A world-renowned authority on disability rights urged MU students on Wednesday to vote as a means of ending discrimination.

“We have to have people who understand the adverse effect of discrimination of disabled people and all the other communities, and who really believe in the right to vote,” Judy Heumann said during an online discussion hosted by the MU Disability Center.

Heumann has been heavily involved in the disability rights movement. She is best known for her leadership in the 504 Sit-In, a 1977 series of events in which people occupied federal buildings to promote legislation aiding people with disabilities.

Alongside Heumann on Wednesday were Cindy Bassett, Ellie Stitzer, and Amber Cheek, all of whom are involved in the legal field. They provided additional insight into the legislation process.

Heumann published her memoir, “Being Heumann,” in 2020. In the same year, she was featured in “Crip Camp,” a documentary about the disability rights movement.

Heumann also expressed the need for continued attention for the disabled community. As the discussion came to a close, she got emotional.

“I believe in what we’re trying to achieve as a country. It requires us to be more vigilant and more active, because there’s a lot at risk,” said Heumann.

In addition to MU students, participants included local high school students.

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  • MU reporter, fall 2021 Studying journalism and English. reach me at alsxb@mail.missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 882-5720

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