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In Loving Memory of Bob Roberts

Bob Roberts

Bob Roberts
1955-2007

Robert L. Roberts ("Bob") passed away October 6th of 2007 at the age of 52. Bob Joined the disability rights movement in the 1960s and loved to tell of his friendship with Ed Roberts (no relation) in Berkeley, who many credit with being the "Founder of the Disability Rights Movement." Bob was hanging out with Ed when he had founded the first (of now hundred nationwide) Center for Independent Living in Berkeley. Ed's advice: "You need to form your own independent living center over there in Marin." Bob listened to Ed and went on to play an important role in initiating the organization of the Marin Center for Independent Living in late 1979. Beginning as a grass-roots organization of volunteers, spurred by the upsurge of the disabled, it went on to become an agency with 13 employees and a ¾ million dollar budget. Bob moved up the ranks at the Marin Center for Independent Living in his 20+ years with the agency from a staffer who ran the Personal Assistant Registry to being the Executive Director for more than a decade.

Bob's Particular passion over his lifetime was to a crucial issue for allowing people with disabilities to remain in their homes and in the community: personal assistant care. Early on in his life he worked as a personal assistant. Then he organized and ran a business of personal assistants. Based on this zeal for assuring people with disabilities maximized their independence, he (and others) led county-wide efforts to form a Public Authority to provide in-home supportive services for recipients of Medi-Cal. Until his death, he remained active as a board member of the Legislative committee, a member of the Finance Committee and offered his expertise to support the Urgent Backup Care program. He recently, in 2005, brought to fruition a project 15 years in the making: the innovative online search "Quickmatch" (the match.com for personal assistants) so that individuals needing in-home support could search 24/7 online for available, prescreened, skilled and compassionate personal assistants.

His community activism over three decades is far-reaching and longer than can be listed here. Some highlights: he served on the Board of Directors of the California Foundation of Independent Living Centers; Board of Directors for Blind and Visually Impaired of Marin; appointed member of the Marin County ADA Appeal Board Co-Vice President for the Northern California In-Home Supportive Services Consumer Alliance (CICA).

Bob's spirit will carry on in our agency as we continue our mission of to assist seniors and persons with all types of disabilities to achieve their maximum level of sustainable independence as contributing, responsible and equal participants in society.