Women Rock

Happy Women’s History Month.
There are many women I admire that have helped shaped me into the strong independent women I am today. Without the mentoring of great women, many girls wouldn’t have the knowledge needed to grow into the women they are today.
As a woman with a disability, I admire the pioneers who have paved the way for me. One such women is Judy Heumann. Not only is Judy a civil rights disability advocate, she’s also a disability rights activist as well. Judy is known around the world as the mother of disability rights.
Judy, who has polio, grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and experienced discrimination at a young age. At age five, she was denied the right to attend public grade school. The school’s reasoning was that she was a fire hazard due to her disability. Well, that is just absurd! But if you can believe it, she was again denied the right to attend high school. Judy’s mother advocated for her civil rights and was eventually allowed to attend both schools. I believe this is what inspired Judy to become such a great advocate. Her fire inside ignited, and she wanted to make sure all people with disabilities received equal rights.
Luckily, Judy attended Camp Jened, a camp for people with disabilities. Camp Jened is where Judy’s awareness grew to include all disabilities; this is when her passion began to start a movement that would benefit many. Camp Jened would later be made into a documentary called Crip Camp which features Judy.
Judy would go on to earn a degree, all while suffering discrimination. To bring awareness, Judy organized protests, rallies, sit-in, and meetings with policy makers to make life better for all people with disabilities.
Judy’s accomplishments include, author, Ted Talker, appointments to national and world councils/commissions and appointments by US Presidents to serve on their administration to promote positive change.
Judy was also featured in “Time” magazine as one of the 100 Women of the year!
As a woman with a disability, I know how hard it is to just exist in this world, where you’re often viewed as not good enough. When I see a woman like Judy, with so much class and a zest for life, she makes me want to be the best me I can be.
Women are the glue that binds this world together. Without women, the world would truly fall apart. If you’re lucky enough to have a woman or women in your life who are holding things down and making things happen, cherish her. Thanks, Judy for making my life better and may I continue your legacy by making life better for women who are with, beside, and, the ones coming along.

5 comments on “Women Rock

  1. Monae Dawson on

    Shari I’ll 2nd everything you said and include that women play a major role in everyday life. There are times we may sometimes take for granted the power behind a woman that has/does it all because she/we make it look so easy, not to mention the many other challenges we face like the lady Judy you speak of here in this blog. Thank you for encouraging us to take a deeper look into the history and significance of women.

  2. gussie jones on

    I think Judy would say that you too exemplify all that those with disabilities are able to achieve – AND what role models they are to us who are not disabled.
    Keep up the good work.


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