Disability World
A bimonthly web-zine of international disability news and views • Issue no. 13 April-May 2002

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World Bank Appoints Judy Heumann to New Disability Adviser Post

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Judith E. Heumann to the position of Adviser, Disability and Development in the Human Development Network. In this position, Ms. Heumann will lead the World Bank's work on disability and its integration into our dialogue with our client countries, our country-based analytical work, and our support to improving policies, programs, and projects that take people with disabilities fully into consideration in developing countries. Initiating the strategies to address the needs of the marginalized population of disabled people in poor countries around the world will importantly contribute to achieving the Bank's goal on poverty reduction and development. This position is located in the Social Protection unit of the Human Development Vice Presidency but will be serving the Bank-wide community.

Ms. Heumann, who had polio in 1949 and uses a motorized wheelchair, is an internationally recognized expert on disability and diversity issues. Her work with governments and NGOs has produced substantial contributions since the 1970s to the development of human rights legislation and policies benefiting disabled children and adults and to the worldwide development of the self-help and independent living movement. She was appointed by the President to the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services at the Department of Education from 1993 to 2001. Her recent international activities include co-chairing of the International Leadership Forum for Women with Disabilities, which brought together 600 participants from 80 countries, and policy consultations with governmental and non-governmental agencies in Mexico, Brazil, Japan, China and throughout Europe.

Her accomplishments in the governmental and legislative arenas are complemented by her progress in the non-governmental sector. Ms. Heumann co-founded the World Institute on Disability, the first public policy research think tank devoted to disability issues. She also shaped and co-directed the nation's first Center on Independent Living in Berkeley, California, a self-help and human rights organization. She serves as a member of the board of directors on many public policy and service organizations. In recognition of her collaborative work on diversity and human rights issues, Ms. Heumann has received numerous awards.

Ms. Heumann, a US national, received her Master of Public Health in 1975 from the University of California, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 1995 from Long Island University, Long Island, NY and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Administration, in 2001 from University of Illinois, Champaign, IL. Ms. Heumann is currently managing her own consulting firm which provides consulting services on disability issues. She was selected through an international competitive recruitment process. Her appointment is effective June 3, 2002.

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