It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Judy Heumann an internationally recognized disability advocate. Ms. Heumann was instrumental in the development and implementation of legislation, such as Section 504, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She was frequently referred to as the “Mother of the Disability Rights Movement”.
Judy Heumann’s Legacy
Judy’s story is amazing and begins with her contracting polio in 1949 in Brooklyn, New York, and began to use a wheelchair for her mobility. She was denied the right to attend school because she was considered a “fire hazard”. Later in life, Judy was denied her teaching license even though she passed her oral and written exams but was denied the license because she failed her medical exam. Judy then sued the Board of Education and went on to become the first wheelchair user to become a teacher in the state of New York.
During Women’s History Month and the upcoming Disability Awareness Month Yes She Can recognize Judy Heumann’s legacy and the many accomplishments she made to make this a better world for people with disabilities. Many trainees can use Ms. Heumann as a role model as each trainee continues working toward reaching their greatest potential. May Ms. Heumann’s strength and advocacy be remembered for years to come.
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