By Lucy Wallis
BBC World Service

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The UK is marking 25 years of the Disability Discrimination Act, while this year is also the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. But the US law owes much to a group of disabled people who staged a sit-in more than a decade earlier – led by a determined young activist, Judy Heumann.

Judy Heumann was being pushed in her wheelchair to the sweet shop by a friend, when a boy approached and asked if Judy was sick.

She was about eight at the time, and had been a wheelchair user for as long as she could remember, after contracting polio when she was 18 months old.

"I think that was really the first time I ever realised that people saw me as different," she says.

"I felt very upset and I didn't really know how to handle my emotions. I didn't yell at him, but I did say, No, I wasn't sick. I remember it very vividly."