The University of Arizona

Judith Heumann, Disability Rights Leader, to Speak at UA

University Communications | March 25, 2014

Internationally recognized disability rights leader Judith Heumann will speak at the UA on Thursday.

Judith Heumann
Judith Heumann

Judith Heumann, an internationally recognized leader in the disability rights community and a lifelong civil rights advocate, will speak at the University of Arizona on Thursday.

For more than three decades, Heumann has been at the forefront of international efforts to protect and advance the rights of people with disabilities.

As special advisor for international disability rights at the U.S. Department of State, Heumann heads up the nation’s comprehensive strategic plan to promote and protect the rights of individuals with disabilities.

During her talk, Heumann will discuss the global reality of those with disabilities, focusing on disability rights, and highlight access-related challenges and opportunities for disabled people around the world.

She also will offer perspectives on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an international treaty designed to protect the human rights of individuals with disabilities. The convention, adopted in 2006 during a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, was a significant moment in the global movement to preserve, protect and advance the human rights of individuals with disabilities.

Her talk happens at 4:30 p.m. at the Tucson Marriott University Park, 800 E. Second St. A reception will follow. Heumann's visit is supported by the UA Disability Resource Center, the College of Education and Sonoran UCEDD, a University center that addresses the health, wellness and treatment needs of individuals with disabilities at the local and state levels.

Prior to her current appointment, Heumann served from 2002 to 2006 as the World Bank’s first adviser on disability and development and worked to expand the institution’s collaborations with government agencies and community organizations on issues affecting people with disabilities.

During the Clinton administration, Heumann served as assistant secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education. In that role, she had oversight of the implementation of national legislation for programs associated with disability research, special education, vocational rehabilitation and independent living.