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November 19, 1970
Mr. Herb Willsmore
Mr. Robert L. Davis
Dear Mr. Davis,
I read a short article concerning you in the November 12th issue of the Rehab Round Up. I would like to discuss with you the possibilities and advantages as we see it for you to attend the University of California at Berkeley. I am the President of an org aization of quadraplegics on the UC campus called the Rolling Quads. I am enclosing some material put out by the Physically Disabled Students' Program which is in charge of services and information for disabled students.
The idea for this program originated with our organization. We wrote up the proposal, obtained the necessary funds, and are still very much involved in the running of it. The director of this program himself is a quad and a recent graduate of UCB and a member of the Rolling Quads. Our organization is very interested in promoting more opportunites and better services for all disabled people. To this end we work closely with blind organizations and other organizations involved with disabled people.
We are involved in all aspects of the problems of being disabled. One area we are interested in, particularily at this time, is acting as a lobby for the rights of the disabled in Sacramento and Washington D.C. We have had discussions with the top men in the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Aid to the Totally Disabled in Sacramento and have achieved some success in solving some problems of supporting disabled students through higher education. We have goten firm committment from the State Director of ATD that University students should receive full benefits (this means quadraplegics will generally receive $300. for attendant care aside from the full allowance for room and board and personal expenses).
We are also involved in many other activities such as visiting veterans in VA hospitals and encouraging tham to go on to higher education. We also have arrangements with the athletic department so that people in wheelchairs can get in free to all football games. We have eliminated most architectural barriers on campus and on many of the streets surrounding the campus. We are working on further modifications of this kind. One recent event that you are probably aware of in which we participated was getting welfare attendant care funds re-instated. Members of our organization were plaintives in the law suit that forced Governor Reagan to rescind his order.
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We feel that the established programs at Berkeley provide important leadership training for disabled students, especially those who wish to work for the benefit of other disabled people. There is, besides our organization, a blind organization on campus, and faculty and administrators who are specialists in areas such as rehabilitation, politics and law who are willing to assist us and act as resources of information. Our organization, in conjunction with the Physically Disabled Students' Program and faculty, has instituted accredited classes each quarter to study and create programs around the needs of the disabled.
Two major problems, of the disabled, aside from financial problems, are attendant care and housing. At Berkeley we have approximately four able bodied applicants wishing to serve as attendants for every job available. In line with our philosophy of independence, disabled students, are encouraged to train their own attendants. Assistance is provided if desired. There are also trained attendants available. Concerning housing, on the enclosed sheet you will find some information regarding the Cowell Residence Program which provides fairly non-institutionalized living in the security of a hospital setting. There also have been numerous quads living in dorms, and more and more quads are living in the community in houses and apartments. Any questions or problems concerning UCB or any hassels you may have with welfare or others please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help.
President of the Rolling Quads