The U.S. government Special Advisor for International Rights of People with Special Needs, Judith Heumann, visited Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia last month to attend a series of activities celebrating the 25th anniversary of the “Americans with Disabilities Act,” a law that protects the rights of people with disabilities in the United States. The first stop was in São Paulo, from August 9-11, where she visited the new Brazilian Paralympic Centre in the Southern area of the city, and projects, people and organizations that serve and facilitate the social and professional integration of people with disabilities.
Judith Heumann visited SESI Suzano accompanied by U.S. Consul General in São Paulo, Ricardo Zuniga, where she attended the Paralympic Sports Festival and played bocce with children with special needs. She also learned about the work of Lucy Montoro Rehabilitation Center and Memorial Social Inclusion. Along with the Assistant Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the State of São Paulo, Cid Torquato, the Special Advisor had the opportunity to learn more about the difficulties faced by people with special needs, especially in urban centers, and discuss possible opportunities for cooperation between Brazil and the US in this area.
At a meeting with representatives of start-ups Hand Talk and Solar Ear, and NGO More Differences, Heumann learned about equipment designed to help people with special needs. On her last day in São Paulo, Heumann visited the works of the Brazilian Paralympic Center, which is focused on the Paralympics 2016, and that will be the main center of excellence in Latin America for Paralympic sport.
“I look forward to the Paralympic Center to open so people can visit it and benefit from it,” Heumann said during the visit.