Bob Kafka

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Through his advocacy efforts, Bob Kafka has made Austin, Texas, one of the most accessible cities in the country. Bob has galvanized activist projects for nearly 20 years. His perspective on direct action, non-violent civil disobedience and informed confrontation with institutional power is uniquely applicable to local issues.

Bob is a grassroots organizer who established ADAPT of Texas, a disability rights advocacy organization, 22 years ago. Since then, he has taught thousands how to self-advocate as well as how to advocate for a more accessible city, and better disability rights in general.

He follows legislative activities and organizes groups to speak at legislative sessions. He is also very active at the national level and was instrumental in getting many bills developed and passed, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bob is the National Organizer of ADAPT and Co-Director of the Institute for Disability Access. Born in the Bronx, New York, February 24, 1946, Bob served with the Army’s 188th Maintenance Battalion from 1966-67. He graduated from the University of Houston with a BBA in Economics in 1974, and then went on to earn his M.Ed. in special education in 1977. From 1974 to 1980 he was also the Director of Handicapped Student Services at University of Houston. He served as Executive Director of the Texas Paralyzed Veterans Association, TPVA, in 1978, and as TPVA President from 1987 to 1991.

Bob was also involved with Houston’s Coalition for Barrier Free Living, CBFL, serving as Chair of the Architectural Barriers Committee and then as president in 1979. During his presidency of CBFL the group received the grant to start one of the first independent living centers in the country, Houston Center for Independent Living.

From 1981 to 1983 Bob worked as a volunteer with the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, CTD. From 1984 to 1987 he served as on the Board of the Coalition, creating and chairing its Personal Assistance Services Task Force for five years.

In the mid 1980s, Bob also was elected to the board of the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities, ACCD. In 1981 Bob co-founded the Southwest Wheelchair Athletic Association, and acted as its President until 1991.

From 1984-87 he started a summer independent living camp for kids with disabilities: EZJ Ranch. In 1984 Bob co-founded ADAPT of TX and has served in the capacities of local, state and national organizer ever since.

Bob currently serves on the Home and Community Resource Network funded through the Department of Health and Human Services. Through his work with ADAPT he helped shepherd in ADAPT’s WE WILL RIDE victory for lifts on buses and later worked to support community services for people with disabilities instead of catering to the nursing home industry.

His goal now is to FREE OUR PEOPLE!

Contact

ADAPT of Texas
1640-A E. 2nd ST. STE 100
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 442-0252
http://www.adapt.org/
adapt@adapt.org