The International Disability Alliance expresses our disbelief and devastation about the passing of our dear friend, Judith “Judy” Heumann.

“Judy has been recognized by the entire IDA membership as the mother of the disability rights movement. The world will never be the same without her in it; we can only now continue to strive to fulfill the legacy that she leaves behind,” said IDA President Yannis Vardakastanis.

Judy dedicated her entire life to the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities. It is now our collective responsibility—and great honor—to continue down the road she paved.

Never needing an introduction in any room where she was invited to speak, Judy seemingly knew everyone. She leaves behind dear friends in every corner of the world.

Those of us who had the great pleasure to know Judy know that she was perpetually multitasking and constantly making connections across her vast network. Judy always had the big picture in mind, which helped her anticipate the way forward for the disability movement time and time again.

While we grieve this great loss, we also need to cherish the gifts that Judy gave to each of us and commit to work even harder to fulfill her lifelong vision of a more inclusive world for all people with disabilities.