Remembering alumna and incapacity rights advocate Judy Heumann

Remembering alumna and incapacity rights advocate Judy Heumann


Judith “Judy’ Heumann, who obtained her MS from UC Berkeley Faculty of Public Well being in 1975 and who the college lauded in 2000 as one in all 16 girls who modified the face of public well being, died March 4, 2023, on the age of 75. Heumann was named Alumna of the Yr in 1981.

Heumann’s work as an advocate for People with disabilities led to the mainstreaming of incapacity rights advocacy and to the People with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Her obituary within the New York Occasions stated she “spent a long time attacking a political institution detached to the rights of disabled individuals and received one battle after one other, in the end becoming a member of and reforming the very institution she as soon as inveighed in opposition to.”

A remembrance posted to Berkeley’s Incapacity Rights Training and Protection Fund stated, “She was among the many group of disabled individuals who understood incapacity as a social challenge, how ableism exhibits up as discrimination, and the necessity for incapacity civil rights.”

Born in 1947, Heumann contracted polio as a child and subsequently used a wheelchair. She grew to become an activist after the New York Metropolis board of training rejected her utility for a educating license, calling her a hearth hazard due to her wheelchair utilization. She sued and received, turning into the primary wheelchair person to show in New York public faculties.

After incomes her MS, she grew to become the deputy director for Berkeley’s Heart for Unbiased Dwelling from 1975 to 1982. She was an early adopter of the Unbiased Dwelling Motion. In 1977, Heumann helped set up the legendary 28-day 504 Sit-In in entrance of San Francisco’s federal constructing to protest lack of follow-through for federal civil rights laws for disabled individuals. She finally grew to become assistant secretary of training for particular training and rehabilitative providers underneath President Invoice Clinton and later particular advisor on worldwide incapacity rights underneath President Barack Obama.

Her memoir, Being Heumann, printed in 2020, instructed her “private story of preventing for the fitting to obtain an training, have a job, and simply be human” and was lauded by everybody from Gloria Steinem to Hillary Clinton. She was additionally featured within the Oscar-nominated 2020 documentary Crip Camp, which documented Camp Jened, a camp for teenagers with bodily disabilities, within the early Nineteen Seventies.

Her impression was monumental and we provide our condolences to her husband, Jorge Pineda, her brothers Ricky and Joseph, and all of those that discovered inspiration and empowerment in her work.

Learn extra about Judy’s life and work: