As one of the most influential disability rights activists in U.S. history, Judy Heumann has spent her career fighting to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion. The lawsuits she won, sit-ins she led, and legislation she championed all sparked a national movement that led to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.

Heumann is also the daughter of refugees who fled Nazism in the 1930s, and the granddaughter of German Jews who were killed by the Nazis. Growing up in Brooklyn, she was acutely aware of her family’s story—and she understood, on multiple levels, the dangers of bigotry and the importance of speaking out against it.

Her story is featured in the Oscar-nominated 2020 film Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution and in her recently-released book Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist.

Join Heumann for a conversation with Bill Abrams, President of Trickle Up and former President of New York Times Television, about her family background in the Holocaust, her new memoir, and her remarkable career fighting to forge a society in which we all belong.

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This program will have closed captioning and live ASL interpretation available. For more information on accessibility at the Museum, click here.


Legacies is a Museum series which highlights notable figures who have a connection to Jewish heritage, identity, and the Holocaust. Legacies is made possible with a gift from Marc Kirschner in honor of Nancy Fisher.


Public programming at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; a Humanities New York CARES Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act; and other generous donors.

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