The Global Heumann Fellowship

Creating a Global Bridge to the Future

Remembering Judy Heumann

WID continues to celebrate the life and legacy of our late co-founder Judy Heumann, who passed away on March 4, 2023. In 1983, Judy co-founded the World Institute on Disability along with activists Ed Roberts and Joan Leon and set forth to eliminate the barriers to access and inclusion for people with disabilities.

Judy was a tireless advocate for disability rights and worked to promote accessibility, inclusive education, independent living, transportation, employment and other essential elements for accessible, equitable and inclusive community living. We are honored to continue Judy’s legacy by continuing her commitment to the future of disability rights and disability justice in regions around the world.

 “Judy was a force to be reckoned with. Anyone who has had the good fortune to be around her knows she was a no-nonsense, strong, powerful force for change. Judy was an amazing mentor to young people, she was incredibly supportive of those of us who are trying to make change together.”

- Marcie Roth, WID Executive Director and CEO

The Global Heumann Fellowship

WID’s Global Heumann Fellowship Program will honor and grow Judy’s legacy by supporting disability leaders and advocates around the world to work on projects that promote disability rights and disability justice in their regional communities, as a bridge to an equitable, inclusive, and just world. Fellows will be charged with conducting research, writing a white paper, building relationships, supporting opportunities for collaboration, and program development to drive WID’s mission and strategic focus areas including: accessibility and universal design; emergency preparedness, disaster risk reduction, and climate resilience; global community inclusion, regional/global policy, and the overall power of activism. 

Through this twelve-month fellowship term, each fellow is engaged in a unique combination of opportunities for thought leadership on national and global policy, research strategies, advocacy, program development, and contributions to initiatives aimed at advancing the rights of persons with disabilities globally. Fellows will focus on identifying and leading research with the support of WID, as it regards the fellow’s respective region, expertise, and collaboration with WID.

Logos from left to right: Wells Fargo, Microsoft, and Mitsubishi Electric Foundation

Fellow Roles and Responsibilities

Global Heumann Fellows are responsible for:

  • Promoting WID’s mission and core values within the Fellow’s region and global presence
  • Ensuring reflection of WID’s mission and core values throughout the application process, fellow’s program development, relevant work, and future action plans
  • Establishing and strengthening alliances to advance change with WID and for the fellow’s future professional development
  • Conducting relevant research that will promote applicable findings and build the power of people with disabilities
  • Creating a sustainable, research-based project plan to guide regional and global  implementation throughout and upon completion of the fellowship
  • Responsible for conducting comprehensive research that results in a WID-published white paper
  • Producing multi-media assets that demonstrate fellow’s research findings and organizational objectives. 
  • Maintaining consistent communication and proactive interest in connections with mentors, WID staff, and others involved in the fellow’s research, projects, and responsibilities.

Fellow Requirements and Eligibility

The Global Heumann Fellowship seeks disabled, visionary leaders with a demonstrated history in advocacy, communications, and influential collaboration. Must have the ability to be effective while working remotely and maintain flexibility working with a diverse, global team.

  • Have a minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience within the disability rights movement
  • Have lived experience as a person with a disability
  • Experienced in advocacy on global disability rights issues Flexibility and capacity to work with limited supervision and adapt quickly to new or unexpected assignments
  • Commitment to excellence and to being a reliable, responsive, and accountable team member throughout the fellowship
  • English Proficiency- high level of comfort with the use of the English language in both spoken and written forms
  • Will commit  part-time (~ 20 hours/week) to the proposed research project and fellowship program throughout the fellowship year
  • Currently has  a professional career within the disability rights field upon completion of the Fellowship

Desirable Requirements:

  • Hold an academic degree (earned in the U.S. or abroad) equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree completed by the application deadline
  • Has a strong foundation of knowledge of disability and human rights advocacy
  • Daily access to the internet, a personal computer, and a suitable work environment
  • Willingness and ability to work occasionally at non-standard hours, accommodating  different time zones
  • Willingness to be available on instant communication modes such as  WhatsApp or Signal
  • Have had significant experience in writing, or are a published writer on disability rights issues

Fellow Time Commitment and Location

This is a part-time, twelve-month fellowship, with a term from July 2024 to July 2025. Individuals who have lived disability experience active in the disability community and have extensive experience or leadership within the disability rights and disability justice fields are encouraged to apply. At this time, all members of WID are working remotely throughout the United States and the fellowship is completely virtual. Fellows, WID, and collaborators will establish meeting frequency mindful of multiple time zones. The successful fellow must possess the right to work in the location in which they will be based. WID is unable to sponsor visas or relocation for this fellowship. 

Location: Remote

Time Commitment: Part Time (Up to  20 hours/week)

Term: July 2024 to July 2025

Fellow Application and Timeline

The first Global Heumann Fellowship term will take place from July 2024 to July 2025. The application will be open from November 7, 2023 through March 31, 2024.

  1. The period of application/candidate review will take place from April 1, 2024, through April 30, 2024.
  2. All applicants will be notified by email of their advancement or of their non-selection in May 2024.  Finalists will be scheduled for a virtual interview (using Zoom) in May 2024. 
  3. Fellows will be notified of their acceptance on or by June 7, 2024.

How to Apply to be a Fellow

The application is linked below and will ask for information about demographics, current organizational affiliations, personal motivation, and the scope of the applicant's proposed research project. The details of the written components that will be requested are outlined below. Please be sure to collect these materials in advance. However, the application can be saved and returned to, if necessary. 

Applications will be accepted online only and are due no later than March 31, 2024 11:59 PM Pacific Time (23:59:00 PT) (UTC-8:00). 

Please ensure that you read and understand all directions for each question. We ask that all answers and materials are submitted in English. 

  1. Resume/CV: You will be able to upload your Resume/CV as a document. The accepted file types are: doc/docx or pdf, with a max file size of 500 KB.
  2. Letters of Support or Recommendation: You will be able to list the names of your references, your relationship with them, and then provide up to three letters of support/recommendation. Please ensure that at least two of the letters are professional recommendations. Providing letters of support or recommendations is optional; however, we highly encourage submitting these additional letters to your application package. 

There are two ways you can submit your letters of support or recommendation after you complete the application:

  1. Documents can be emailed to with the subject line “Letters of Recommendation for (your name)” by either yourself or your referees. We will confirm receipt by email.
  2. Personal Statement:  A written statement needs to be prepared, answering the prompt below. There will be an open text box with a 3,000-character limit (excluding spaces), where you will be able to copy and paste your personal statement.

Prompt: Judy Heumann was a disability rights pioneer, incredible leader, and activist fighting for the rights and opportunities of over one billion disabled people around the world. In Judy's book, Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, Judy famously says that "Change never happens at the pace we think it should."

Please have a personal statement prepared, describing what this quote might mean to you personally, and discussing why you would like to be a Global Heumann Fellow, your suitability for this fellowship, and what your personal goals are.

  1. Research Project Proposal: Fellows will be tasked with conducting relevant research that will promote applicable findings to advance the disability rights and justice field and/or further empower people with disabilities. Applicants will need to complete questions and provide written responses regarding the following:
  • the research project topic or concept(s) you hope to explore,
  • what learning objectives do you hope to accomplish,
  • what impact do you believe your research will have, and
  • what support do you hope to receive from WID and our partners

You first need to choose a focus area:

  • Accessibility and Universal Design Solutions
  • Emergency Planning, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Justice
  • Global Community Inclusion
  • Other relevant focus area of your choosing

You will then need to prepare the following to copy and paste into open text boxes:

  • Up to three learning objectives (one to two sentences each)
  • An executive summary of your research proposal (4,000-character limit)

Once you have the above-written materials/documents prepared, please follow the application through the following link.

You will then be able to submit your written materials/documents as well as fill out the remaining application questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If your question is not answered here, please contact us at with the subject line "Global Heumann Fellowship"!

How do I Apply to be a Global Heumann Fellow?

Applications are being accepted through a survey platform. Please visit Fellowship Application to submit your application.

Does the fellowship pay a stipend?

Yes, the fellowship will provide a stipend; however, we are still working to determine the specific amount at this time. The stipend will support participation in the program, and we are committed to ensuring it is suitable. The stipend will be paid in four installments, one per each quarter of the fellowship timeline. We will update the website as soon as we have more information to share about the stipend.

Does the fellowship accept participation from all over the world?

Yes, the Global Heumann Fellowship welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds and locations worldwide. The Fellowship is a part-time, remote opportunity, allowing for collaboration regardless of physical location. We encourage you to apply. Please visit Fellowship Application to submit your application.

Can I apply for the fellowship if I do not have a disability?

Yes, you are welcome to apply for the fellowship as a non-disabled individual. However, you must have relevant experience working within the field of disability.

Within the application, when it asks if you have a disability, select the option that indicates you do not have a disability. This will prompt a question asking what your relationship is to disability. This is where you can explain how and why disability is important to you and why you want to do research in the field.

Do I need to submit certifications or diplomas to apply?

No, you will not need to submit attachments other than your CV/Resume and any letters of recommendation you have. All other application components are submitted through the survey platform. Please visit Fellowship Application to submit your application.

What is the best way to submit my letters of recommendation?

All letters of recommendation must be emailed to Please include the subject line: Letter of Recommendation for (your first and last name). Letters may be emailed directly from the person writing the letter, or from the applicant. It is suggested when possible, to include all letters (maximum of 3) in the same email. If this is not possible, it is acceptable to email each individually. Letters must be received no later than March 31, 2024.

When will notifications arrive to applicants?

The application review period will take place between April 1, 2024, and April 30, 2024. We anticipate being in touch with all applicants to provide a decision between May and June 2024.

Corporate Sponsorships and Grant Funding Opportunities

Sponsorship will support program administration, fellow awards/stipends, application and selection processes, accessibility and accommodations, leadership development, impact and outcome measures and supporting infrastructure.

Contact Us

Questions about the fellowship?

Contact us at with the subject line "Global Heumann Fellowship."