Steven Brown

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Steven BrownSteven E. Brown, Ph.D.

Position: Affiliate Faculty; Co-Founder

Affiliation: Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaii; Institute on Disability Culture

Historian Steven E. Brown, Co-Founder, Institute on Disability Culture; retired Professor of Disability Studies, Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaii (currently Affiliate Faculty), and a 2015 Diversity and Inclusion Fellow for the Association of University Centers on Excellence in Disabilities (AUCD) Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, earned a 1981 PhD 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, he moved to California to become Training Director at the World Institute on Disability (WID). In 1993, 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 and partner Lillian Gonzales Brown, in 1994, they co-founded the non-profit Institute on Disability Culture. Brown has published many articles about disability rights and is a national and international speaker.

His books include Movie Stars and Sensuous Scars: Essays on the Journey from Disability Shame to Disability Pride (2003) ; Surprised to be Standing: A Spiritual Journey (2011); and Ed Roberts: Wheelchair Genius (2015), a Middle Grade biography of the late 20th century disability rights pioneer. Brown relocated to the California Bay Area in summer 2014, where he continues to write, advocate, and teach (including via the University of Hawaii, an online course he created, which he has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels-and as far as he knows-is unique: "Disability History and Culture: From Homer to Hip Hop.").

Brown blogs at and is on Twitter @disculture.


Steve is an avid reader, movie watcher, writer, and Scrabble player. He loves to travel and meet new people.

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