With the arrival of President Trump, the US Department of State has changed the status and name of their International Disability Rights Department, which was headed up by Judith Heumann (who is obviously out of a job now). You can still follow Judith on Facebook: Her site has a link to a TEDx talk where she tells of her advocacy work from her childhood in the 1950s to today. Worth a look – an amazing story and inspiring, not because she has a disability, but because of her lifelong dedication. Judith did not let her disability stop her from travelling the world, particularly to developing countries, to promote disability rights. In the meantime, the Washington Post reveals that the White House has taken down web pages related to disability.
Editor’s note: I met Judy on my Churchill Fellowship trip in 2004 when she was Disability Advisor at The World Bank. She said, “There are only two kinds of people in the world, people with a disability and people yet to have a disability”. She also said that the built environment was easier to change than attitudes. Those words still drive me today. The aim of my Fellowship was to see how centres for universal design and accessible environments were set up and organised – the pre-cursor to Centre for Universal Design Australia. My Churchill Report, reads more like a travelogue than an academic paper as it is written to be easily read.