InterAction Honors Judy Heumann with Lifetime Achievement Award

Judy Heumann smiles, looking up and out. Blurred figures and American flag in background.
In 2017, InterAction bestowed its annual Disability Inclusion Award to the internationally-recognized leader for her outstanding contributions and commitment to disability rights globally.

The award recognizes the international development community’s innovative efforts to promote disability inclusion as a human rights issue.

MIUSA CEO Susan Sygall, who has known Ms. Heumann for more than 40 years, was thrilled at the nomination, describing her as "a true disability activist, someone who works day and night, 24/7, to enhance the lives of people with disabilities both in the US and around the world." This nomination was brought forth from InterAction's Disability Working Group.

InterAction presented the award to Ms. Heumann during the InterAction Forum 2017 Awards Banquet on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

About Judy Heumann

For decades, Judith E. Heumann has been involved on the international front working with disabled people’s organizations and governments around the world to advance the human rights of disabled people. She was appointed Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State under the Obama Administration. From June 2002 - 2006, Ms. Heumann served as the World Bank's first Adviser on Disability and Development, where she led the World Bank to expand its capacity to improve policies, programs, and projects that allow disabled people around the world to live and work in the economic and social mainstream of their communities.

Other notable contributions to the international disability rights community include representing Education Secretary Richard Riley at the 1995 International Congress on Disability in Mexico City, serving as a US delegate to the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, and playing an active role with Disabled Peoples’ International, Rehabilitation International and numerous Independent Living Centers throughout the world. Read her full bio here.

About the Award

The Disability Inclusion Award was implemented by InterAction and Mobility International USA in 2009. It has traditionally honored InterAction member agencies that have worked toward greater disability inclusion in programs and management and have expanded leadership opportunities for people with disabilities. Previous award winners from recent years include HelpAge USA (2016), World Learning (2015), and Trickle Up (2014).

About InterAction

InterAction is an alliance organization of 180 nongovernmental organizations working around the world in support of international development and humanitarian efforts. Visit InterAction online to learn more.