It is with a heavy heart that I share the sad news of the passing of Judy Heumann.  Known to the world as ” the Mother” of the disability rights movement, she was a friend and fierce supporter of SPAN. Over the years she has presented at SPAN events, initiated and facilitated national and international partnerships and collaborations with SPAN, and most recently, presented at a congressional briefing celebrating International Day of Disability and the International Children with Disabilities Protection Act with our own Diana Autin. This Act, which she and Diana advocated for at this event, explores how Congress can do more to help empower people with disabilities and their families globally. Our SPAN Resource Parent (SRP) Training includes a section about Judy Heumann and she has been an invaluable ally to the entire Parent Center network.

A few years ago, SPAN honored Judy with an award and she provided this video, as she was unable to accept in person.

I invite each of you reading this to take some time to learn more about the amazing life and incredible work of Judy Heumann and to reflect on the legacy she leaves for all of us. Judy’s fierce advocacy over more than 50 years resulted in the passing of the Rehabilitation Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act – all landmark achievements that increased access to education, the workplace, housing, and more for people with disabilities.

The best place to learn more about Judy is on her website, Details on her memorial service are also posted on the site.

Carolyn Hayer
Executive Director
SPAN Parent Advocacy Network