Disabled rights champion Barbara Toomer dies at age 88

SALT LAKE CITY — Barbara Toomer, a fierce advocate for the rights of the disabled in Utah, has died at age 88.

Toomer, one of the founders of the Disabled Rights Action Committee, was a passionate advocate and a force to be reckoned with on Utah’s Capitol Hill as she championed the rights of people with disabilities.

She was known for leading demonstrations demanding access or care and calling political figures to account for their actions. Last year, Toomer helped lead a demonstration against Sen. Orrin Hatch over disability access.

In tributes on Wednesday, people remembered Toomer for her work helping others.

“She was a remarkable woman who fought courageously for the rights of the disabled and other vulnerable people,” former Salt Lake City Councilwoman Deeda Seed wrote in a Facebook post.

In a statement, the Utah Democratic Party memorialized her.

“Her leadership in DRAC (Disability Rights Action Committee) and elsewhere are a testament to the important balance of principled advocacy and civil disobedience. She showed a light on injustice and discrimination, and inspired an entire generation of activists. We express our condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues,” the party said in a statement.