5 Women With Disabilities Who Made History

Mar 16, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. ET
Women with disabilities who made history
Image: Getty Images/Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows

Women have been making history for centuries; for some, this was the only choice they had. For disabled women in particular, it was either live the way others expected them to or fight for the lives they knew they deserved. 

Anyone with a disability can tell you they’ve faced discrimination at least once in their lives. Whether it’s trying to figure out how to get into a building with a step in front of it or getting ignored on Tinder after someone finds out about your disability, there always seems to be something. But these women (and many others) made sure things were going to change. 

The women featured here — Jillian Mercado, Stella Young, Claudia Gordon, Judy Heumann and Dr. Maya Angelou — are all examples of women who have made major contributions to everything from politics to literature to activism and made the world a better place for everyone. 

1 /5: Jillian Mercado

Jillian Mercado in wheelchair on runway
Image: Bryan Bedder/Stringer/Getty Images

1/5 :Jillian Mercado

2 /5: Stella Young

2/5 :Stella Young

3 /5: Claudia Gordon

3/5 :Claudia Gordon

4 /5: Judy Heumann

Judy Heumann
Image: The Washington Post / Contributor / Getty Images

4/5 :Judy Heumann

5 /5: Dr. Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou
Image: Steve Exum / Stringer / Getty Images

5/5 :Dr. Maya Angelou