Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Google is celebrating the 78th birthday of disability rights leader Ed Roberts with a new Doodle.
Users who visit Google's homepage Monday will see artwork featuring the wheelchair-bound Roberts as he gives a lecture to an audience alongside a filled whiteboard.
"After contracting polio at age 14, Roberts was paralyzed from the neck down. He was confined to a special wheelchair with a respirator during the day and slept in an 800-pound iron lung at night. Despite his limitations, he continued his studies via telephone hookup, attending in person a few hours a week. His mom, Zona, encouraged him to persevere despite the odds," Google wrote.
"Roberts's activism began in earnest as early as high school, when he was denied his diploma due to his inability to complete Physical Education (PE) and Driver's Ed. After petitioning, not only did he earn his diploma, he went on to college, becoming the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of California, Berkeley. There, he led other Berkeley students with severe disabilities in creating the Physically Disabled Students Program, the first of its kind," they continued.
Eventually, Roberts would earn a bachelor's and master's in political science from Berkeley where he also led the school's Berkeley Center for Independent Living which "inspired many similar centers" in 1976.
Further accomplishments include being named the director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in 1976 by then Gov. Jerry Brown and co-founding the Word Institute on Disability in 1983.
Google also shared a quote from Roberts' mother Zona in which she said of her son, "I watched Ed as he grew from a sports-loving kid, through bleak days of hopelessness, into self-acceptance of his physical limitations as he learned what was possible for him to accomplish. His years at UCB were great ones as he both enjoyed his college status and got in touch with his leadership qualities. He took great pleasure in watching people with disabilities achieve greater acceptance."