Lydia X. Z. Brown

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Lydia speaking from the platform of the PEAK Parent Center Conference on Inclusive Education in 2015 in Denver, Colorado.

Calendar of Upcoming Events

Information on Past Events

Are you looking for a dynamic speaker or trainer on intersectional disability justice, ableism, or autism and neurodiversity?

I am an autistic, queer and genderqueer, east asian adoptee activist, writer, and public speaker with experience in disability public policy, legislative advocacy, grassroots disability rights organizing, social media campaigns, radical disability justice theory and praxis, and critical disability studies. I have mostly focused on violence impacting multiply marginalized disabled people (including via institutions and commitment, police brutality, and prisoner abuse), but have also done significant work related to access and inclusion in higher education, scholarship, and the academy, as well as Medicaid Home and Community-Based Settings (HCBS) regulations and implementation.

I am a board member of the Autism Women’s Network, founding board member of the Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports, past chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, co-founder of the Disability Justice Caucus at my law school, and co-founder of the Washington Metro Disabled Students Collective based in Washington, D.C. Right now, I’m a law student at Northeastern University School of Law, and a visiting lecturer at Tufts University’s Experimental College. You can check out my full biography or curriculum vitae.

I have experience with many types of presentations, including the following: 

  • Keynote speeches for rallies, conferences, and special events
  • Plenary, featured, concurrent, and breakout sessions at conferences of all sizes (as few attendees as 50 and as many as 1000+) for affinity groups, professional associations, scholarly societies, and community members,
  • Public talks at community centers, colleges, and universities,
  • Moderating and participating in panels,
  • Guest lecturing in college and university classes in multiple disciplines (including sociology, political science, anthropology, education, disability studies, public health, cultural studies, human sexuality, social work, English, gender studies, freshmen seminars, and special education),
  • Interactive workshops for self-advocates, community organizers, and writers, and
  • Professional development training for teachers, service providers, nonprofit professionals, attorneys, mental health professionals, and independent living professionals.

I also frequently propose papers, presentations, and panels successfully to refereed conferences, and have been featured at meetings in various fields/communities, including American Association on Intellectual and Developmental DisabilitiesAssociation of Writers & Writing ProgramsAssociation on Higher Education and DisabilityAutreatCreating ChangeD.C. Queer Studies SymposiumNational Communication AssociationNetroots Nation, Philadelphia Trans Health ConferenceRebellious Lawyering (RebLaw), Science Writers, and TASH, among many others.

My usual topics include violence against disabled people, rhetoric/discourse on disability, autistic culture and community, disability representation, ableism in society, asexuality and disability, queerness and disability, and disability rights advocacy. If you’re interested in a different topic, let me know! I am happy to customize presentations and talks for host organizations around a particular theme. I require any host to pay up-front for all transportation and lodging arrangements. Honoraria/speaker’s fees are open for negotiation from my standard fees; my most important consideration is fair pay compared to what you offer other speakers for similar events. Please email me at for more information.

Articles about Past Events

The Tufts Daily, a newspaper at Tufts University, covered the November 2016 panel discussion with Hannah McGregor and Marcelle Kosman from “Witch, Please!” on queerness, disability, and race in the Harry Potter Universe.

The National Association of Science Writers covered the October 2016 panel I participated on for the annual Science Writers Conference, on “Against Ableism: Writing about Disability.” Diana Crow also wrote about the disability panel as part of a larger post on lessons learned from the conference overall.

The Gatepost, a newspaper at Framingham State University, covered my October 2016 talk for the Arts and Ideas Lecture Series, on “Redesign and Rebuild it: Disability Justice, Radical Access, and the Academy.”

UDaily, a newspaper at the University of Delaware, covered my April 2016 keynote, on “Tear Down These Walls: Demand Disability Justice as/in Liberation.”

AC Voice, a newspaper at Amherst College, covered my June 2015 talk for the Inclusive Astronomy Conference, on “Beyond the Imagined Normal: Disability Justice and Radical Inclusion.”

The Cavalier Daily, University of Virginia’s newspaper, covered my April 2015 roundtable for Humanities Week, on autism acceptance and self-advocacy.

Scarlet & Black, Grinnell College’s newspaper, covered my November 2014 talk for Queer Cultures Week, on “The Ableism Crisis: Violence, Marginality, & Disability Justice.”

The Watchdog, Bellevue College’s newspaper, covered my October 2014 talk for Disability Awareness Month, on “Beyond the Imagined Normal: Disability, Pride & Culture.”

Broad Recognition, Yale University’s feminist magazine, and Yale Daily News, Yale University’s student newspaper, both covered “Ableism and the Violent History of Disabled Oppression,” my November 2013 Master’s Tea at Saybrook College.

The blog SpaceRobot Crew covered my April 2013 talk at the University of Washington, Seattle, on “Deconstructing Rhetoric on Disabled (A)Sexuality.”

The Flat Hat, the student newspaper of the College of William and Mary, covered my April 2013 talk, “Politicized Disability and the Crisis of Disabled Oppression.”

The Hoya, the student newspaper of Georgetown University, covered the November 2012 panel that I moderated on “Disability and Inclusion in the Humanities.”

If You Can’t Book Me…

If your event is about disability, you should probably be inviting disabled people / people with disabilities as your speaker(s), whether me or someone else or multiple someones else. Here’s my sarcastic but hopefully informative article on How Not to Plan Disability Conferences. Nothing About Us Without Us!

Other speakers on disability justice whom I strongly recommend

(This list is occasionally updated and should be considered a work in progress; there are many amazing speakers who might not be listed here.)

Najma (Stephanie D. Johnson) / Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-SamarasinhaVilissa K. Thompson / Alice WongTalila Lewis (TL) / Mickey Valentine / Mia Mingus / Aurora Levins MoralesKay Ulanday Barrett / Haben Girma / Mimi KhúcEddie NdopuLeroy F. Moore, Jr. / Dior VargasCyrée Jarelle Johnson / Akemi NishidaKassiane A. Sibley / Alexis ToliverFinn Gardiner / Lee Lyubov / Sonya Renee TaylorShain M. Neumeier / Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán / Patricia (Patty) BerneJohanna Hedva (warning: site has rapidly animated images) / s.e. smith / comrades like Conchita Hernandez Legorreta and Nai Damato (no websites but I can connect you with them)


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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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