AUCD Welcomes Steve Brown, PhD as the New Diversity and Inclusion Fellow

March 19, 2015

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Steven E. Brown, PhD, is a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow with the Association of University Centers on  Disabilities (AUCD). He joins other faculty members from around the country in creating a blueprint for cultural and linguistic competence within the nationwide AUCD network. The blueprint seeks to expand diversity in both the network and the developmental disabilities field to ensure that the network is well-positioned to address growth in diverse communities and the growing number of people with disabilities. This blueprint and fellowship is one-year initiative funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD).

Brown is the Co-Founder of the Institute on Disability Culture and retired Professor, Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaii (currently Affiliate Faculty); he earned his PhD in 1981 in history at the University of Oklahoma. In the 1980s, Brown worked at and directed an independent living center in Oklahoma, organized numerous community advocacy coalitions, and represented regional Independent Living Centers in legislative education about the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 1990, Brown moved to California to become Training Director at the World Institute on Disability (WID). In 1993, leaving WID, Brown received the first federal funding to research disability culture, which resulted in the monograph, Investigating A Culture of Disability: Final Report. After relocating to New Mexico, with his wife Lillian Gonzales Brown, they co-founded the not-for-profit Institute on Disability Culture, in 1994.

Brown has published many articles about disability rights and is a national and international speaker. Books include Movie Stars and Sensuous Scars: Essays on the Journey from Disability Shame to Disability Pride and Surprised to be Standing: A Spiritual Journey. Brown relocated to the California Bay Area in summer 2014, where he continues to write, advocate, and teach. A Middle Grade biography, Ed Roberts: Wheelchair Genius, is planned for April 2015.

Brown continues to teach, via the University of Hawaii, an online course he created (and as far as he knows, is unique), called "Disability History and Culture: From Homer to Hip Hop," as both a graduate and undergraduate course.

Brown blogs at and is on Twitter @disculture.