University of Pittsburgh
January 29, 2006

Thornburgh Family Lecture Series in Disability Law and Policy to Be Held in Pitt's School of Law Feb. 9

Judith E. Heumann, internationally recognized expert on disability issues and World Bank's first adviser on disability and development, to present lecture
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Judith E. Heumann, World Bank adviser on disability and development, will be the featured speaker at The Thornburgh Family Lecture Series in Disability Law and Policy in the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Her talk, titled "Including the Voices of Disabled People in the International Development Agenda," will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Barco Law Building's Teplitz Memorial Court Room, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland. A question-and-answer session will follow the lecture.

An internationally recognized expert on disability and diversity issues, Heumann was appointed as the World Bank's first adviser on disability and development in June 2002. She leads the World Bank's disability work that integrates the needs of people with disabilities in the bank's discussions with client countries; its country-based analytical work; and its support for policies, programs, and projects to improve economic and social life around the globe.

From 1993 to 2001, Heumann served in the Clinton Administration as the assistant secretary for the Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. She served more than eight million youth and adults with disabilities by implementing national legislation for programs in special education, disability research, vocational rehabilitation, and independent living

Involved on the international front for more than 30 years, Heumann represented education secretary Richard Riley at the 1995 International Congress on Disability in Mexico City and was a delegate to the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. In addition, she has been active with Disabled People International, Rehabilitation International, and numerous Independent Living Centers around the world. Heumann cofounded the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, Calif., and the World Institute on Disability in Oakland, Calif. She also served as assistant national secretary for the U.S. Council on International Rehabilitation, now the U.S. International Council on Disability.

Heumann, who has served on governmental, local, national, and international boards of directors, has been honored for her many contributions. She was the first recipient of the Henry B. Betts Award, received the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Long Island University in Brooklyn, and the Honorary Doctorate of Public Administration degree from the University of Illinois at Urtbana-Champaign.

Heumann graduated from Long Island University in 1969 and earned the Masters of Science degree in public health at the University of California at Berkeley in 1975.

The Thornburgh Family Lecture Series was created by a generous gift from former Pennsylvania Governor and U. S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and his wife, Ginny, vice president and director of the National Organization on Disability, Religion, and Disability Program.

A University of Pittsburgh trustee, Dick Thornburgh is a 1957 graduate of the University's law school.

Recipients of the 2003 Henry B. Betts Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Thornburghs donated the $50,000 Betts Award funds to the University to establish The Thornburgh Family Lecture Series in Disability Law and Policy through Pitt's School of Law and School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS). The fund has been supplemented by grants from the Office of the Chancellor, the law school, and SHRS.

The Feb. 9 lecture also has support from Pitt's Global Studies Program in the University Center for International Studies. This course has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board for one and one-half hours of CLE credit.