The Washington Post

A well-loved ‘roll model’

- Rayna Aylward, Annandale

Judy Heumann will be memorializ­ed as a national and internatio­nal champion of disability rights, and rightly so [“Champion for disability rights spearheade­d a movement,” obituaries, March 7]. But let’s also remember her as a dynamic and much-loved member of our community.

She was the first director of the D.C. Department of Disability Services under Mayor Adrian Fenty and regularly spoke at local events focused on disability, equity and human rights. She was an active member of her congregati­on and a regular patron of restaurant­s (especially Mexican) in her neighborho­od. Walking with Ms. Heumann around town, I learned never to try to sustain a conversati­on because she’d be continuall­y stopped by friends and well-wishers, all of whose names she seemed to remember.

She was a “roll model” (her term) and mentor to so many that a gathering of grateful fans could have filled Nationals Park. With Ms. Heumann’s death, a light has gone out of our region.

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