Renay was taking in the words of a multicultural conference this weekend when the news came across that Judith Heumann had passed. Immediately Renay, ParaEducate, and Inclusion From Square One, joined in the growing choir of people who wanted to digitally honor Judith Heumann.
It is March, we are normally thinking about what steps we could possibly be using to support students on campuses to see peers with disabilities as peers. So it is somehow highly appropriate to connect to Judith’s work from Section 504 and her entire career of advocacy.
To be clear, Renay never met Judith Heumann; only conferences, through Judith’s book Being Heumann: A Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, online videos, and then her role in Section 504 during CripCamp. Without Heumann, the United States would be less progressive for people with disabilities. Without her, the rights for employment, access to the communities, and just self-advocacy would not have reached the complete range we have today. And without her work, ParaEducate and dozens of other advocates for education for children with disabilities would not have had the opportunity to reach more people.
But when we thought about the world moving forward without her, Renay had a moment, those of us who are able to should take the time to thank Judith for the energy she brought to each moment of history for disabilities rights. And that is the job of those of us who are here to carry on her legacy and continue to champion for the rights of those with disabilities, as an ally for those with disabilities.
May your memory be a blessing.
Do you have any comments about this month’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published once a month during the academic school year. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.