Muscular Dystrophy Association Welcomes Legendary Lifelong Disability Civil Rights Activist Judith Heumann for Interview on Quest Podcast
Host and Editor-in-Chief Mindy Henderson interviews Heumann about transforming the world of air travel, education, employment, and the environment through advocacy, and how to engage the next generation of global advocates for people living with disabilities.
NEW YORK, NY – April 21, 2022 – The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) today released a new episode of its Quest podcast entitled "Know Your Rights: A Conversation with Judith Heumann", the legendary lifelong disability rights activist, author, wife, mentor, podcaster, featured in the Oscar nominated documentary "Crip Camp". The interview, hosted by Mindy Henderson, Editor-In-Chief of MDA’s Quest content including host of the Quest podcast, serves as a master class on engaging in advocacy and knowing your rights for a more inclusive world. This episode Quest podcast is available here.
The podcast conversation included empowering reminders from Heumann, to know your rights as the episode title reflects. “People have rights, but we don't necessarily know how to use them,” said Heumann. "Getting people to that first step of being able to say, ‘No, I don't accept second class citizenship. No, I don't accept people looking at me as being inferior.’ And being able to bring yourself forward, that's advocacy, it's the beginning of respect for yourself and articulating it,” she continued.
Heumann discussed the advocacy needed from the community regarding accessible air travel and said, “I think part of the issue is that not enough people are traveling who use wheelchairs or other forms of technology and they don't know what their rights are under the Air Carrier Access Act, which is not strong enough because you can't litigate”.
Heumann spoke about what employers should be focusing on, saying, “I think there are multiple things employers need to really -- on a regular basis -- be looking at what are they doing to address issues of biases on race, on gender, on sexual orientation, on disability. What are they doing to make these needed corrections so that the staff that have responsibility for outreach, for hiring, for management, are making sure that they and their staff really are looking at, in this case, disabled people, finding people who meet the qualifications and making sure that the biases are being removed.”
Heumann also discussed the environment and climate change regarding disaster preparedness for the disability community saying, “The environment is a big issue now...we have a lot to be worried about because everything indicates, and we've seen this, that preparation for disaster preparedness and what happens after a disaster, disabled people are not at the core of people's thinking.”
“The advocacy work Judith Heumann has done throughout her life, enabled me to grow up in a world where there were laws against discrimination of people with disabilities, where before people with disabilities were excluded from society. It was my honor to have her on the MDA Quest Podcast to share with our audience a master class in personal engagement to transform air travel, education, employment, voting rights, and the environment, as we continue to empower people with disabilities to live life to the fullest in any way they choose,” said Mindy Henderson, Editor-in-chief of the Quest family of content at MDA, host of the Quest Podcast.
MDA’s Quest podcast addresses conversations that are important to the disability community. We seek to educate and inform, demystify, and inspire, perpetuate progress, and entertain.
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About Muscular Dystrophy Association
Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the #1 voluntary health organization in the United States for people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. For over 70 years, MDA has led the way in accelerating research, advancing care, and advocating for the support of our families. MDA’s mission is to empower the people we serve to live longer, more independent lives. To learn more visit mda.org and follow MDA on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn.