We’re 20 Percent Of America, And We’re Still Invisible



By Judith Heumann and 

Ms. Heumann is a disability rights activist. Mr. Wodatch is a civil rights lawyer.


This month as the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act approached, we asked two prominent figures in the disability rights movement, Judy Heumann and John Wodatch, where they thought the United States stood in its quest to secure full rights for people with disabilities.

Mr. Wodatch is a former Department of Justice lawyer and the chief author of the regulations of both the A.D.A. and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, an anti-discrimination law that was a precursor to the A.D.A. He led the Justice Department office in charge of enforcing the A.D.A. until 2010. Ms. Heumann, an international disability rights activist, was the leader of the “504 sit-in” in San Francisco in 1977, at 25 days the longest nonviolent occupation of a federal building in American history. Ms. Heumann’s role in that protest has been documented in the recently released film “Crip Camp” and her memoir, “Being Heumann.”


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