Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist by Heumann, Judith

Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist

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A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for Nonfiction

"...an essential and engaging look at recent disability history."-- Buzzfeed

One of the most influential disability rights activists in US history tells her personal story of fighting for the right to receive an education, have a job, and just be human.

A story of fighting to belong in a world that wasn't built for all of us and of one woman's activism--from the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco to inside the halls of Washington--Being Heumann recounts Judy Heumann's lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society.

Paralyzed from polio at eighteen months, Judy's struggle for equality began early in life. From fighting to attend grade school after being described as a "fire hazard" to later winning a lawsuit against the New York City school system for denying her a teacher's license because of her paralysis, Judy's actions set a precedent that fundamentally improved rights for disabled people.

As a young woman, Judy rolled her wheelchair through the doors of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in San Francisco as a leader of the Section 504 Sit-In, the longest takeover of a governmental building in US history. Working with a community of over 150 disabled activists and allies, Judy successfully pressured the Carter administration to implement protections for disabled peoples' rights, sparking a national movement and leading to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Candid, intimate, and irreverent, Judy Heumann's memoir about resistance to exclusion invites readers to imagine and make real a world in which we all belong.

Author: Judith Heumann, Kristen Joiner
Binding Type: Paperback
Publisher: Beacon Press
Published: 02/23/2021
Pages: 240
Weight: 0.65lbs
Size: 8.40h x 5.40w x 0.70d
ISBN: 9780807002803

About the Author
Judith Heumann (1947-2023) was an internationally recognized leader in the Disability Rights Independent Living Movement. She served in the Clinton and Obama administrations, and she was the World Bank's first adviser on disability and development. Heumann was the author of a memoir, Being Heumann, and her story was featured in the Netflix documentary Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020).

Kristen Joiner is a writer, activist, and producer. She is the co-author of Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist and the YA version of the book, Rolling Warrior: The Incredible, Sometimes Awkward, True Story of a Rebel Girl on Wheels Who Helped Spark a Revolution with Judy Heumann, Former Advisor to Presidents Clinton and Obama, star of the Oscar-nominated Crip Camp, and one of the most influential disability rights activists in US history. Being Heumann has been optioned by Apple TV for a feature film directed by Oscar-winner Sian Heder (C.O.D.A.). Kristen co-founded the youth filmmaking organization, Scenarios USA, and executive produced short films written by young people and directed by award-winning directors. She lives in New Zealand with her family.