Judith "Judy" Heumann - widely regarded as the "mother" of the disability rights movement passed away in DC on March 4, 2023. A summary of her life and essential work is available on her website here.
She has left an indelible mark on the world for people with disabilities and all who benefit from accessible features. She has been a lifelong advocate for herself and others, beginning with her own educational advocacy and her successful challenge in becoming a licensed teacher who uses a wheelchair and continuing to the present day. Her experience with Camp Jened and the San Francisco 504 protests has received broad attention with the recent documentary Crip Camp. (NB: there is intersection with Dr. Sami Schalk's recent 504 UMBC talk)
More of Judy Heumann's work in her own words can be found here:
- Remembering Judy Heumann: A Brief But Spectacular Take on the Disability Rights Movement
- Reading from Being Heumann on media and film portrayal of people with disabilities
- Our Fight For Disability Rights and Why We Are Not Done Yet Ted Talk
- Heumann Perspective Podcast through 2/23/23
- JDAIM Reflections on Faith and Disability
Her influence is truly global, national and local - many of the professional staff within UMBC's Accessibility and Disability Services have seen her in action through Association for Higher Ed and Disability (AHEAD) and similar professional development events. Her memory is a global blessing.
While she will be dearly missed, as a tribute to her legacy, she would want campus members to co-create a disability-friendly community, and to reach out to UMBC Disability resources for information and support:
Photo of a larger-than-life seated silver man statue overlooking a man in a wheelchair, both appear to be gazing out a floor-to-ceiling window with a lush, green landscape, symbolizing Judy Heumann's influence on the experience of people with disabilities. Credit Unsplash.com