The Passing of Judy Heumann, Disability Rights Advocate

March 4, 2023

Dr Chris Rosa wearing glasses, a dark colored suit and a red tie in his wheelchair and Judy Heumann wearing glasses and wearing a purple cardigan with a bright pattern on it sitting in her wheelchair to the right of him. They are outside on a city sidewalk.

Our hearts are heavy upon learning the news of the passing of Judy Heumann. The disability community has lost a disability rights giant and a trailblazer who has influenced generations – mine included – and will continue to for many years to come.

As Justin Dart, Jr. was seen as the “Father of the ADA,” Judy is often referred to as the “mother” of the disability rights movement. Through her many interviews as a subject of the critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution and the author of Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, Judy brought real-life stories and perspectives to the mainstream.

We were honored when she accepted one of our 2020 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards. As The Viscardi Center continues its work to empower children and adults and expands on opportunities to share the narratives of individuals with disabilities who paved the way for historic changes, Judy will be central for her role.

As she alluded to in Being Heumann, Judy shed light on the fact that we are all human. As humans, we will deeply feel her loss, but also remember and cherish her triumphs that changed the world for all of us.

Dr. Chris Rosa
President & CEO, The Viscardi Center

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