|Lydia Brown (viewer's left) and Quentin Masten (viewer's right)|
Autism Campus Inclusion 2012 Summer Leadership Institute, Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Photographer: Lucas Vizeu
(Image description below body text)
My name is Lydia Brown.
I am an Autistic and multiply-disabled activist, scholar, and writer. I regularly speak at conferences and universities on a variety of topics related to disability justice, disability and asexuality, violence against disabled people, and autistic cultural identity. I am a student at Georgetown University (hence "Hoya" in the name), where I am actively working to engage interested students, faculty, staff, and administrators to establish, develop, and sustain a Disability Cultural Center on campus. Right now, I also serve as the Undersecretary for Disability Affairs for the Georgetown University Student Association, where I coordinate several initiatives around disability rights, access, and inclusion for the campus community. I'm also a member of the DC State Autism Advisory Panel (and its Advocacy Subcommittee), the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)'s Consumer Advisory Council, and the Board of Directors for TASH New England. I've been covered extensively in national and local news, and I've also had my writings published in a variety of venues as well.
In 2010, I wrote proposed legislation that would require education about autism for all law enforcement and corrections officers in Massachusetts; the bill was refiled in both the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 legislative sessions but has not yet been passed. My legislative advocacy has been recognized with an Honorable Mention by the Massachusetts Advocates for Children's Youth Advocate of the Year! Award and by U.S. Representative Katherine Clark. In 2011, I served on the Adult Services Subcommittee of the Massachusetts Special Commission Relative to Autism, where I contributed recommendations related to community training and criminal justice for the subcommittee's report.
I have also been active in lobbying against the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts since about 2009. I provided written and oral testimony against the JRC's abusive practices before the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services in a hearing on anti-aversives regulations and the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities in a hearing on various anti-aversives legislation. I was part of Occupy the JRC's National Day of Action demonstration at the Massachusetts State House and on the JRC's grounds in June 2012, and also helped to coordinate the protest against the GED electric shock device at the FDA's White Oak campus in Maryland in January 2013. At the TASH New England conference in May 2012, I co-presented on the history of the JRC and its practices with fellow activist Emily Titon and former JRC staffer Gregory Miller at the TASH New England conference. More recently, I organized a talk at Georgetown University in November 2013 by Shain Neumeier, one of the leading activists against the JRC and the troubled teen industry as a whole, on the history of abuse in the name of treatment.
Outside radical disability justice and disability in public policy, I am also a writer with several unpublished novels, and I'm interested in text-based roleplaying/collaborative writing, Sufi music, and Balkan political history.
Image description: Lydia Brown, a young Asian woman with black hair with glasses wearing a blue and green patterned plaid shirt, has her mouth wide open in an excited grin while pointing with both hands toward Quentin Masten, a young white person wearing a grey shirt with thin white horizontal stripes, who is smiling with closed lips toward the camera and wearing a mostly purple stretchy stim-toy with many stringy parts that can be pulled on their head. They are standing indoors in what appears to be a conference room with creamy or off-white walls and some wooden paneling on the lower part of the walls, windows to their left, viewer's right, some potted green tallish plants, some wooden furniture of table and chair visible, and a framed blueish/greenish blurry picture on the far wall.