Lydia X. Z. Brown

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This is pretty outdated (as of summer 2015) and needs to be redone, so it’s on the list of things to be done. (Note left on Sep. 2016).

Lydia X. Z. Brown

Voice/Text: (202) 618-0187 | Email:



Northeastern University School of Law
Candidate for Juris Doctor, Public Interest Law Scholar

Boston, MA
Aug. 2015 – May 2018 (expected)

Georgetown University
Bachelor of Arts, Arabic (major), Psychology (minor)

Washington, D.C.
Aug. 2011 – May 2015

Princess Sumaya University for Technology
Non-Degree Student, CIEE Arabic Language & Culture Program

Amman, Jordan
Jan. 2014 – May 2014

Teaching Experience

Tufts University, Experimental College
Visiting Lecturer

Medford, MA
Fall 2016

  • Design, develop, and teach full-credit undergraduate course “Re-Thinking Disability: From Public Policy to Social Movements” steeped in principles of radical access and inclusive pedagogy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Educational Studies Program
High School Studies Program Instructor

Cambridge, MA
Summer 2011, Summer 2015

  • • Designed, developed, and taught non-credit high school summer courses on disability theory and activism, women and gender in Islamic civilizations and cultures, and intensive character development in creative writing

Work Experience

National LGBTQ Task Force
Holley Law Fellow

Washington, D.C.
Jun. 2016 – Aug. 2016

Disability Law Center of Massachusetts
Legal Intern

Boston, MA
May 2015 – Aug. 2015

Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Policy Analyst
Project Assistant

Washington, D.C.
Sep. 2014 – Aug. 2015
Apr. 2013 – Dec. 2013
Sep. 2011 – Mar. 2013

  • Participating in coalition with Department of Homeland Security to promote greater awareness of autism during security screenings and better access to counsel for immigration detainees with cognitive disabilities
  • Monitoring and briefing news on policy proposals and changes on healthcare, employment, and disability
  • Coauthored research brief on scattered site housing schemes under new regulations on community-based services
  • Prepared FOIA requests for data on people of color and people with disabilities participating in federally-funded neurodevelopmental disabilities training programs
  • Revised survey questions for state directors of developmental disability services on eligibility and demographic data after changes to autism diagnostic definition in 5th edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Performed research for policy brief on the Affordable Care Act and people with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Implemented grant by organizing 3 regional groups with 2 state partners on healthcare for disabled adults
  • Assisted in coordinating grant for chapters to participate in secret shopper evaluation of federally-funded employment services providers
  • Conducted vetting interviews of prospective chapter leaders and officers
  • Wrote 15-page position paper about compliance-based behavioral interventions on ASAN’s behalf for an expert consultation with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture

TASH New England
Member of the Board

Worcester, MA
Aug. 2014 – Present
May 2012 – Present

  • Writing comments on Mass. Dep’t of Elementary & Secondary Education regulations on restraint and seclusion
  • Writing comments on Mass. 5-yr transition plan for Medicaid Home & Community-Based Services under Final Rule
  • Researching interventions for people with significant disabilities as alternatives to aversive or restrictive interventions
  • Wrote 10 page submission to Food & Drug Administration docket opposing devices used for contingent electric shock
  • Gave oral testimony to Food & Drug Administration panel hearing in support of banning contingent electric shock

Washington Metro Disabled Students Collective

Washington, D.C.
Feb. 2014 – Present

  • Overseeing incorporation process and application for federal 501(c)(3) nonprofit status
  • Developing relationships with other disability rights organizations for future coalitions
  • Planning space, speakers, and publicity for monthly social and political events
  • Designing and maintaining organization’s website

Georgetown University Student Association
Undersecretary for Disability Affairs

Washington, D.C.
Mar. 2013 – Present

  • Organized and managed budget for lecture series on disability with 3 talks, 1 performance, and 2 panels
  • Supported program development for talks with social justice activists Mia Mingus and Haneen Maikey
  • Writing technical assistance guide for planning accessible and inclusive events
  • Consulting with faculty working group that is designing and proposing a minor in Disability Studies
  • Coordinating and developing No Wrong Door resource and training initiative for disabled students
  • Facilitating the development of a disability peer-mentoring program for incoming students with disabilities
  • Providing technical assistance to the GUSA web development staff on creating a more accessible website
  • Partnering to fix current architectural barriers and build more accessible designs for new architectural plans
  • Designing survey on the current access barriers for disabled students throughout Georgetown
  • Researching strategies to improve access to ASL interpretation services for on-campus programming
  • Identifying disability studies related courses for inclusion in new diversity curriculum option

Disability Justice for Georgetown

Washington, D.C.
Aug. 2012 – Present

  • Coordinating monthly meetings of planning committee members
  • Conducting alumni outreach to gain support for the Disability Cultural Center campaign
  • Building, managing, and designing website for the campaign using CSS and WordPress
  • Recruiting supporters to participate in photo campaign and provide statements of support
  • Meeting with administrators, faculty, and alumni to advocate for a Disability Cultural Center
  • Writing the formal proposal and supplementary documents for the Disability Cultural Center

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services
Gay & Lesbian Victory Congressional Internship Program | Legislative & Policy Intern

Washington, D.C.
Jun. 2014 – Jul. 2014

  • Briefed financing partnership to increase multifamily rental assistance program capacity
  • Prepared 3 memos for committee staff and legislative aides in advance of hearings
  • Performed research on previous insurance redlining and terrorism risk insurance legislation
  • Wrote informational and statistical summary of final settlement agreement in lawsuit filed against JP Morgan on practices related to residential mortgage backed securitization
  • Investigated employment discrimination complaints filed at federal financial regulatory agencies

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
American Association of People with Disabilities Internship Program | Investigative Intern

Washington, D.C.
May 2013 – Aug. 2013

  • Located and interviewed people present during the execution of search warrants as part of project investigating prosecutorial and police misconduct in obtaining and executing search warrants
  • Created spreadsheet of awards, honors, and grants relevant to the agency’s mission

Institute for Educational Leadership
Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow

Washington, D.C.
May 2012 – Aug. 2012

  • Authored guide on best practices for internship programs including youth with disabilities
  • Attended conferences on supported employment, youth transition, and independent living
  • Wrote 6 blog posts on youth transition, disability employment, and healthcare for organization’s blog
  • Prepared 4 innovative strategies profiles of supported or customized employment programs after interviewing staff

Government Relations

Massachusetts Legislation on Autism & Law Enforcement
Independent Advocate

Boston, MA
Apr. 2009 – Present

  • Researched statutory precedent on disability-related training for law enforcement officers in 50 states
  • Wrote House 4811 in 2009-2010 legislative session mandating autism training for law enforcement
  • Revised bill language and re-filed as House 2909 and Senate 1197 in 2011-2012 legislative session
  • Revised bill to require autistic adults as trainers and training on techniques to identify abusive situations
  • Re-filed as House 2125 and Senate 1118 in 2013-2014 legislative session (presently in Senate Ways & Means)
  • Collaborated with multiple organizations to coordinate oral and written testimony from community for public hearing

Massachusetts Special Commission Relative to Autism
Subcommittee on Adult Services

Boston, MA
Dec. 2010 – Jan. 2012

  • Participated in creation and revisions of report proposing changes to state-provided services
  • Provided specific suggestions regarding best practices for law enforcement and autism for final report
  • Researched eligibility requirements for developmental disability supports and services state by state


Public Service

  • TASH New England Rep., Massachusetts Executive Office of Health & Human Services
    OneCare Duals Eligible Demonstration Project Implementation Council
  • Chairperson, Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council
  • Community Advisory Board, Postdoctoral Fellowship in Disability & Health Disparities
    Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University
  • Board Member, Autistic Self Advocacy Network Boston
  • Co-President, TASH New England
  • Board of Directors, Autism Women’s Network
  • Youth Caucus, National Council on Independent Living
  • Public Member, Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council
  • Human Rights Committee, Keystone Human Services, Inc.
  • Consumer Advisory Council, Georgetown Univ. Ctr for Child & Human Development
  • Teaching Volunteer, I am Human Society for Rights of Disabled People (Amman, Jordan)
  • Outreach & Awareness Committee, National Youth Leadership Network

Nov. 2016 – Present

Oct. 2015 – Present
Oct. 2015 – Present

Oct. 2015 – Present
Aug. 2014 – Present
Jun. 2014 – Present
Jul. 2012 – Present
Aug. 2015 – Sep. 2015
Jun. 2014 – May 2015
Jul. 2012 – May 2015
Mar. 2014 – May 2014
Jan. 2012 – Jul. 2012

Awards & Honors

  • Mic News, Mic 50 [profile]
  • Georgetown University, Lena Landegger Community Service Award
  • Pacific Standard, 30 Under 30 Top Thinkers in the Social Sciences [profile]
  • Washington Peace Center, Youth Activist Award
  • President Barack Obama, White House Champion of Change for Disability Rights
  • HSC Foundation, Advocates in Disability Award, Finalist
  • Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Youth Advocate of the Year, Hon. Mention

2013 & 2014

Book Chapters


Keynote Addresses

  • The Roads Ahead: Future Directions in Disabled Subversion, Syracuse University Institute on Communication & Inclusion, Summer Institute, Jul. 2014
  • Reconstructing Special Education within a Neurodiversity Framework, University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability, National Center on Inclusive Education Summer Institute, Jul. 2013

Moderated, Hosted, & Chaired Discussions

  • Host, How Mass Incarceration Was Won: Indiscriminate Imprisonment of Disabled, Deaf, Black & Poor People for Profit, talk by Talila A. Lewis (Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf), Lecture & Performance Series in Disability Justice at Georgetown University, Nov. 2014
  • Host, Human Rights Aren’t For Us: Disability & Legalized Abuse, panel discussion with Deepa Goraya, Jennifer Msumba, & Shain Neumeier, Lecture & Performance Series in Disability Justice at Georgetown University, Oct. 2014
  • Host, Broken Bodies, PBP: Police Brutality Profiling, talk by Leroy F. Moore, Jr. (Krip Hop Nation), Lecture & Performance Series in Disability Justice at Georgetown University, Oct. 2014
  • Discussant, Loving Lampposts: Living Autistic Screening, Doyle Film & Culture Series, Doyle Engaging Difference Program, Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, Oct. 2014
  • Moderator, Interdependence & Empowerment: Supported Living Services for Adults with Disabilities, Washington Metro Disabled Students Collective, panel discussion with LaVonnya Gardner, Day Al-Mohamed, Dara Baldwin, & Mathew McCollough, Sep. 2014
  • Host, DisAbused: Rethinking the Presumption of Caregiver Benevolence, talk by Kassiane A. Sibley, Lecture & Performance Series in Disability Justice at Georgetown University, Sep. 2014
  • Moderator, Community Forum on Accessible Transportation, Washington Metro Disabled Students Collective, panel discussion with Carol Tyson & Patrick Cokley, Jul. 2014
  • Host, Inhumane Beyond All Reason: Violence & the Troubled Teen Industry, talk by Shain Neumeier, Georgetown University, Nov. 2013
  • Discussant, Ableism & Sexism: A Discussion of Intersections, Georgetown University Women in Politics, Nov. 2013
  • Moderator, Disability & Inclusion in the Humanities, panel discussion with Elizabeth J. Grace, Renleigh Stone, Ki’tay Davidson, & Kassiane A. Sibley, Georgetown University, Nov. 2012
  • Moderator, Autistic Empowerment: The Civil Rights Model, panel discussion with Ari Ne’eman, Melody Latimer, Hope Block, Kerima Çevik, & Paula C. Durbin-Westby, Georgetown University, Mar. 2012
  • Moderator, Focus Group on Autism & Ethics, Autism NOW Center & Autistic Self Advocacy Network New England, Jun. 2011
  • Moderator, Jodi Picoult’s House Rules & Fictional Characters on the Autism Spectrum, Lexington Christian Academy Advanced Senior Research Program & Asperger’s Association of New England, Jan. 2011

Refereed Papers & Presentations

  • Inhumane Beyond All Reason: Ableism in Public Discourse & Torture Apologetics, TASH National Conference, Dec. 2014 (accepted presentation)
  • Interdependence & Disabled Sexuality with(in) Sarah Weeks’s So B. It, University of Rochester Disability Studies Cluster Symposium, Nov. 2014 (accepted paper)
  • How They Hurt Us: Violence in the Academy, Syracuse University, Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education, Disabled & Proud Conference, Oct. 2014
  • Strategies for Anti-Violence Organizing: Where Racial Justice & Disability Rights Collide, Association for Autistic Community annual conference, Jul. 2014
  • Strategies and Considerations for Establishing a Disability Cultural Center on Your Campus, Association on Higher Education & Disability conference, co-panelist with Diane R. Wiener, Linda Wolford, Ann Luetzow, & Wendy S. Harbour, Jul. 2013
  • Deconstructing Rhetoric on Disabled (A)Sexuality, D.C. Queer Studies Symposium, Apr. 2013
  • Constructing Disability: Deviant Bodies, Deviant Minds, Disabling Societies, Ignite! Georgetown, Mar. 2013
  • Amplifying Your Voice: Strategies for Online Grassroots Advocacy, TASH National Conference, Dec. 2012
  • Bridging the Gaps of Erasure & Oppression in the Queer Autistic Community, D.C. Metro LGBTQ Studies Symposium, Nov. 2012
  • Advocacy in the Age of Social Media, Autism Network International, Autreat, Jul. 2012
  • Together We Are Stronger: The Autism Education Project and a New Collaborative Approach to Ending the Use of Restraint, Seclusion and Aversives in Our Schools and Achieving Social Justice in Our Communities, Autism Network International, Autreat Poster Session, co-author with Emily Titon, Jul. 2012
  • Autistic Characters in Literature, Lexington Christian Academy Advanced Senior Research Program, May 2011

Panel Presentations

  • From Self to System: Becoming the Future, TASH National Conference, co-panelist with Ralph Edwards, Emily Titon, Pauline, Bosman, Pat Carney, Mathew McCollough, Alexa Brill, & Keith Jones, Dec. 2014 (invited)
  • How We’re Read: Breaking the College Student Mold, Syracuse University, Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education, Disabled & Proud Conference, co-panelist with Jamie Burke & Justin Freedman, Oct. 2014
  • Student Run Non-Profits: Supporting the Lives of People with Disabilities & Health Conditions, Georgetown Univ. Academic Resource Center, Disability Diversity Month, co-panelist with Jen Rubino & Miloš Popović, Oct. 2014
  • Disabled & Proud in D.C., Youth Transitions Collaborative Emerging Leaders Program, American Association of People with Disabilities, co-panelist with Rebecca Cokley, Lawrence Carter-Long, Ryan Easterly, Jim Dickson, & Zoe Gross, Sep. 2014
  • #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs: Self Advocates & Family Members Navigating Social Networks & Community Supports, U.S. Dep’t of Education Office of Special Education Programs Project Directors’ Conference, co-panelist with Amy Ouellette, Alexis Nichols, Brian Howard Freedman, Leslie Kozicki, Michael Kozicki, Kelly Kelley, Keith Kozicki, Seb Prohn, and Steve Phillips, Jul. 2014
  • Transitioning from College to the Workforce, Greater Washington Internship Coalition, American Association of People with Disabilities, co-panelist with Allie Cannington & Ryan McGraw, Jun. 2014
  • White House Champions of Change for Disability Rights Panel Discussion, co-panelist with fellow honorees Zoe Gross, Zachary Garafalo, Anupa Iyer, Andrew Phillips, Desiree Moore, Anjali Forber-Pratt, Ki’tay Davidson, & Rebecca Cokley (moderator), Jul. 2013
  • Perspectives on Autism Advocacy, College of New Rochelle, co-panelist with Lisa Quintones-Fontanez, Marjorie St. Hilaire, & Edie Barasch, Apr. 2013
  • Ableism & Exclusion in Education, Georgetown University Education Week Conference, co-panelist with Ki’tay Davidson, Nov. 2012
  • Empowering Autistic Students in the Workplace, Capital Area Association on Higher Education & Disability, co-panelist with Paul W., Oct. 2012
  • Panel Discussion on the Autism Spectrum, Wellesley College, co-panelist with Sara Waltuck, Jacob Waltuck, Lianne Wilson, Julia Hardy, & Caroline B. Narby, Apr. 2011
  • Adolescence from the Perspective of Teens and Young Adults with AS, Asperger’s Association of New England AS Connections annual conference, co-panelist with Anna C. Nagy (Lert), Alex Burke, & Erika Drezner, Sep. 2010

Invited Lectures

  • Intersected Lives: Reconnecting Disability, Queerness, & Asexuality, Grinnell College, Nov. 2014
  • The Ableism Crisis: Violence, Marginality, & Disability Justice, University of Victoria, Nov. 2014
  • Beyond the Imagined Normal: Disability, Pride, & Culture, Bellevue College, Oct. 2014
  • After Pathology: Disability Justice in Queer and Trans Liberation, Columbia University, Oct. 2014
  • Autistic Empowerment: Neurodiversity in Policy and Practice, Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, Central Office Diversity Committee, Oct. 2014
  • Blogging, Advocacy & Activism, Syracuse University Institute on Communication & Inclusion, Summer Institute, co-presenter with Amy Sequenzia, Jul. 2014
  • No Safe Space: Violence Against Autistic People, Towson University, Jan. 2014
  • Ableism and the Violent History of Disabled Oppression, Yale University, Nov. 2013
  • Redefining Disability: Autism, Oppression, and Diversity, University of Virginia, Oct. 2013
  • Disability Is Not Apology: Ableist Metaphor as Oppressive Tool, University of California, Berkeley, Sep. 2013
  • Self Advocacy in Action, University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability, National Center on Inclusive Education Summer Institute, Jul. 2013
  • Deconstructing Rhetoric on Disabled (A)Sexuality, University of Washington, Seattle, Apr. 2013
  • Politicized Disability and the Crisis of Disabled Oppression, Coll. of William & Mary, Apr. 2013
  • Making Your Voice Heard: Advocacy 101, National Girl Scouts Keys to Leadership Conference on Inclusion, co-presenter with Sara Vogler, Mar. 2013
  • Amplifying Your Voice: Strategies for Online Grassroots Advocacy to Increase Awareness & Create Positive Change, Autism National Committee Annual Conference, co-presenter with Emily Titon, Oct. 2012
  • Autistic Empowerment: Neurodiversity in Policy and Practice, Consumer Action Network of DC, Sep. 2012
  • Community Organizing: Becoming a Change Agent, D.C. Advocacy Partners Program, Institute for Educational Leadership, Aug. 2012
  • Amplifying Your Voice: Strategies for Online Grassroots Advocacy, Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire, Autism Summer Institute, Aug. 2012
  • What They Do To Us Is Intolerable! A Discussion about Restraints, Seclusion, Time Outs, & Aversives, TASH New England Regional Conference, co-presenter with Emily Titon & Gregory J. Miller, May 2012



In-Class Guest Lectures

  • The Violence of Ableism in the Academy, Libbie Rifkin, Introduction to Disability Studies (ENGL-720), Georgetown University, Oct. 2014
  • The Neurodiversity Paradigm, Karen Nakamura, Disability and Culture (ANTH-234), Yale University, Nov. 2013
  • Autism Acceptance & the Neurodiversity Paradigm, Carmen Ionela Constantinescu, Intro to Special Education (EDSP-210), Univ. of Maryland, College Park, Oct. 2013
  • Introduction to the Neurodiversity Paradigm, Susan Schweik & Jade Theriault, Independent Living (ENGLISH 198), University of California, Berkeley, Sep. 2013
  • Autistic Self-Advocacy & the Autism Rights Movement, Toby M. Long, Children with Disabilities (EDIJ-253), Georgetown University, Mar. 2013
  • Ableism & Stigma, Sylvia Wing Önder, Medical Anthropology (ANTH-250), Georgetown University, Oct. 2012
  • Disabled Identity & Disability Politics, Andrea M. Brenner, U.S. Society (SOCY-100), American University, co-presenter with Allie Cannington, Ki’tay Davidson, and Kristen P., Sep. 2012
  • Autistic Culture, Libbie Rifkin, Introduction to Disability Studies (HUMW-011), Georgetown University, Apr. 2012
  • Living Autistic in a Neurotypical World, When the Brain Has a Mind of its Own (BN905-2A), Brown University, Pre-College Program, Jul. 2009

Contact Me

+1 (202) 618-0187 (voice or text)


I am an educator, activist/organizer, speaker/trainer, policy advocate, and writer focused on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people.
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