Communication Cut Off During Section 504 Sit Ins
People in wheelchairs inside a building looking out of a glass door, where a man with a wheelchair looks in.


During the 3rd day of the sit ins in protest of the Carter administration's continued refusal to the sign the enabling regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, outgoing phone calls were blocked in the San Francisco Federal Building, in an attempt to cut off the protestors ability to communicate with the press and their allies on the outside. The government did not count on the creativity of the protestors, as they used sign language to communicate with the other protestors holding vigil outside in the plaza in front of the Federal Building. These protestors on the outside were then able to take their messages to the press and other intended targets. This allowed the protestors to continue to organize and keep their momentum going. They organized the longest sit in of a US federal building on record. 

1. D'Lil, HolLynn. There Were Protests in and Outside Federal Offices in San Francisco. At One, Mike Williams, Far Left, Could See Nancy D’Angelo, Center, and Judy Heumann, Far Right, through Windows on April 12, 1977. San Francisco, 12 Apr. 1977.
2. Heumann, Judith, and Kristen Joiner. Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist. Beacon Press, 2020.
3. Ingram, Patricia, director. Narration by Rosalie Wilkins, We Won't Go Away, The Berkeley Revolution, 8 June 2020, Accessed 10 Nov. 2021.
4. Newnham, Nicole and Jim LeBrecht, directors. Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution. Crip Camp, Netflix, 2020, Accessed 10 Nov. 2020.

Associated Place(s)

Timeline of Events Associated with Communication Cut Off During Section 504 Sit Ins


  • HolLynn D'Lil

Image Date: 

12 Apr 1977