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Publisher's Summary

Tony-Award winning actress Ali Stroker reads the story of Judy Heumann - one of the most influential disability-rights activists in US history.

A story of fighting to belong in a world that wasn't built for all of us and of one woman's activism - from the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco to inside the halls of Washington - Being Heumann recounts Judy Heumann's lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society. 

Paralyzed from polio at 18 months, Judy's struggle for equality began early in life. From fighting to attend grade school after being described as a "fire hazard" to later winning a lawsuit against the New York City school system for denying her a teacher's license because of her paralysis, Judy's actions set a precedent that fundamentally improved rights for disabled people. 

As a young woman, Judy rolled her wheelchair through the doors of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in San Francisco as a leader of the Section 504 Sit-In, the longest takeover of a governmental building in US history. Working with a community of more than 150 disabled activists and allies, Judy successfully pressured the Carter administration to implement protections for disabled peoples' rights, sparking a national movement and leading to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Candid, intimate, and irreverent, Judy Heumann's memoir about resistance to exclusion invites listeners to imagine and make real a world in which we all belong.

©2020 Judith Heumann and Kristen Joiner (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Thoughtful and illuminating, this inspiring story is a must-read for activists and civil rights supporters.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“Consider this book an inspiring call for inclusiveness, courage, equity, and justice as well as a reminder of people’s power to change the world for the better.” (Booklist

“A driving force in the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act looks back on a long career of activism...A welcome account of politics in action, and for the best of causes.” (Kirkus Reviews

What listeners say about Being Heumann

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A must read for everyone

This book was incredibly informative, insightful, and encouraging. I'm sharing it with everyone and making it a requirement in our advocacy training.

6 people found this helpful

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Heumann Captures Important History and Perspective

As a beneficiary of the rights Ms. Heumann championed and a fellow traveler in the movement for disability rights, I enjoy this book very much. What I like about this book is that a reader doesn’t need to know anything about disabilities or movement work to get something out of it.

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Awesome

Judith H. is a true American hero!! Should be considered for the Congressional Medal of Freedom......

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Fantastic

I don’t usually write reviews. This book should be required reading for everyone. The narrator was great but the content was amazing. I feel so empowered after reading this because I am in the midst of facing many of these same obstacles in my life living with a disability and trying to get people at my work to treat me with equality. The author is nothing short of awesome and I just commend her and thank her for paving the way for so many of us. She fought for everyone!!!

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disability pride at it's best

fantastic memoir of our community showing our finest work demonstrating time tested social justice strategies

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An important retelling of History

Although I didn't think this was the most compelling audiobook, Heumann's story is worth telling and retelling. She's an extraordinary hero of the disability rights movement. Personally, without the work she did on 504 and the ADA, my life would have been very different. All of us who fight for equality and justice stand on her capable shoulders. Thank you!

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Powerful book

This is an a incredible book about a woman who is largely unknown yet changed the world. Her life work impacts millions across the United States and across the globe. The “Gloria Steinem” of the disability movement, her work and indomitable spirit touches women and men and everyone who refuses to except second class status and dares to thrive within this fragile existence we call life.

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A human story for all time

This Is a must read for everyone, Because we all know some with a disability or we are we will face disability in the future. Judy Heumann is extraordinary and her journey will captivate you. As a person with a disability and disability activist myself, I couldn't put this book down.

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Good Book on Social Change

loved it. excellent book on social activism and the spirit of what democratic society SHOULD be.

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Amazingly persistent and critical work!

(As posted in GoodReads)
Incredible story and picture of persistence; I loved it! It was well written and presented.
It's amazing how her work in and with multiple administrations still continues! And the goal, disability rights (and actually RECOGNITION)) shouldn't actually require so much. As a person whose disability only developed after grad school, I didn't have to deal with some of the earlier things, and some of the dismissals of an individual AS a disabled person, are even more noticeable as a denial of what used to be for me. And even with the ADA from 1990, most people have no clue! And her insistence that we still need to concentrate and work on equality is spot o
It's an incredible motivating book that encourages one to examine possibilities and motivations!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mattie
  • 05-06-22

You need to read this

Judith Heumann clearly and passionately describes the disabled experience and our culture. Please read this, disabled or non-disabled, this is an important book. Many of the discriminatory experiences Judith writes about still happen today. We need to know our disabled history in order to ensure our rights are upheld

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