March is Women’s History Month and National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month –
which gives us a lot to celebrate.
We are humbled by the strength and tenacity of the women we serve: the women living with disabilities, working within our community, caring for our participants, and the ones fighting for disability rights & inclusion all across the world.
Here are just a few:
Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins was the youngest person to participate in the Capitol Crawl in 1990, leading to the Americans with Disabilities Act. At this point, she was only eight years old but had already been protesting and advocating for disability rights for two years. Today she is a motivational speaker and educator partnered with Mobility of Denver in Colorado.
Judith Heumann was sent home for being a “fire hazard” in elementary school after her parents fought for her to join the public school system instead of being institutionalized. She became an activist in 1969 when the New York City Board of Education would not let her teach because of her wheelchair. Because of her work, many Americans with disabilities have access to education and employment opportunities. After teaching, she became the U.S. assistant secretary of education for special education and rehabilitative services and the State Department special advisor for international disability rights.
Vilissa Thompson is the founder and CEO of Ramp Your Voice! and provides consultations for disabled students and veterans along with life coaching, sensitivity training, presentations, and motivational speaking. Based in South Carolina, Vilissa works to lift black voices in the disability community with movements like #DisabilityTooWhite.
We are so inspired by the women around us, who fight tirelessly to advocate for their rights and the rights of others. We appreciate the work you do!