Activist Judy Heumann led a reimagining of what it means to be disabled

“Disability only becomes a tragedy when society fails to provide the things we need to lead our lives — job opportunities or barrier-free buildings, for example,” she said. “It is not a tragedy to me that I’m living in a wheelchair.”

That reimagining of what it means to be disabled did gain traction over the years — the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act just three years later in 1990 was a milestone — thanks to leaders like Heumann, who died suddenly on Saturday at age 75 at a hospital in Washington, D.C. She’d been hospitalized the previous weekend with breathing problems.

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Ableism and disability models, Case study

Joseph Shapiro