Disability rights activist Judy Heumann kicks off webinar series in recognition of ADA anniversary

SALEM, Ore. – Disability rights activist Judy Heumann, recently featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary “Crip Camp,” on July 6 will kick off a series of weekly Lunch and Learn webinar sessions in recognition of the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Hosted by the Oregon Disabilities Commission and the Northwest ADA Center, these free weekly sessions will be held virtually to allow more Oregonians to have access to this important information.

In addition to Huemann, the series will feature top accessibility advocates as well as equity and crisis experts. Among them are Russell Lehmann, an award-winning and internationally recognized motivational speaker, and poet; Sabine Rear, an artist, speaker, educator, and user of assistive technology who also serves as the Oregon representative of the Northwest ADA CenterErin Taylor, health promotion coordinator for the OHSU Oregon Office on Disability and Health and for the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities; and Rebecca Bolante, director of Bolante.NET, which provides training on dealing with critical events. These experts will cover a broad range of issues in their talks including behavioral health; equity with a focus on intersectionality, the social construction of disabilities and disability justice; and emergency planning including equity issues that surfaced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The topics will be useful to people who aren’t familiar with the ADA and to those who have been involved since the beginning,” said Jim Davis of the Oregon Disabilities Commission, who will co-lead a session on behavioral health. “The information provided will also include advice and tips on accessibility topics that will be useful to all Oregonians.”

Heumann is an internationally recognized leader and author focused on disability rights. Her memoir, “Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist,” chronicles her efforts in the disability civil rights movement. She is also featured in the film “Crip Camp,” which chronicles how a group of teens in the 1970s helped sparked the disability rights movement.

Heumann has also played a role in the development and implementation of major legislation including the IDEA, Section 504, the Americans with Disability Act and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

She was recently profiled in an article in the Washington Post, in which she was called “the mother of the disability rights movement.”

Heumann’s session is the first of four free weekly Lunch and Learn sessions. The topics and schedule for the July events, all of which will be from noon to 1 p.m., are as follows:

Tuesday, July 6

History of the ADA & Section 504

Judy Heumann, disability rights activist and author

Tuesday, July 13 

Behavioral Health

Russell Lehmann, award-winning and internationally recognized motivational speaker, and poet; Jim Davis, Oregon Disabilities Commission (ODC) chair as well as a psychologist, gerontologist, educator, and advocate; and Randy Samuelson, ODC commissioner and executive director of the HASL Center for Independent Living

Tuesday, July 20: 

Equity: Intersectionality, Social Construction of Disabilities, & Disability Justice

Erin Taylor of the OHSU Oregon Office on Disability and Health and the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities; Sabine Rear, the Oregon representative of the Northwest ADA Center who is also an artist, speaker and educator; Missy Elliott, service equity manager for the Oregon Department of Human Services Office of Developmental Disabilities Services; and Nicole Burdsall, of the Oregon Department of Human Services Office of Aging and People with Disabilities

Tuesday, July 27

Inclusive Emergency Planning & COVID-19 Equity

Rebecca Bolante, director of Bolante.NET; Mandie Pritchard of Bolante.NET; Glenna Hayes, UCP Connections; and Tom Stenson, Disability Rights Oregon

Registration for the Lunch and Learn series is available at this website: https://www.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJIsfu6qpzotH3CyEAc-2enJeGkRLXPJVBI

These sessions will be accessible to people with disabilities. Captioning and American Sign Language interpretation will be provided. For questions about accessibility, or to request an accommodation, please contact OregonDisabilities.Commission@dhsoha.state.or.us. Requests should be made at least 48 hours in advance of the meetings.

About the event sponsors:

The Oregon Disabilities Commission is charged by state statute to advise the Department of Human Services, the Governor, the Legislative Assembly and appropriate state agency administrators on issues related to achieving the full economic, social, legal and political equity of individuals with disabilities. ODC also acts as a coordinating link between and among public and private organizations serving individuals with disabilities.

The Northwest ADA Center is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and is part of the ADA National Network. The ADA National Network Centers are a national platform of ten centers comprised of ADA professionals and experts charged with assisting businesses, state and local governments, and people with disabilities as they manage the process of changing our culture to be user friendly to disability and the effect the variety of health conditions can have on society.