activist.
- John B. Kelly – Boston based disability activist, writer, and staff advocate for Not Dead Yet.
- Bonnie Sherr Klein – directed the documentary film Shameless: The ART of Disability (2006)
- Paul K. Longmore – an American history professor and activist who was instrumental in the establishment of disability studies as an academic discipline, and in changes to Social Security that granted people with disabilities more rights.
- Robert Martin – activist for independent living for disabled people.
- Ron McCallum – member of Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; has been on the National People with Disabilities and Carers Council; Chair of Radio for the Print Handicapped of New South Wales Co-operative Ltd.; the first totally blind person to have been appointed to a full professorship at an Australian university.
- Anne McDonald – activist for independent living for disabled people.
- Kathryn McGee – an American activist who founded the National Association for Down Syndrome and the National Down Syndrome Congress. Her daughter Tricia had Down syndrome.
- Paul Steven Miller – an American civil rights lawyer, activist and law professor, was a Commissioner of the US Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and author of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act 
- Leroy F. Moore Jr. – an African American writer, poet, community activist, feminist, and the founder of Krip-Hop.
- Alf Morris – introduced the Chronically Sick & Disabled Persons Act and first "Minister for the Disabled" in Great Britain or anywhere else.
- Karen Nakamura – American academic, author, filmmaker, photographer and the Robert and Colleen Haas Distinguished Chair of Disability Studies and Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley.
- Neema Namadamu – a Women's rights and disability rights activist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
- Ari Ne'eman – co-creator of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network
- Yetnebersh Nigussie – blind lawyer and disability rights and anti-AIDS activist from Ethiopia. Founded the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD).
- Corbett O'Toole—disability rights activist and author in Berkeley, California. Established the National Disabled Women's Educational Equity Project.
- Mary Jane Owen—disability rights activist, philosopher, policy expert and writer who has lived and worked in Washington, D.C. since 1979.
- Peter Ogik – Chair of the Source of the Nile Union of Persons with Albinism (SNUPA) in Uganda, advocating for the rights of people with albinism in Uganda, who suffer high levels of violence and discrimination.
- Jean-Christophe Parisot – Founder of Collectif des Démocrates Handicapés.
- Ajith C. S. Perera – Chief Executive Idiriya in Sri Lanka activist in favour of the social model of disability and Inclusive Society
- Richard Pimentel – activist for workplace rights for the disabled.
- Victor Pineda – an American activist and the youngest government delegate to participate in the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Alan Reich – a wheelchair user who founded the National Organization on Disability
- Gilberto Rincón Gallardo – Mexican politician with shortened arms who worked on disability issues
- Edward Roberts – the first quadriplegic to attend the University of California, Berkeley; his fight for access at Berkeley spread into seeking access in the community and the development of the first Centre for Independent Living.
- Jay Ruderman – President of the Ruderman Family Foundation, advocating for the rights of people with disabilities in the United States and in Israel
- David Ruebain – Chief Executive of the policy and research agency Equality Challenge Unit and equality adviser to the Office for Fair Access and the English FA Premier League.
- Peggy S. Salters – the first survivor of electroshock treatment in the United States to win a jury verdict and a large money judgment ($635,177) in compensation for extensive permanent amnesia and cognitive disability caused by the procedure
- Sandra Schnur – director of the New York City Half-fare Program for the Handicapped; wrote an early guide for disabled in the city; had quadriplegia
- Jim Sinclair – Coordinator and founder of Autism Network International, advisor to Syracuse University's Disability Cultural Center
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver – lifelong advocate for people with intellectual disabilities who founded Special Olympics International in 1968.
- Satendra Singh – a doctor with disability and founder of Enabling Unit.
- Robert Stack – Founder, President and CEO of Community Options.
- Max Starkloff (1937–2010) – founded Paraquad, one of the first independent living centers in the United States, as well as the National Council on Independent Living and the Starkloff Disability Institute; one of the key advocates who brought the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
- Vanthon Srey – Director of ADD International's programmes in Cambodia, he has lived through the reign of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge and survived a rebel ambush that left him with a physical impairment. He now draws on his own personal experiences to change the way disability is viewed in his country.
- Joni Ericson Tada
- Maria Town – Associate Director for the Office of Public Engagement for the Obama administration.
- Chris Underhill – a founder of Thrive and ADD International (Action on Disability and Development)
- Lizzie Velásquez – author and public speaker on themes of self-esteem and bullying of young people with disabilities.
- Balakrishna Venkatesh pioneered introducing disability rights issues into existing rural development initiatives in South India way back in 1987. In 1989 he founded Action on Disability and Development India (ADD India), now entirely managed by Indians with disabilities.
- Ron Whyte – playwright who was on the President's Committee for the Employment of the Handicapped
- Rev. Harold H. Wilke (1914–2003) – was a prominent UCC minister and founding member of the National Organization on Disability. He delivered the invocation at the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Born without arms, Reverend Wilke signed the ADA with his foot.
- Alice Wong (disability rights activist) – founded the Disability Visibility Project
- Patrisha Wright – known as "the General" for her work in coordinating the campaign to enact the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah – Ghanaian cyclist with one leg who rode across Ghana to raise awareness and works to increase the number of wheelchairs in his country
- Frieda Zames – a mathematics professor, writer and advocate for access to all aspects of public life, especially transportation. As an official of Disabled in Action, she campaigned for wheelchair access on New York City buses, ferries and taxis and buildings like the Empire State Building. With her sister, Zames wrote the book, The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation.
- Maysoon Zayid – Palestinian actress, comedian, and disability rights activist known for her Ted Talk, "I've Got 99 Problems...Palsy is Just One"
- "Demand made for legal recognition of sign language". Hindustan Times. 2010-12-04. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Speech in Honor of International Women's Day". Embassy of the United States - Yemen. 8 March 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- "Speech in Honor of International Women's Day". Embassy of the United States in Sana'a Yemen. 8 March 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- Janet Maslin (1987-10-30). "Film: 'Gaby,' Story of Determination". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Dea Birkett (2009-07-10). "Dea Birkett meets Jane Campbell, a life peer with spinal muscular atrophy | Society". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Carr, Charles. The Disability Rights And Independent Living Movement http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/drilm/collection/items/carr.html. Retrieved 8 September 2015. Missing or empty
- Hevesi, Denis (January 30, 2010). "Judi Chamberlin, 65, Advocate for Mental Health Patients". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
- "Interview: Judi Chamberlin Interviewed by Will Hall and Cheryl Alexander" (video; requires Adobe Flash Player). Madness Radio. February 8, 2006. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- Lawrence, J.M. (January 20, 2010). "Judi Chamberlin, Writings Took on Mental Health Care". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
- Disability And The Media: Prescriptions For Change - Charles A. Riley - Google Books. Books.google.com. 2005. ISBN 9781584654735. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Stephen Bradshaw (1998-08-25). "Obituary: Claudia Flanders - Arts & Entertainment". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Meet Tony Coelho | Partnership to Improve Patient Care". Improvepatientcare.org. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "NCD Welcomes Rebecca Cokley as Executive Director | NCD.gov". www.ncd.gov. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
- "Not Dead Yet – Staff". Not Dead Yet. 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
- Switzer, Jacqueline Vaughn (2003). Disabled rights : American disability policy and the fight for equality. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. ISBN 978-0878408986.
- "Disabled Want Their Say at Appeal", Winnipeg Free Press. January 3, 1995.
- "Why Some Disability Rights Activists Are Protesting 'Me Before You' - SELF". SELF. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
- Lees, Stephen (1981). Stenton, Michael, ed. Who's who of British Members of Parliament. [S.l.]: Harvester. p. 111. ISBN 0-85527-335-6.
- Marquard, Bryan (2011-09-09). "Dr. Fred Fay; helped change society's views on disability - The Boston Globe". Articles.boston.com. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Founder Julie Fernandez | The Disability Foundation". Tdf.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Rozenberg, Joshua (2004-09-09). "Land of the free for wheelchairs". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Geoff Adams-Spink (2005-04-28). "UK | Disabled feel 'sexually excluded'". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Ryerson University | Employees with disabilities are expert learners: Ryerson study". Cnw.ca. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "lexfrieden.com". lexfrieden.com. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- "Judy Fryd". London: Telegraph. 2000-10-23. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Ingold, John (2010-11-28). "Laura Hershey, 48, championed disability rights". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Heumann, Judith E". State.gov. 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Rick Hansen pdf (requires adobe)" (PDF).
- "Lady Darcy de Knayth". London: Telegraph. 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- McBryde, Harriet (2003-02-16). "Unspeakable Conversations - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Klein, Bonnie Sherr (2006). "Shameless: The ART of Disability". Collections. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved November 30, 2009.
- Woolley, Pieta (May 18, 2006). "Shameless Disability". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved November 30, 2009.
- Nelson, Valerie J. (August 15, 2010). "Paul K. Longmore Dies at 64; Leading Disability Scholar and Activist". Los Angeles Times.
- "Australian of the Year Awards". Australianoftheyear.org.au. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Anne McDonald, 1961 - 2010". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "A History of Kathryn McGee and the founding of MDC and NDSC". Cdadc.com. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "BBC - Forty years of Chronically Sick & Disabled Persons Act". BBC News. 2010-05-21. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Cunningham, Erin (April 4, 2014). "Making a Difference in Hell". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
- Claudia Kalb (2009-05-15). "Could a Gene Test Change Autism? - Newsweek and The Daily Beast". Thedailybeast.com. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Albinism. Dispelling the Myth.". ADD International. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
- Schofield, Hugh (2002-01-10). "EUROPE | Disability ruling caused huge offence". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Ockersz, Lynn (2009-11-08). "Landmark Supreme Court ruling – A fillip for accessibility rights of disabled.". News - Page 17. Upali Newspapers - The Sunday Island. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
- Erikson, Chris (2007-10-29). "The Warrior". NYPOST.com. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "A new legal tool to protect persons with disabilities". Ohchr.org. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Resource Links". Equualaccess.org. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Mexican Politician, Disabled Rights Activist Gilberto Rincón Gallardo". Washingtonpost.com. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Ed Roberts, disability-rights leader and Cal alum, gets his own state day". Newscenter.berkeley.edu. 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Partners in Making Your Case: Changing the System". Partnersinpolicymaking.com. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Resources: Among Peers (A Conversation with Jay Ruderman)". Foundationsource.com. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
- Klemesrud, Judy (1979-05-25). "Disabled Women - A Conference on Discrimination - 'To Effect Change' Other Barriers Mentioned Veterans Get Priority - Article - NYTimes.com". Select.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Rusk, Howard A. (1958-10-19). "Guides to Good Health - Survey of New Publications of Interest To Handicapped Persons and Others - Article - NYTimes.com". Select.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Man of Infinite Ability". The Times of India.
- "Max Starkloff, Pioneer In Independent Living For Disabled, Dies At 73 : Shots - Health News". NPR. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Max Starkloff dies; Paraquad founder crusaded for disabled : News". Stltoday.com. 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Louis, St. (December 27, 2010). "Paraquad Founder Starkloff Dies at 73".
- "Maria Town". whitehouse.gov. 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
- "Charity chief honoured for services to disabled people". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 1999-06-15. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "Plants as Therapy Are More Popular". The New York Times. September 10, 1981. Retrieved September 10, 2008.
- Published: September 19, 1989 (1989-09-19). "Ron Whyte, 47, Dead; Playwright of Disabled - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Woo, Elaine (2003-03-01). "Harold H. Wilke, 88; Armless Minister and Advocate for Disabled". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
- "One-Legged Cyclist Transforms African Nation - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. 2005-08-06. Retrieved 2013-02-25.