Dreams of Independence Symposium

INCLUDEnyc Will Host Event Featuring Disability Advocate Judy Heumann


(New York, NY)—INCLUDEnyc will host its Dreams of Independence Symposium event for young people with disabilities on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at CUNY Graduate Center.

The panel event will feature disability rights advocate Judy Heumann. Heumann is a key figure in the global movement for disability rights. In the 1970s, Heumann came to prominence championing the first U.S. federal civil rights legislation for people with disabilities, which resulted in the longest sit-in at a federal building in the country’s history. She is a senior fellow at The Ford Foundation and recently served in the Obama administration as the first Special Adviser for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State.

Heumann will engage with WNYC education reporter and event moderator Yasmeen Khan on how to create equity and access for young people with disabilities. INCLUDEnyc provides education and resources to ensure that young people with disabilities reach their goals and appropriate independence in adulthood. The event aims to inspire young people with disabilities to dream bigger about education, employment, and life’s possibilities.

“Only half of special education students in NYC public school graduate from high school. As a result, young people with disabilities often do not believe that high school graduation, college enrollment, or competitive employment is possible. We need to change that,” said Barbara Glassman, Executive Director of INCLUDEnyc. “It’s also critical for young people and their parents know that preparation for life after high school graduation should start as early as possible.”

Following her conversation with Judy Heumann, moderator Yasmeen Khan will invite several panelists to open the discussion, including self-advocates Matthew Conlin, Tyrese Alleyne-Davis, and Rachelle Tucker, as well as parents Felicia Alleyne-Davis and Chantel Paige-Patterson. Chantel is a disability advocate who appeared with her son Nasaiah in episodes of the “Sesame Street and Autism” series, reducing stigma around autism.

This event is free and open to the public. Learn more and register today.