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Greetings and happy spring! Welcome to our April issue of Melange, Accessibility for All magazine.
My editor’s note will start on somber and solemn note. All of us in the disability community are probably already aware that we lost a very dear friend, family member, mentor, disability rights advocate, and frankly, a disability rights treasure this past March: Judith Heumann. I knew Judy, as many of us did, for quite a long time. Even if you were new to the disability community, chances are you were somehow touched by her directly or indirectly. That’s just how it was with Judy. She was well-known and highly regarded the world over. No matter where I’ve traveled in the world, someone always knew her name and what she did for the disability community. I had the pleasure of serving with Judy on the National Board of Directors for the American Association of People with Disabilities, numerous panel discussions, and I even shared an interview with her in the very first issue of Melange, Accessibility for All magazine – October, 2020.
There’s nothing I can say or write about Judy that hasn’t already been conveyed about her. Well, maybe one thing. Judy was a fighter, and you were always going to lose if you dared to take her on. I never had to. We were always on the sane side and fought the same fights. I still do, in her honor. I will not give up my fight to ensure that all people, regardless of ability, have the same access and the same rights as everyone else. It’s Judy’s legacy. None of us would have the rights as people with disabilities that we do had Judy not stood up for all of us. So, I ask each of you to honor Judy by never giving up and to always advocate for your rights. Disability rights are civil rights! Never forget that.
To further honor Judy, we will continue to bring you stories from around the world about people, places, innovative technology and companies that each make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities around the world.
And, don’t forget our latest magazine, Melange Accessible Journeys. In this Melange digital magazine, we share stories from all around the world about accessible travel destinations written and experienced by people with disabilities. In each issue of Melange Accessible Journeys, you will find personal, firsthand accounts of what each traveler experienced during their journey. It is a resource for anyone of any ability who wants to take an accessible journey. In the summer issue, I’ll be sharing my recent visit to Portugal, so keep an eye out for it.
Keep using your voice and sharing your stories with us. We will continue to make it all real, all relevant, and we certainly appreciate your thoughts. Let us know if you have a product you want us to try or to write about, or if you want to invite us to visit your city, country, resort or place of interest so that we can write about it and share it with our audience. You can reach me at email@example.com.
Thank you for reading!
Fred J. Maahs, Jr. is an internationally-renown disability and civil rights champion who believes in and advocates for the rights and access for all! A recognized leader and former corporate executive, he’s also an international keynote speaker, collaborator and an international accessibility travel expert.