Judith Heumann, who contracted polio at age two, was denied the right to attend school because she was a "fire hazard." Her parents fought for her rights as a child. Heumann later joined that fight, becoming one of the world's foremost advocates for the rights of disabled people.
Her new memoir is titled "Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist."
Heumann has been featured in many documentaries and she delivered a TED Talk in 2018. In 2010, President Obama appointed Heumann the first Special Advisor for International Disability Rights in the U.S. State Department. She also played a key role in the implementation of legislation at the national level for programs in special education, disability research, vocational rehabilitation and independent living. These programs affected 8 million Americans with disabilities.
She has received honorary doctorates from Long Island University, the University of Toledo, the University of Illinois, Brooklyn College, Middlebury College and Rowan University. She herself graduated from LIU. She earned a master's degree at University of California, Berkeley.