Shortcuts to Disabilities
Brief Biographies of Three
From Left to right: Judith Heumann, Cole Martin, Katie Macleod, Patrick Macleod,
of the Many EXCEPTIONAL Individuals We Met,
on Our First Trip to Washington, D.C.(May, 1997)
Decoy (Comm. Williams Helper), and Bob Williams. From our first trip to Washington D.C.
COMMISSIONER FOR THE
ADMINISTRATION ON DEVEPMENTAL DISABILITIES,
U.S. DEPT. OF HEALTH AND HUMAN WELFARE
Bob Williams is known nationally for his articulate advocacy and strategic leadership in the disability arena. Appointed by President Clinton in August, 1993, as the Commissioner for the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Mr. Williams is responsible for a $100 million dollar network that increases the independence, productivity, and community inclusion of an estimated 4 million Americans with developmental disabilities and their families. Prior to this appointment, he worked as a policy associate with UCPA's Governmental Activities Department in Washington, DC, playing a key role in gaining the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mr. Williams has also served as a Co-Chair of the CCD Task Force on Personal Assistance Services. A graduate of George Washington University, he is also a poet and writer. Perhaps his best known works are included in his first volume of poetry, "In a Struggling Voice."
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
FOR THE OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
As Assistant Secretary of Education for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) since June, 1993, Judith E. Heumann and her 350-person staff manage the Office of Special Education Programs, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, which have a combined budget of over $5.5 billion. Together, these units coordinate and fund programs that impact America's 49 million disabled citizens and directly serve almost 6 million disabled children, youth and adults in virtually every community in America.
Ms. Heumann was among those who pioneered modern legislation recognizing that the U.S. Constitution guarantees equality of access and opportunity to persons with disabilities. As Legislative Assistant to the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare in 1974, she helped develop legislation that
became the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
In subsequent years, she helped draft the Americans with Disabilities Act, helped develop regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and helped design federal and state legislation that led to the creation of more than 200 independent living centers nationwide.
For ten years prior to her appointment as Assistant Secretary, Ms. Heumann served as Vice President of the World Institute on Disability (WID) -- the first research center devoted to disability issues -- which she helped establish with Ed Roberts and Joan Leon. She was the Director of WID's Research and Training Center on Public Policy in Independent Living.
From 1982 to 1983, Ms. Heumann served as Special Assistant to the Executive Director of California's State Department of Rehabilitation, where she helped design and administer the Department's policies and programs.
From 1975 to 1982, she served as the Deputy Director of the Center for Independent Living, the nation's first independent living center, located in Berkeley, California. She continued to serve the Center as a member of its Board of Directors from 1982 to 1993.
She was co-founder and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities; co-founder of the Board of Directors on many public policy and service organizations, including the National Rehabilitation Association, the National Advisory Council of the Center for Women Policy Studies, the National Council on Independent Living; Tools for Living in the Community, and the Over 60s Health Center.
Ms. Heumann's deep commitment to the goal of building an inclusive society comes from her own experiences. Since having polio at the age of 18 months, Ms. Heumann has known discrimination firsthand. She was denied the right to attend a public school until the fourth grade. She was able to begin her career as a teacher in the New York City school system only after she sued the Board of Education, which had refused to give her a teaching
position because she uses a wheel chair.
Since being appointed Assistant Secretary of Education, Ms. Heumann has revitalized or initiated nationwide programs to assist people with disabilities obtain the knowledge and skills they need to make their individual contributions to society, a goal which is an important part of President Clinton's agenda. Ms. Heumann
has been working with citizens' groups across the
nation -- and with virtually every branch of the government -- to make sure that policies and programs designed to meet the goals of education reform and full employment address issues involving disabled people.
Ms. Heumann has been also successfully working to make OSERS' programs more accessible to disabled individuals from minority and culturally diverse backgrounds. She is committed to program accountability and to building public awareness of model programs that work.
Ms. Heumann has become a de facto international ambassador for America's disabled community. Among many other duties, she represented Secretary of Education Riley at the 1995 International Congress on Disability in Mexico City and was
appointed by President Clinton as a member of the delegation to the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.
She has received numerous honors and awards. Ms. Magazine cited her as "one of 80 women to watch in the 80's," and in 1990, the State of California Legislature named her its Woman of the Year. She was the first recipient of the Henry B. Betts Award for "efforts that significantly improve the quality of life for people with disabilities."
She graduated from Long Island University in 1969 and received a masters degree in public health administration from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975. She now lives in Washington, DC, and is married to Jorge Pineda.
From left to right: Katie Macleod, Cole Martin
and Patrick Macleod.
Sitting: Rosangela Berman-Bieler
Rosangela Berman Bieler is a journalist, publisher, advocate and disability rights activist. She is a founding member of ONEDEF, the national organization of persons with physical disabilities (1981). She is a founder and former president (1988-1995) of the Center for Independent Living of Rio de Janeiro (CVIRJ), the first in the Region, and is now serving as Vice President. She was formerly Rehabilitation International Deputy Vice President for Latin America (1992-1995), and editor of "ETAPA" and "SUPERAÇAO" newsmagazines on disability, among other publications. Rosangela, 39, is married to Michael Bieler, also a journalist, and mother of Mel, 11 years old. They are from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and currently live in Washington DC, U.S.A.
Rosangela runs her own business, Third Millennium Events, through which she does conference planning, production and editing of publications, and disability-related consulting. One of her major responsibilities is the semiannual newsletter "One in Ten", a collaboration between Rehabilitation International and UNICEF on childhood disabilities.
Rosangela has been a quadriplegic since an automobile accident in 1976, and uses a wheelchair for mobility.
More about our trip click on the arrow
Ingram, R.(1997)The Productivity Works, Inc.: ILF Pictures,[Internet].
Available:http://www.prodworks.com [1997, July 11]
A 3 column by 4 row table of other category links to our site.