Crip Camp Screening and Conversation with Judy Heumann

IOD staff and faculty recently participated in a unique professional development opportunity with renowned disability rights activist, advocate, and author Judy Heumann. The virtual event kicked off with a screening of the ground-breaking, Academy-award nominated film Crip Camp—in which Judy starred—and was followed by an enriching discussion on the creation of the film and Judy’s thoughts on the current state of disability in America.

Crip Camp takes viewers back to summers in the 1970s at Camp Jened, a camp for youth with disabilities located in the Catskills. At Jened, campers were able to participate in typical summer camp experiences including sports, arts and crafts, and dating. It was also the place where discussions about the disability rights movement began.

Fast forward through years of disability rights activism to 2021—Judy has become a prominent advocate for the rights of people with disabilities around the world. She has written several books, including “Being Heumann,” and has been featured in numerous documentaries. She was also a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation and helped advance the inclusion of people with disabilities in the media.

“What I want to continue to do is be a part of the community of change,” says Judy. “I think my books and being in the film are new roads for me. One of the important aspects about the film and my book and other books that are being written by disabled people is that people are learning about history, even in the disability community. And I would say that one of the predominant comments that I hear from people, regardless of age, who don’t have a disability, is, “Why didn’t we know this story?”