“We saw this as a political statement, the majority of us. All of us really felt that we were part of a much bigger picture, a whole gestalt of disability politics.
Sam Dardick co-founded FREED Center for Independent Living with Geeta Dardick and Tom Solinsky and was FREED’s first executive director. Sam was a planner and community organizer in St. Louis before he and his wife Geeta moved to rural Nevada County to start a farm and be closer to the land. Sam met Ed Roberts through a friend and was eventually persuaded by Roberts to start an independent living center in Nevada County. While director of FREED, Sam served as the president of the California Foundation of Independent Living Centers (CFILC) and was instrumental in gathering support for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) throughout the state of California. In 1994, Sam was elected to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, where he served two terms.
Sam Dardick died on May 31, 2011.
Sam Dardick was interviewed by Sharon Bonney in 2007 for the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement Oral History Project, a project of the Regional Oral History Office at U.C. Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. A transcript of those interviews is available here.