Look Both Ways: Exploring Disability with Brooke Ellison

Home » Look Both Ways: Exploring Disability with Brooke Ellison

About The Guest(s): Brooke Ellison, Ph.D., is an associate professor of health policy and medical ethics at Stony Brook University. At age 11, a car accident left Brooke paralyzed from the neck down and ventilator-dependent. At 21, she graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in cognitive neuroscience. She received a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Ph.D. in sociology from Stony Brook University. A policy and ethics expert in stem cell research, Brooke served on the Empire State Stem Cell Board, which designed New York’s stem cell policy. She is on the Board of Directors of the NY Civil Liberties Union and the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission. Brooke’s first book, Miracles Happen(2002), was adapted into The Brooke Ellison Story, a movie directed by Christopher Reeve.

Summary: Brooke Ellison, a disability rights advocate and author of the book “Look Both Ways,” shares her personal journey of living with quadriplegia and how it has shaped her understanding of disability. She discusses the importance of shifting the narrative around disability from one of pity and shame to one of strength and empowerment. Brooke emphasizes the need for inclusive policies that consider disability as a cross-cutting issue in all aspects of public policy. She also highlights the significance of universal design and the benefits of inclusion for all individuals.

Transcript: https://otter.ai/u/-kUz6aHchJdl5V_JLX8ZVg7BmFE

Key Takeaways:

  • Disability is more than just a physical impairment; it is a sociocultural construct that requires a shift in societal understanding and inclusion.
  • Public policies should consider disability as a cross-cutting issue and be integrated into all aspects of policy-making.
  • Inclusive classrooms and universal design benefit all individuals, fostering diversity and understanding.
  • The societal perception of disability needs to change from one of pity and shame to one of strength and empowerment.
  • The pandemic has highlighted the importance of accessibility and the need for continued progress in disability rights and inclusion.

Brooke Ellison: https://www.brookeellison.com/


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