Like many of you, I watched Judy Heumann’s memorial service this morning. Since hearing of her death, I have been struggling with both our collective loss and with a personal sense of sorrow. Many have eulogized her far more eloquently than I ever could–her leadership, her wisdom, and her persistently infectious sense of justice.
I met Judy when she was Assistant Secretary at the Department of Education. As someone else has said, to meet Judy was to fall under her sphere of influence, and of course I did. When she spoke at OSU’s President’s and Provost’s Diversity Lecture series in 2001, I rented a van and spent the best part of a week driving Judy around central Ohio visiting programs she had touched while at Education so she could talk with participants. Her delight in connecting with individuals, in fostering community, in igniting possibility are a bright memory and a guiding light. In the Jewish tradition, we say yehi zichra baruch (may her memory be a blessing) as a condolence. I offer an alternative coined by Rachel Stomel in another context: yehi zichra mahapecha (may her memory be a revolution).
About the Author
L. Scott Lissner has served as the Americans With Disabilities Act Coordinator and 504 Compliance Officer for The Ohio State University since January of 2000. Lissner is also an Associate of the John Glenn School of Public Policy and serves as a lecturer for the Moritz College of Law, the Knowlton School of Architecture and Disability Studies. His teaching and public service inform his work as the university’s disability compliance officer and energize his role in creating seamless access to all of the university’s facilities, programs, services, and employment opportunities.
Engaged in community and professional service, Lissner is a past President and current Public Policy Committee Chair of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and has served on the Advisory Board for the National Center on College Students with Disabilities and the Boards of Directors for The Center for Disability Empowerment and VSA Ohio. Lissner has been appointed to the Columbus Advisory Committee on Disability Issues, Ohio’s Help America Vote Act Committee, and the Ohio Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, and presents frequently on disability issues. Presentations include a technical assistance tour to Indonesia sponsored by the Department of State, sessions for the Association on Higher Education and Disability, the Ohio Court Administrators Association, the University of Toledo’s Law Symposium on Compliance, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, The Ohio Attorney General’s Office, The Ohio Magistrates College, and workshops on building accommodation processes at the Universities of Tokyo and Doshisha in Japan. Publications include “The Impact of the ADAAA of 2008 on Higher Education” (Thompsons Publications), “Universal Design in the Institutional Setting: Weaving a Philosophy into Campus Planning” (in Universal Design: From Accessibility to Zoning, edited by J. Cowley-Evans & J. Nasser), “From Legal Principle to Informed Practice” (with J. E. Jarrow), and “A Long View of Change” (Disability Blog, The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy).